There are only two things to be said for eking out a meagre existence. The first, quite obviously, is that at least you’re still existing. The second is that “eking” is a fun word to say.
I am an example of someone who is presently eking out a meagre existence. I have been back in this country for more than half a year now, and so far the only work that I’ve been able to find for myself–having a Master’s Degree in Physics, mind you– is two hours a day tutoring Adult Ed students in Math and English. Not that I dislike my job, honestly: I can do it quite well, and you meet a lot of interesting people–but a salary on hundred and twenty dollars a week doesn’t add up to much more than pocket change, and the job expires at the end of March. And then there’s the matter of my gender; my clientele does not come from what you could call one of the most trans-positive demographics, so I resolved to go in a male disguise. This eases our interactions, but has the nasty side-effect of making me hate myself with a fiery, uncontainable passion. These feelings are only compounded by the fact that my parents– even three years after I came out to them, even after watching my body go through its phenotypical change as a result of HRT, even after I wrote them a 45 000-word letter detailing why I need to do what I am doing for the sake of my own sanity–can’t be arsed to call me by own name or pronouns.
But worst of all is the significance that all of this has in the context of my own personal experience. Long before I came out, before I left home for grad school, I felt like I was perpetually alienated from myself, existing instead of living. And then I left home; I grew as a person, I had experiences good and bad, I became myself, and I finally started to feel like I was becoming the master of my own life.
And then: SNAP! Right back to where I started. Isolated, semi-closeted and stuck at home.
I feel such a need to get away from here that I am honestly considering taking courses at the University where I completed my Master’s Degree and living off of student loans until I can find a real job. I’m wrestling with this idea, because it’s utterly indefensible from a financial standpoint*, but I may end up doing it just for the sake of my own psychological well-being.
*Although some formal training in programming would at least improve my employment prospects, but I could just as easily get that here.