She Calls It “Sacrifice”

I call it lying.

And, I guess, for most people, it’s not a big deal. You do what you have to do to get by, even if it means playing other people for fools or raping the government for all it’s worth.

For a long time, I did these things without batting an eyelash. Lying and manipulating became second nature to me, so that there came a time when I didn’t even know my motives or my self. Whereas I initially justified my actions by saying that I needed to do so to get by, after a while, I said and did what I had to do in order to get more.

Now it’s hard for me to lie. Just like I once trained myself to get rid of all my tells, I’ve trained myself to have tells. I want people to catch on to me; only in doing so can I keep myself honest. I don’t necessarily know where to draw the line between little white lies and radical truth, so most of the time I’m brutally honest. Emphasis on the brutal part.

__________

The baby’s due in late July, and I’ve decided to start nursing school in September. I get a lot of flack of the “Mommy War” variety for this choice, but I make no apologies. Point blank: There are things I want to do for myself and my family, and it takes money to do most of them. Nursing is the quickest route to making a decent, steady wage, while doing something that doesn’t make me feel like I’m selling my soul.

The best part is, I found an accelerated course that will earn me an associate’s in 11 months, and because my mom’s a nurse, her union is willing to foot the cost of tuition. At least, that’s what I thought. Now I know that because of some loophole, my mom’s union isn’t willing to pay the tuition. I can’t afford it, and my credit is too crappy to get a loan.

I was upset when I heard the news, and my mom just scoffed. “Just apply for financial aid”, she said, huffily. “Hurry up and apply before you start working again. Say that you’re living somewhere else, and that Rob pays your rent, and that you don’t make enough to pay for anything but groceries. You’ll get a free ride.”

As I write out my mom’s words, I’m thinking Well, duh. Why the fuck not? There are a million reasons of the me-and-my-baby-deserve-this variety. And, honestly, if I didn’t feel the compulsion to spill my guts on here, no one would ever even know.

But a lot of self-righteousness boiled to the surface of my face when I heard my mom’s suggestion. I’m better than that, I thought. I’ve learned to rise above all of the lies and deceit. I can make it without having to stoop so low.

But maybe I haven’t. And maybe it doesn’t matter. And maybe, even if it does matter, it’s ok. Good, even. Justified. Right. Maybe everyone else does it, and even if they don’t, this is just the way I am. As god or some other holy being meant for me to be. As I’m supposed to be. How does anyone know how they’re supposed to be anyway?

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4 responses to “She Calls It “Sacrifice”

  1. I say do whatever will help you get the degree. Eventually, you’ll pay the money back…through taxes paid to the school for another student’s attendance…lies are horrible, but so is being unhappy and poor.

  2. You might also consider finding a part time nurse’s aide job at a hospital. Most places have tuition reimbursement (or will pay outright) if you sign a contract to work for them for a specific amount of time after you graduate.

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