It’s Hard To Give Back When You’re In Survival Mode

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It’s been over ten years since I had to use food stamps. Right after my divorce, it’s not that I was super young or anything, just naive. Money was this confusing thing I didn’t really understand, I just knew that I needed to have enough of it to take care of my kid.

So that’s when I went all in on my business. I realized that the only way I could be a stay-at-home mom and also have enough to be able to like, live meant that I had to figure out my shit, and quick.

Yellow Happy Wooden Decor

So, like any sane person would do, instead of going and getting a regular person job, I decided to monetize being a mom– I went all in on the mommy blogging, accepting sponsorships from… honestly anyone. One day I’d be making a cupcake made out of ranch dressing, and the next I’d be naked at a pig farm.

I didn’t care, because survival mode. I had a kid to take care of, she was going to be given the life I’d imagined, and then some.

But then, it wasn’t just about me paying for her dance anymore, it was about me paying for first class tickets instead of flying us all coach. It was about buying designer instead of second hand.

That isn’t survival mode. That’s living. I mean, I don’t know if it’s like Matthew McConaughey style L-I-V-I-N-G or anything… but it’s not survival mode. Even though it always feels like that. It is so hard to ever believe that you’re going out of survival mode, and I think that’s where I’ve been stuck for so long.

And then a friend of mine, who works for the coolest ever non-profit (Hi, Jolie! if you’re reading this… I am blaming you.) was like, “what if you gave back with your time?”

And I was like, “What?” Cue the blank stare… doesn’t this woman know I am in survival mode? Doesn’t she know I have a daughter to rai— oh wait…. she’s in college now. She is actually paying her own way for that with her talent and moxie– but like, I need time to take care of– oh, wait… I am taking care of everything related to my writing and my blog, in fact I kind of have my whole life set up so that if I live it, it’s just more content for my blog and the cooler more fun things I actually go and DO the better my blog will be…”

Green Leafed Plant on Sand

And then I realized that I’d spent the last ten years working toward getting out of survival mode only to realize that I am already there.

I did it, I don’t have to be in survival mode. I don’t have to survive anymore. I get to live.

Oh man, even just typing that has me all up in my feels scared… like did I just tell the universe to kick me in the teeth?

Or did I just thank the universe for what I already have? Did I stop and realize I was grateful?

And that’s our assignment for today, friends. We are going to be happy with what we have, and grateful for it, and (here’s the hard part… even as I typed it, I erased it because I was so scared to do it myself) we are going to also understand that we deserve it because we worked hard for it, and we ARE AWESOME.

No kicking ourselves in the teeth. 🙂

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