I broke down this week and spent  some money – I kind of had to.  I have not had my hair cut since before I left for Florida in September.  Money is tight right now, and I decided I would wait as long as I could, but my hair was so damaged that if I squeezed the ends, I could feel – and hear – them crunch.  Gross.  I booked an on-camera job that filmed this week, and I decided that I could not show up to the stylist with fried, scraggly hair and expect her to do something with it.  I mean, I guess I could, but how lousy would that be?  I am adamant about watching my spending, but I am also adamant about being professional.

I compromised though – I only got it cut and am still waiting to fix the color – which I DESPERATELY need to do.  While in rehearsals for the show I was just in, the director said, “Laura, don’t take this the wrong way, but please don’t get your hair fixed until after we close.  It’s perfect for the character”  (I was playing a small town motel desk clerk).  Uh-huh.  Clearly, I’m not the only one noticed the grown out roots.  I assured him that on what I was being paid, there was no chance of me being able to fix it.  My mom actually offered to help me pay for it, because she’s awesome, and I was tempted to accept her help, but I ultimately said no – my parents have already done a lot for me, financial and otherwise, so I try not to take their help unless it is an emergency/desperate situation.

I made another cut this week that was much harder than my hair – I had to go on hiatus from my manager for a while.  I love my manager, and she has helped me make important strides in my career.  But the dark, ugly facts are staring me in the face – I have to cut all non-essentials to get out of debt, and while I do feel working with her is a smart, good investment, it is less necessary than say, food and shelter.  I definitely consider this a temporary fix – when I am out of debt and my finances are stable I will continue with her again.  I will miss working with her while I figure all my money issues out, and I do worry that this cut could have a negative impact on my career.

I hate knowing that my money issues affect someone else.  Not paying my manager’s fee may ease my finances, but my going on hiatus in turn strains hers.  I’m heavy hearted about this decision and don’t know how to make it better right now.  Putting her back on my payroll will be a top priority, but in the meantime I’m sad.

It’s moments like these where I feel myself starting to waver on this path.  I start thinking about how much easier it would be to get a day job doing something I don’t love, but that offers stability.  All week I’ve been consistently reminded of not having enough money.  On my way back to the car after getting my hair cut, I passed the window of one of my favorite local clothing stores, and it made me feel breathless with want, and then murky with depression when I knew I couldn’t even allow myself to go in and just admire stuff, because the odds of me charging something are too high when I’m feeling this blue.  I went to the fitting for the on camera job and was ridiculously excited just to try on clothes that I will only wear for a day and probably wouldn’t ever buy if I were out shopping on my own, just because they were new.  I took my dog in for an emergency teeth cleaning this week because she was having trouble eating, and she had nine teeth pulled. so there went $500 we weren’t planning to spend this month.  Ouch.

No one said this process was going to be easy – I guess I should expect to have weeks where this lagom process is harder than others.  And I do have lots of small things to be grateful for – for instance, unlike my dog, I did not have to have any teeth pulled this week.  So there’s that.

It's hard to keep your tongue in your mouth when all your bottom front teeth are gone.  Poor Stella.

It’s hard to keep your tongue in your mouth when all your bottom front teeth are gone and you’re doped up on painkillers. Poor Stella.