Things have been better than I thought they could be since I'm no longer at my old job. I don't fight with Mike nearly as frequently as I used to, I don't need to decompress from work by withdrawing emotionally, I poop painlessly every day and I enjoy the time with my friends and family more fully. I am far, far happier overall. I didn't know the old job was affecting me so negatively until I left it.
Quality of life going up aside, making considerably less is stressful. I do not live extravagantly by any means(I already share plates at restaurants, buy things almost exclusively on sale, bring lunch to work and other things of that nature) but I feel like I can no longer do anything that costs money. Like, anything. I no longer have one large expense and Mike and I are contributing according to our salaries so the pay cut isn't as terrible as it could be. In this first month of adjustment I had some car expenses that I didn't budget for, I went a little nuts on sale items at our co-op and I'm so excited to be working in a new place with new restaurants that I bought lunch more frequently than I ever have before- all things that made this transition a little more jarring. I'm sure once October rolls around I will have a grip on how much I'm bringing in, and things will get much smoother. Until then I find juggling payments an interesting act thanks to a different pay schedule.
I didn't take this job for the money. I took it because it's putting me in a position to go where I want in my career (being fired aside.) It's the start of my career for crying out loud. And I understand that my choice in career comes with monetary constraint. I can make this work. I've crunched the numbers. Starving and homelessness isn't a looming threat and I can support myself. I have a full time job and a part time job. I am still very much one of the lucky ones. Coming to terms with a few things tied into the cut is proving to be a little more difficult than I anticipated. But at the end of the day, I'd rather this stress than the other.