Rolling the Dice

I find myself in between spaces.

I left my full-time job in the beginning of September. It was a matter of survival, both professionally and personally. It was like working in a burning building, and it was only a matter of time before I caught fire with it. The constant stress and frustration was taking its mental toll, and I could feel the grayspace beginning to build up again in the back of my mind.

So, I did what I had to do. I escaped.

Now, I’m working part-time at the SPCA, which is wonderful work with not-so-wonderful pay. I’m suddenly scraping to pay the bills, and I’m utterly grateful that I’m currently living with my parents rent-free. I wouldn’t be able to survive otherwise.

There seems to be many roads in front of me, and I’m not sure which way to go. I’ve considered saying “screw it” and trying to make it as a starving artist, because I’m starving either way anyway. But, then I think about the mountain of student loan debt sitting on my back and the weight of it has me shuddering. Then, I think about a doctorate program, but it’s a five-year commitment and I don’t want to be long-distance with the beau again now that we’ve gotten our feet settled underneath us. And, randomly, I think about going to nursing school, because it would be big pay and there’s always work available, but then I wonder if I’m doing that just because there’s big pay and always work available.

Wasn’t I supposed to have all this figured out by now?

Life isn’t a straight line of consecutive spaces. There is no Park Place, no passing Go. There are no rules that define how many steps forward and how many chutes back. There’s no perfect spell or magical amulet with +5 Dexterity.

In the end, you just gotta roll the dice and have a little faith. Even if things align more towards Chaotic Good.


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

One thought on “Rolling the Dice

  1. You are absolutely right! Sometimes you do have to just roll the dice and two step forwards and one step back is a norm. As long as you are growing, understanding more about yourself and the world around you then it is all worth it. Don’t fret the fall, you will recover. Just be true to yourself and it will all be worth it.

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