So back in December, when Ed and I were in the middle of figuring out what to do since he was no longer employed, I started keeping this blog, half as a journal, half as a way to share my story. I am a storyteller, that’s what I do. I sometimes phrase it as an aspiring writer, but I am writing, so what am I aspiring to? To hopefully earn some type of living from the words I put on a page.
Once we moved up to Oregon, I was surfing around on CNN one day, and decided to publish an I-report. Why did I do this? Boredom? Shits and giggles? Nothing else to loose? All of the above. Reaching out I guess, maybe someone out there would find some solace in my story. We understand that we are by no means alone in our hardship, and we also fully appreciate how lucky we are to have family willing to take us in and help us out. It is more than some have.
Well, within about 12 hours of me posting my I-report I received a call from two CNN producers, saying “hey, we like your story and would like do a further report on you.”
My first thought was, what a validation of my writing that it hooked a CNN producer enough to want to follow up with us. My second thought was why not? We don’t have much to do, and if only for our own entertainment… So we drove up to Portland, did a sit down interview and spent the rest of the day with a good friend.
Maybe we should have never taken this step, maybe we did not fully consider what the results might entail. But it was done, and we watched with anticipation when it would air. Then it was over, and we were back to cleaning up after the little ones. But another call came, “we’re interested in your story and would like to conduct an interview.” Again, why not? The first one was gravy, and we were having fun. Am I some narcissist and do I feel I deserve national media attention? No. I like being one of the anonymous masses. And I felt, and still do feel, that with the fickle nature of the media, who would remember this in a month? But maybe Ed and I could somehow meet some good people and maybe land a job as a result of all this madness.
No job offers yet, but we are still hoping.
In light of some of the comments I have received, both on my blog, and on the I-report page, I feel I should clarify myself in some respects. But as a disclaimer, I would like to state that the overwhelming majority of the comments have been ones of support and encouragement, and I would like to thank all those who are sending good energy our way.
First, Ed has been self employed for the past seven years, in multiple partnerships. As anyone who is self-employed knows, it takes the first few years just to get into the black (if you EVER get into the black), and everything you make goes back into the company. He employed people, and paid heavy taxes and contributed to growth in the economy. The partners in his second start-up, royally and illegally screwed him, taking the portfolio (life insurance) that he helped build, and moved it into an entity that did not bare his name, thus their reason for denying him his share of the profits. We are attempting to retain counsel against them, for his rightful share.
I’m 28, having graduated from the University of Arizona when I was 25, so I am essentially at the beginning of my potential career earnings. And I put myself through school, working full time, up until my last year when I took a part time job. So anyone who says: “I don’t understand how you couldn’t have had much savings, you must have made some stupid decisions, and that’s what you get for living beyond your means”, why don't you go jump off a bridge and do us all a favor.
Second, maybe I should clarify my tone. I realize that most of the people reading this do not know me personally, and although I always want to write like I talk, there is no possibility for inflection on the page, no facial expressions or hand gestures. So let me say, I wrote my original post (the one that ended up on the I-report) as part sarcasm, part social commentary, and part hopeful for the future and excited for what we could accomplish in our new environment. We were not country clubbers; we worked and associated with them. We were not spending our full paychecks on clothes and dinners. We did manage to treat ourselves to the Opera from time to time. And while we went into a little debt for our wedding and honeymoon, it was nothing we would not have been able to work ourselves out of in a year’s time; if Ed had not been so unceremoniously ousted from his company. Then our further plans, which entailed saving money and joining the peace corps, and having enough so that we could in turn aid other artists, we hoped (and still hope) that we could help build a better world for all. It might not have been read this way, but I can’t control how people interpret my words, all I can do is put them out there.
If some of my words have been interpreted as complaining or condescending, again, I can only say they were not meant that way. We have endless appreciation for the natural beauty and the kind souls around us. And while that is a fact, the stress of the move, the culture shock, and the pressure of financial worries are also a reality. And I challenge anyone who lives in rural America to move to Los Angeles, and see how you can handle it. People come there everyday from all over America and crash and burn and then end up going back home. Every dreamer in the world seems to want to make it happen in Hollywood.
Lastly, I would like to say to those people who have commented that Oregon doesn’t need us, and we should move back to California, that last time I checked, Oregon is a state in this Union and we are American citizens. And if we want to move anywhere in this glorious nation, as citizens and as taxpayers, that is our right.
Thank you and have a nice day.