These days, life is triple-layered.
Three modes in which to function, three flavors of anxiety, three ways to answer a telephone. Sunday night I lay in semi-sleep, half-dreaming I was with set after set of ruffled parents, trying to help them buy their children's photographs, which I'd taken poorly, on a computer system which invariably lost whichever photo I tried to select. Last night, I dreamed of my own website; files spinning down the digital drain of deletion while I watched in dispair, unable to stop the encroaching blue progess line. Today my shoulders are so sore I wince when I rub them with my fingers; too, too many hours with my hands extended and my fingers active, like now.
When will I ever hit my stride? What, exactly, would that look like, and would I recognize it if I did?
The truth is, though, keeping my mouth just above the surface of the stress so I can breathe feels kind of good. Because it's the kind of stress I can tread, the kind that's taking me somewhere - not the meaningless, 9-to-5 stress that I've had before.
It is hard, though. I've cried twice now on the #60 bus, coming home at night from the portrait studio. The driver thinks I'm crazy, and keeps recommending that I call the MBTA and complain (and believe me, I have, but I never get past hold). But then I took up knitting, which helps the waiting time pass, and now my scarf is long enough to wear wrapped around my neck as I knit. I miss my boyfriend, who's working even harder than I am right now on a campaign job, but we find a few minutes here and there, and are asleep for most of them.
Dreamweaver and I have become tentative friends, and my site is coming along. Fellow photographers should check out JAlbum, some of the best free photo gallery software I've seen, and the BananAlbum "skin", which is the one I'm using for my galleries. There's not much to see yet - only "kids" "politics & events" and "abandoned umbrellas" are active - but all I want to do is sit at my desk and tinker, and learn this new language. With a good website and business cards, I figure I'm pretty darn hireable.
The money thing is going alright at the moment with two incomes and little time to spend anything, but I am pretty nervous about the winter, once my "steady" job ends. I'm accepting any and all dinner invitations, as well as hand-me-downs and canned goods. I realize this may be overdramatic... but I find it a romantic notion nonetheless.