Matt, the bf, has been away for most of 2011 for work and just returned from England. I don’t think I’ve had a busier month in the entirety of this project and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon. Some really really REALLY exciting opportunities have come about in the last few weeks and one in particular requires 100% of my attention. When Matt was away and I was living alone, I didn’t notice that I was this completely self-absorbed, messy (house went to shambles), eating-cereal-out-of-the-box woman. No one was here to force me to take a break or stop working from my bed at 2am. It was just me and my brain, constantly consumed – dangerous.
Loner Shannon is a Mad Scientist – complete with CRazY
Now that Matt is back in the house, I’m very aware that I’m still that mad scientist, but now I’m trying to hide it because it’s awkward for me to eat cereal in bed alone while he eats a warm meal in the kitchen. But, I can feel myself resisting the normalcy of being domestic. The Mad Scientist does not want to return to routine.
This is why the dishes were a cause of a 5-alarm fight last night. Normally, we split housework 50-50 and housework has never been an issue for us. Last night, however, there happened to be dishes and I happened to be the only one home.
Normally, I would do the dishes while listening to my ipod and wouldn’t even bat an eye, but instead I flew into an ultra-feminist rage. I had paranoid thoughts convincing me that the only reason I’m stuck doing dishes, when I should be working, is because I work from home and Matt CLEARLY doesn’t respect what I do. I could hear the argument forming in my head: “THIS IS A FULL TIME JOB” and that “JUST BECAUSE I DON’T EARN ANY MONEY DOESN’T MEAN I’M NOT WORKING!!!!” I was livid for absolutely no reason. I got myself all worked up, banged pots and pans around while I scrubbed, scared the cat and waited for my beloved to come home so I could rip his head off.
I was 5 seconds away from walking into the street and burning my bra for all the neighbors to see.
Matt is the most supportive person and absolutely takes my BBP seriously. At no point has he or any of my friends or family made me feel like what I do isn’t important or worth “full-time employment” respect. But I was so convinced. So pissed.
WTF is that about? It’s just the dishes. So what was making me feel so terribly defensive?
I will tell you. I’m a bit of a “kept woman” these days and I’m not used to it. I’m used to being an earner myself and proud of my contributions. Matt picks up the grocery tab, household items, toiletries and I contribute nothing. I have $35/week for my discretionary expenses and that’s all. Because I don’t earn any money with BBP, I’m dependent on Matt financially. That’s new territory for me and it freaks me out.
On one hand, I absolutely love it. Because of his support, I’m actually able to do this project. On the other hand, I absolutely hate it because I feel like I’ll be seen as a 1950’s housewife, just there to take care of the house. This is why I’m so bloody defensive about housework.
I’m terrified that people think I’m just “playing”. That this whole year is like an Eat. Barter. Love. thing and I’m trying to “find myself” and eventually I will wake up, smell the Starbucks and get back to a “real person” job.
Some nasty part truly believes that for me, money = success. I don’t hold this standard for anyone else but myself. This ugly part of my psyche is afraid that I AM just playing and that in a year BBP will amount to nothing and its back to the “real person” job.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what happens when it’s all over. All I want to do is be able to enjoy the ride I’m on but I’m perpetually sidetracked by fear about what happens at the end. All this blood, sweat and tears for nothing.
My rational, and caffeinated, brain points out that I helped 300 women! I had wonderful experiences! I met wonderful women! But the Mad Scientist reminds me, at low points, that at the end of the day, when the $35/week runs out, and I’ve helped 300 women, Barter Babes’ success will be measured by whether or not I am able to make any money at it and continue on this new path.
If not, it was a rewarding year and now I have to get back to reality, grow up and get a “real person” job.
I still remain optimistic because things ARE happening. I have hope! It’s only been 3 months and this project keeps evolving day by day.
But in the meantime, maybe I won’t wash the floor Monday through Friday… I’d like to keep my bras intact.
Until Next Time…
Barter On BabesNote: No bras were burnt during the making of this post