Don’t Freak Out!


Freaking out!

Not really.

Not any more.

Not after talking my own self down off the ledge.

That’s not my tax return, I thought when I saw the mail waiting, all sly and innocuous next to my motorcycle helmet on the bench to the entry way to my studio.

I’M BEING AUDITED!!!!

Fuck my mother.

Fuck me.

Fuck.

Fuck.

FUCK!

Wait.

Calm down.

Go inside, open the letter, don’t freak out.

I said.

DON’T freak out.

There’s nothing wrong.

My house, lovely, sweet, clean, pretty, go light some candles and stretch out and roll the back roller on your sore shoulder and take off your earrings and hair geegaws and make a cup of tea.

And relax.

What ever is happening it’s for a reason and you are ok.

I need money for grad school!

You haven’t been accepted yet, relax.

Please.

Ok.

I guess I should open the letter and see what it says.

It says IRS, run away and hide, but.

I didn’t.

I opened the missive and read it.

I didn’t make sense at first.

I had to read it three times before I got the gist of what I was supposed to do.

Either, a.) call the 800 number listed or b.) go to the website listed and fill out the little form there.

What is it?

A confirmation of identity.

Oh.

Huh?

I remember, way back when, I think it may have actually been when I was applying for financial aid the first go around, that’s right, way, way, way back, when I was 17 going on 35 and trying to get into school and it came up then.

I had to verify my identity.

I am not the only Carmen Regina Martines in the world.

Even with the last name being spelled slightly different from the average bear.

And I’m not sure it’s true, but there was some weirdness when I was first working, like the very first job that I had that I had to fill out tax papers for, that I have more than one social security account.

Not number.

But two accounts.

Again, I put it to the weird spelling of my last name.

No I am not Mexican.

No, I do not speak Spanish.

Family legend, according to my mother, and maybe I’ll actually get this confirmed when I go see my grandmother, that there was a misspelling on an ancestors citizenship papers.

That the correct spelling is Martins, but it was pronounced, I’m going to spell this phonetically, Marteens (think saltines), and thus, the immigration people threw an “e” into the spelling and voila, Martines.

So, once I got my under pants un-bunched.

I’m not being audited.

Whew.

I went to the website and verified all my information and hopefully that will clarify everything and I will get my federal return back post-haste.

I have been watching my bank account like a hawk since my state return landed over two weeks ago.

I filed on February first.

When the rest of the world was watching the Super Bowl, I was doing my taxes.

Anyway.

Quite glad to have responded the way I did.

I didn’t fret needlessly.

I didn’t stash the envelope and not open it.

I followed the directions and breathed and went to the website and got clarification about what was needed.

So often in my past  would make an assumption, usually based in fear, and run with it.

And so often, I was to learn, and am still learning, really, that assumption was all about making an ass out of myself.

I will jump to many a conclusion without sufficient evidence to back it up.

I’m grateful I got to see myself respond with such serenity.

Yeah.

There was some dread when I saw the envelope from the IRS, I mean, come on, who doesn’t blanche a little when the tax man cometh.

But it was just a generated piece of computer mail that was to make sure I am who I said I was and that I live where I say I live.

That’s all.

Nothing more.

Quote the raven.

Never mind.

Er.

Never more, I mean.

And back to my regularly scheduled business.

Looking for airline flights to go down to San Diego to see my grandmother.

I checked in with my Uncle who wants to co-ordinate his trip with mine and we briefly discussed what dates make sense and how we would get there and for a hot second I thought, ooh, if he drives, I could skip the air fare and save some money.

But, then I realized, it’s out of his way to come and get me and I am not going to be able to take a lot of time off from work.

I’m saving my vacation days for the retreat for graduate school.

And, fingers crossed, for Burning Man.

I’m not going to buy a ticket until I hear back from the graduate school, another response, rather than a reaction.

My first reaction was to ride with my uncle, my second to buy a ticket, tonight, but then after the stuff with the IRS letter, I realized, I myself am missing some vital information.

If I can avoid taking vacation time I will.

I will go down and do a quick weekend visit.

If I get into graduate school, that is.

Because I would save my two weeks of vacation for the retreat that the cohort does in August and the other week for Burning Man.

If, however, I don’t get into graduate school, there’s no restrictions on my time and I could take a longer trip down, not that it would be much longer, I don’t want to over stay my welcome and I suspect that I should probably just make my trip a short one–more for myself than anything.

I can get overwhelmed with family stuff pretty easily and I need to test the waters and before I leap full on into the family reunion.

I could, also, I am realizing, take a day or two from my sick days.

I haven’t used them all up.

And, then, there’s also the thought, when I get my tax return I could just ear mark a part of it for an extra day off from work.

If I go slightly over my paid days off it’s not like I will suddenly be homeless and in debt.

What would it look like if I just had faith I was being taken care of and book the time I want?

I’ll know more soon.

I should know by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest, whether or not I got into the program.

Until then.

I’m fine.

I’m not being audited by the IRS.

And my rent is paid.

And I have clothes on my back.

New glasses on my face.

And faith that I am always being taken care of.

Despite the fear factory in my head.

I’m just fine.

Perfect, actually.

Thanks for asking.

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