Two nights ago I sent an email declining a position at a tutoring center as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Lewisburg, WV. As much as I loved the idea of the job and what AmeriCorps means, I just couldn’t see how I could afford to take the job. For those of you who don’t know, AmeriCorps is a volunteer organization that doesn’t pay workers, but provides them with a very modest “living allowance” that barely covers your essential living expenses if you live alone. You’d need to have a stash of money, live with a partner or parent who helps pay the bills, go into debt using credit cards, or live in a van down by the river. I sent the email reluctantly and kept looking for other jobs in the area.
Within an hour I received an email from the director of the tutoring center saying they’d give me an additional living allowance and help me get food stamps (huh!??!?) and help me find a very cheap place to live. Then she called to try to convince me to come down to Lewisburg to meet them and see the program and talk about how we could make this work. I was reluctant to say the least, and I couldn’t sleep all night, for worrying about what I should do. On the one hand I felt guilty for not meeting them when they had so much interest in helping me help them, and on the other hand I kept thinking of how much MORE money I could make in the equally meaningful job as a teacher. I was torn. In the end, I decided to go and visit, if for no other reason than because I had the day free anyway and it would be nice to see another part of WV. I also figured I could see what their program looked like to decide if I felt qualified to apply for director positions in similar agencies. I was 95% sure that the job would be a bad decision, and almost turned around the next morning on my way there, but when I got there and met everyone and saw the community and talked to the person I’ll be replacing and my future coworkers and boss about expectations and so on, and discussed my role and what I could learn…. it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. So, poverty here I come! Oh wait, I’ve already been living in poverty for 2 years. Oh well, in that case I’m in used to it. At least I’ll be able to look at myself in the mirror and sleep at night. Or at least if I can’t it won’t have anything to do with a meaningless, soulless career. Perhaps this will motivate me to try to sell some of my quilts and other sewing creations on etsy to bring in some extra income. I’m not allowed to have another job, but surely they can’t prevent me from crafting!
On a completely unrelated note… I want these boots, or boots like these but prettier. I’ve always wanted wellies 🙂