Perhaps you have gotten the impression that I’ve been depressed lately. It’s true. I need a break. That’s why I’ve written nothing in here.
To start with, it’s not just a bad mood. It’s not a bad day, or a bad week, or that I just don’t feel like having fun. It’s not that I don’t love my friends and family, the bf or the kids.
It’s not about a feeling. It’s not about wanting to whine and say life isn’t fair, and just have a pity party. I’ve done all those things other times. And it’s not depression either, not like I had when I was 16 and didn’t care about life anymore.
This is beaten down pessimism. I am SO BURNT OUT. I think going home last summer was a big mistake, cause I barely got to relax again before I got thrown into the 6 day a week hell that has been my life for the last 3 years. I love the kids. I signed on for another year cause it is fun to have these kids in my life and I didn’t want to endanger my relationship, but dear God I hate how I can never get a break and anything fun I want to do in the city is sold out.
It is beyond boring. There are NO good clubs unless you are in the over 30 crowd, or a student and want to drive to the nearby student town. People who I thought were my friends, I realized were only my friend when I drove to them. So after my good friends moved away, my social life sort of died in one blow and I stopped trusting what acquaintances told me. Not like it matters, Fri night I can’t stay out late or drink much since I’ve got work bright and early, and Sat I’m usually exhausted by 11pm anyway.
I’ve had one bureaucratic nightmare after another, and have been made to be so afraid of being thrown out of the country by evil manipulative gov’t staff that I’ve vowed no matter what, to never step foot into that building again.
I’ve discovered that Germany is not the country to be self-employed in, because even when you think you are doing everything right, you’ve definitely forgotten something, have to pay back taxes, have to pay for extra insurance, etc,etc, spend time in new gov’t offices you didn’t know existed, listen to other people talk about the 4 figure sum, you most likely owe, that you didn’t know about, have to hire someone privately to do your taxes. Be told you’ve done your taxes wrong, should have gone to a professional and saved a thousand, so you go to a professional, be told that despite all the nice things they promised you in the beginning, about taxes being less since you’ll study next year, you do owe 2000+ euros, which just happens to be your savings for the 3 months when you aren’t allowed to work, so you can feed yourself. It’s great to sit there in a tax office crying in front of a stranger, trying to come up with the things you missed.
Then when you go home and spend hours trying to rack your brain about anything you’ve missed, the accountant writes back that in all 5 categories where you thought you could make some headway, all this man has to say is that it’s not enough for write-off, or to change things. Rules rules rules and none in your favor. The student loans you’ve paid, won’t count, you can’t have a home office, cause you don’t have 2 rooms. I would have saved more paying for 2 rooms, than I saved by living in one room.
And so you realize that not only are you paying the exact same amount in taxes that you would have, had you done it yourself, but you’ve also got to pay this dimwit whose company promised you it would be worth doing taxes with them, just because in Germany to be self-employed, you have to make almost no money, or tons of money in a year in order to actually live, and you, my friend, in the middle, just get the arschkarte.
Then you get the US gov’t insisting that you only get tax free student loan breaks if the college you are going to is in the US. So even though the Uni you are trying to go to is OLDER than the US and you will definitely be broke, you’ve got to watch as the student loans you’ve spent 3 years of making $2,000 payment a year on accumulate $1,000 dollars in interest in just one year. Never mind the whole ILLEGAL taxation without representation, if you make any mistakes we’ll take away your savings with penalties bs. Or how I’m supposed to report my foreign savings accounts as if I’m a criminal.
***EDIT*** I forgot to add that for 2011, I didn’t even make the same amount of money as I owe the US gov’t for my moderate student loans, and still my finances are overly complicated and making me poorer ***EDIT***
So I’m screwed from both sides. Meanwhile every single week I’ve got 100 students demanding things of me. Or the companies organizing the classes, like my boss asking way too late about my flat. Plus I’ve got the senior center asking me to meet to speak with my possible replacement, asking me to pimp out my English speaking friends to them, then I find some who needs a job and they say they don’t want someone young, since they just leave, (have you every thought about paying more then?).
So then I go out of my way to do the right thing and meet with this man about how my classes are and if he’d like to sit in on one, in the middle of my busy work week when I’ve got 2 hours to travel across town, grab something to eat, grade papers and get there in time. What does this poor old lonely man do? He comes and discusses any and everything but the class he is, at the time, already sure he won’t take over. And I get it. I shouldn’t be mad. So I’m not but when they started calling me again on my one day to sleep in leaving confusing messages about yet another possible candidate who ought to have access to my personal telephone numbers. I call back and say I’m happy they found someone, but as I work 6 days a week and the last guy wasted my time, I will only meet with the final teacher
I tell the seniors I’m leaving, without knowing for certain what I’m doing, they get upset and feel betrayed, demand I provide them with a native speaker, demand I bring in the replacement. Tell me it’s a shame I have future plans, wish that I don’t get into Uni, all half-jokingly, but it’s still not ok.
Then we’ve got the fact that I, made the stupid mistake of not sending my hard copy of notice of leaving the apt. in time, but through email first and now I’ve got to have people come look at the apt, so I don’t have to pay Aug rent. I’ve got my landlord emailing me to do more things for him (like it’s my day job to run errands for the people I pay good money to, or something…) I just want my 900 deposit back, so I had darn well not make a mess of things with him before this is over. Never mind how much work I’m going to have come August when I start looking for a place to live in a city 4 hours away and now without the money that I wanted to use on an agent to save me time and trouble.
I’ve got people promising to look at my furniture who’ve backed out, now, so I’ve gotta put that up online, and sell it before I move out. I’ve got to clarify the internet situation, cause even though I called and asked they gave me wrong information and my 3 months written notice wasn’t enough and who gets to pay, ME, the sucker.
And 6 days a week, the sun is shining with miserable humid weather and I am too busy doing emailing and calling and keeping track of all the details that I can’t afford to forget or delay anymore, and packing things and cleaning my flat for the people who might pop in, to be bothered with being ready to wear summer outfits, and since I’m running around all day, I can’t wear sandals since power walking in them gives me blisters, so I go from one stuffy work environment to another, sweating it out all day in jeans and a t-shirt and tennis shoes, and then back home in my super hot apt. And while I’m there sweating and miserable, the kids come in and give me the same excuses about not possibly being able to do the homework, or learn the vocab because how are they expected to know that it’s the next page of vocab, just like it’s always been and their lives are just so hard with school work.
AND THE WORST PART: really the WORST part, is that 6 days a week I have to hide the fact that I am stressed out and feeling monetarily abused by two countries, worried about my future, worried about having enough money come Oct, tired of having no weekends to see anything or wind down, tired of having to run around town and be somewhere on time at least 3 times a day, tired of working my butt off for three years, paying my bills, doing my best, and feeling like I’m back where I started, only more pessimistic and less hopeful. I have to hide all these feelings and stop and think before I say anything so that I am can be sure that I’m not saying it out of personal frustration with my situation that has nothing to do with the kids. And I am glad I do it, they are silly children who’ve done nothing to deserve such treatment. German adults come up to them and tell them how horrible their country is and have even throw coins at them. THEY certainly do not need more nonsense from me.
But HONESTLY I dream of a job where I work five days a week, in an air-conditioned building where I don’t have to repress my feelings to get on with my work.
Every single day at least 20 people ask for things of me. I am so tired of it, my patience is no more. And this moving nonsense is tipping me over the edge. At this rate, I’ll be able to afford to get married when I’m 35.
I am stressed. The bf says everything will be fine. But that’s easy for him to say, he’s in Greece. I’m here alone with the to-do list and a hot, dirty apt. I can say one thing, if I weren’t in a relationship right now, I’d have peaced out and gone home last month. I am going on 2 months over my breaking point. If I don’t make it into university, all this bureaucracy will no longer be worth it. I’ve got to start saying goodbyes to students next week, but how can I even do it, except to put on my fake face, and pretend that the future looks bright and wonderful and I just can’t wait to keep bleeding money for the privilege of being a foreigner abroad.
It’s more than I can deal with. No matter when or how hard I try to be prepared, it’s always the same result. I get stuck with the negative outcome.
I’ll take a vacation. It’ll be ok. August this will all be behind me. I’ll either go visit friends, or in the unlikely even the bf can get some holiday time, we’ll find some beach to sit on and read. He promised me Crete and even if I have nothing to eat in Oct, I will find some way to afford it, cause that beautiful island would do away with a lot of stress.
But my eyes are wide, wide open. Even if you stay informed, do your best, do things on time, life still isn’t fair. No one will look out for the things you’ve worked for except for you. There’s no guarantee I’ll make it, or even that I’ll have permission to stay. It could all very well be legally taken away from me, I’m just a little minnow swimming around out here with all these big fish.