mint jelly

Monday, November 02, 2009

but I Work from Home

Warning: not book related and kinda demoralizing.

It’s November 2, and a new, totally out-of-the-blue New York Commuter tax is due. Because I’m a freelancer, I have to pay this tax even though I don’t commute, and even though the cost of riding the subway has already gone up substantially. I work from home as opposed to renting a desk in one of those friendly professional spaces because I don’t make enough to pay “another rent” and aside from working in my pajamas and not showering, the benefit of working from home is saving money on things like commuting, an office-appropriate wardrobe, and lunches that never seem to cost less than $12.

So I keep from going insane by tweeting too much and by going back and forth with other friendly types around the world, who also work alone.

It’s extremely hard to maintain discipline, to take care of 6 clients and the laundry, to not be insulted when I see an ex girlfriend of my husband’s on the way to the grocery store, who assumes and says out loud (because it’s the middle of a Tuesday) that I’m a housewife and not a writerandprogrammer thankyouverymuch, to be physically alone much the time, and that’s all before I have panic attacks about estimated taxes, student loans, and try to work harder still to achieve that ever-elusive feeling of financial stability and independence.

The New York Commuter Tax is extra infuriating, since it was MTA ineptitude and shenanigans that put in bids late for the special fuel that these buses run on, and the result is a $26 million dollar contract for fuel that costs three times what it did the year before. This is just one of their costly mistakes. I love the subway, but man do I hate the MTA.

And there’s nothing, it seems, that anyone can do about it. All we can do is bitch. Then figure out the paperwork, dig up old records, and pay taxes on a day that is not a tax day.

I suppose I could stop worrying and learn to love the bomb. This is the price I pay for caring about where I am, about what I contribute to the world. It’s dear, living here. 

Usually I do my best to make everything look easy, near effortless. Sometimes in the middle of my day I pause and think of how amazing my life is, how lucky I am. It’s just… hard.

Earlier today I read an essay by an author whose undergraduate professor left her $75,000 in her will without any explanation. Needless to say, I wept. 

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