Friday, March 6, 2009

Portrait: Fairfield, California

By most standards, I have it good. I have a part-time job that brings home a little bit of money and a feeling of pride when I can go home and show my husband the little bit of cash I earn being a hostess. My husband is Active Duty in the US Air Force, and we live on base, so we don't have to worry about foreclosure. His job allows me to stay home with our two kids every day that I don't work. When I work, we are fortunate enough to have family nearby that have no problems watching the children whenever. The four of us are healthy, as are our friends and family.

Every night, though, I worry. Some nights I can't sleep because I'm too worried to close my eyes. I desperately want to go to school and become a nurse - start a career - but I'm so afraid of the debt that getting a four year degree with rack up. So many people tell me not to worry, that any money I can make after I get my RN will help defray loan costs, and then when I go into the service as an officer, that will help even more.

But it doesn't stop me from feeling like there's a shadow waiting to swallow us whole.

That's probably the worst part of this recession for me - the fear. The not knowing. I hate it so much. It paralyzes me, makes my skin crawl. Some days I feel like we should go ahead and rob Peter just to keep Paul as far away as possible.

Every day I pray that there will be a light at the end of this tunnel, that the silver lining is close at hand, but there's this tiny voice that tells me I shouldn't get my hopes up.

Fairfield, California, USA