Tuesday, October 11, 2011

the why

The why questions in life always trip me up but are always incredibly important to ask myself. Everyday I spend here I feel like I'm faced with new challenges that I just have to deal with, yesterday being one of those days. I learned yesterday that the question of why is one of the vital questions I need to be asking myself every single day I'm here in Los Angeles, a question I cannot forget the answer to. Yesterday was a long and emotinally draining day. I woke up with the hopes of going to find a car to lease. The issue of the car is this annoying monster that continually lurks in the shadows. So. Annoying. I miss New York City for a variety of reasons and one of those is definitely the amazing public transportation and how unnecessary owning a car is. 

LA is not very similar. I'm using Chanelle's car, but it's completely falling apart thanks to the crazy lady who sold it to her so that is a whole other issue.

Do you ever get into a situation and realize you are way in over your head, naive and you just feel straight up stupid? That's exactly how I felt yesterday. Plus, care salesmen are SO persuasive that I actually felt sick and guilty when at the end of my meeting I had to tell him that it just wasn't going to work out. There is no way I can afford to lease a car with my tiny salary at the restaurant, we don't even have an apartment yet, and I really do NOT want my mom to cosign anything. The guy who was so nice and helpful in the beginning suddenly became quite short with me and I had to realize the importance in saying NO, and nothing is wrong with saying that. 

Which brings me to the point of 'why.' Yesterday, in the midst of all this mental breakdown hooplah after  realizing it was impossible for me to lease/finance a car, I sat in a Burger King with Chanelle down the street, bawling my eyes out to my mom on the phone. I had another decision to make. I had to turn down a really well-paying nannying job that screamed financial security. Oh, how alluring it was! How badly I had diluted myself into the pros of taking the job. All I could see were the dollar signs. I have never been someone to lust after money, but in that moment I knew the appeal. I felt the pull in my chest toward taking a job I knew I wasn't made for simply to pay the bills, to begin to lead a comfortable life.

As I was on the phone with my mom I knew I had to turn it down. 

"Nina, you aren't out there to be a full-time nanny. Remember why you are there."

Ugh, I knew it. I knew I couldn't take the job--a job which wasn't flexible and required a ton of committment and responsibility. It was 12 hour days during the week and while the pay would be amazing, I would have absolutely no time for anything else. I would have to cut back on my current job at the restaurant, and even though the pay isn't great, I genuinely love it there. I love being around people my age, I love interacting with others, love making connections and just laughing. While hanging out with a 3 month old all day has its perks, it's not like I could call the baby up on my off day and ask to hang out. 

I turned down the job and felt immediately lighter and immediately like I had learned something. I can't worry about money as much as I am. It is a realistic concern, but I can't let it dominate my life. I was ready to be locked into something I knew I shouldn't be in. I SO want to drive a good car and I knew if I had taken that nanny job, it would have been possible. But why am I here?

I usually get to work super early because I still can't judge LA traffic so I leave about two hours before my shift starts. I like this time because my work is right by a really nice mall with a Barnes & Noble. I've started reading Steve Martin's autobiography, "Born Standing Up." It is amazing, funny, honest and moving. As I read page after page, I realize again and again why I'm here. I moved here to strengthen my writing and performing skills. I'm not here to become a fulltime nanny. I'm here to rough it at little jobs that I can easily leave if I need to, here to rough it through public transportation, here to rough it in tiny rooms and air mattresses, here to grow in my faith and follow the plan God has for me. And all this "roughing it" really isn't roughing it in the universal sense, so I'm all good anyway. It's roughing it to my prior comfortable life, but I have a roof over my head. I have food in my stomach. I have family and friends and unending support. I have unfailing love from the Creator of the Universe. Actually, I'd consider myself pretty rich. 

So the why questions. I think we all need to be asking ourselves these little buggers. I think we'll surprise ourselves when we realize we've known the answers all along.

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