I started collecting quarters. For laundry.
It’s now such a habit, that I sometimes carry around change in dimes or nickels or even pennies to spend so I don’t have to part with my precious silver circles.
I mean let’s face it. Life is tough when you’re broke… Really tough. And I’m SO over it. Being frugal is respectable, as long as it’s in good taste and for the right reasons. When you are forced into scrounging for food and saving up quarters to clean your laundry though, that’s another story… Luckily, despite the events at the end of last year (lost my boyfriend, then my job) 2012 is shaping up to be an eventful, productive and potentially lucrative year.
I literally started the year with a new job, a career really, and a perpsective that I haven’t held steady for… ever? in my life. 2010 was a tough one. 2011 posed its own set of personal challenges, some of which have spilled over a bit. Not in a bad way, just in reflection, in looking back.
But this new job. It’s incredible. I feel like as if ‘it all finally came together’ as I have been told so many times by so many people. For the longest time I was the only one who doubted me. Who saw the steppinng stones toward success as roadblocks in the face of happiness. But with the new year has come new perspective. I hate to sound cliche, but sometimes cliche is actually true. It’s my truth right now, and I couldn’t be happier to say so.
I can’t even describe how much stress has been lifted from my back. My shoulders. My neck. My mind. Even though the first official paycheck hasn’t yet dropped, and I literally only had $ 0.19 in my checking account on my first day at work, it’s all going to get better.
I’ve never been in a position of true financial stability. And independence. And I’m so, so close. It has always been an elusive struggle, a battle really, to survive in this brutally capitalist society. Watching the numbers in my bank account dwindle (when there’s anything there at all), and seeing the student loans grow. It makes me queasy thinking about it. Remembering how hopeless it all started to feel. Overwhelming. Stuck. Forever…
I used to (and often still do) feel pangs of resentment for those who graduate without student loan debt. Whether by generous parents, or well earned scholarships, or need based grants… not gonna lie, I still get jealous, but I’m working hard to focus on my own situation and the solutions needed to slay the debt dragon I’ve grown up with.
I’ve thought often “if only I would have gone to a state school…” “If only I would have asked for help” “If only I would have known the right questions to ask…” but the reality is what it is, and I have a big burden to speak for it. Without it, I would feel pretty well off! I mean, my rent is very low, and I live (as I’ve mentioned above) pretty frugally. Out of necessity but by now it’s habit.
I’m just really looking forward to the days when I can take a taxi home and not feel anxious the whole way, hoping the meter slows or the traffic clears.
I’m looking forward to the days when I can treat my boyfriend to dinner. When i can buy a gift, or take us somewhere, or help him out with an AC unit to beat the heat of summer.
And not worry about it.
I’m really looking forward to those days. And maybe one day, when I’ve paid off my student loans, I’ll take a vacation.