Sick, Tired and Sorry (Well, The Last Two)

I did my taxes today, only partially remembering how overwhelming and demoralizing an experience that actually is.

I forgot how long it takes, and how much it takes out of me; in my head, I thought to myself, it’s mostly just scanning all the 1099s I’ve received and doing some math, how bad can it be? but the reality of the situation is that there are always, always complications even in the bets of years, and 2021 was nowhere near the best of years.

In fact, that was one of the problems about doing it this year: when you actually sit down and work out just how much you earned across an entire year, and then work out all of your living expenses across that same year, it’s a sobering experience no matter what. When you do it in a year when you’ve known all along that you’re not making anywhere near enough and, instead, surviving off your savings, it’s… well, depressing isn’t even close to the right word. Looking at things as simply as a math problem and realizing just how much of your savings have disappeared into the ether is… a whole thing that I hope as few people as possible ever have to experience.

(It’s a lot of money, that’s all I’m going to say. A lot of money.)

The other problem was that, thanks to COVID and multiple other factors that had nothing to do with me and everything to do with corporate changes internally at various places, I had to do more than a little bit of detective work to fully track down what I’d received in terms of paperwork and what I hadn’t, making the process longer, more exhausting, and more confusing than it should have been.  Every single year, doing taxes turns into detective work, and I can never fully prepare for it.

I’d make a joke about wishing I’d been an accountant instead of a writer, so at least I would’ve been paid for all this work, but just imagine how bad my taxes would’ve been if that had been the case.

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