Here I am.
I got here by doing the same thing I've always done.
It was what I thought I was supposed to do.
I've always followed directions.
So, I allowed myself to be directed here.
I have many reasons to be grateful for here, but something doesn’t feel quite right.
Society has painted this picture of the American Dream:
Go to college, get a degree, get a full time job with benefits and a 401K, get married, buy a house, make babies, and pay off your 30 year mortgage.
Let’s see how well I’ve followed directions. I've got the degree, got the full time job with benefits, got married, and bought the house. I am grateful for the college experience and the degree. I'm even grateful for the job, though I believe that “full-time” is akin to indentured servitude. I am especially grateful for the marriage because all you really need is love. Thus far, I’ve followed directions quite well and I’m even grateful for most of it.
Then, why doesn’t something feel quite right? Quite simply, following directions has led me to debt and therefore to a job. The bitch is that I knew it all along, yet since I’m so good at following directions, here I am.
What is debt? Debt is borrowing money from someone or some entity with the promise to pay it back. I knew this when I was 18 and got my first credit card. I was determined that debt wasn’t something that would get me. I was determined to play the game and keep my head above water. It’s sneaky how easy it was for the water to rise above my head. I didn’t even know it for a while. I am very diligent about paying bills and managing money. I’m always on time for my payments. I handle all of my debt responsibly, yet now the debt is bigger than me. This happened because I allowed society’s casualness to sneak in on all of my transactions. Oh, how easy it was to buy a house and ring up wedding expenses on the credit card with the idea that our combined future income would effortlessly manage them. Yes, the market changed and so has America’s fiscal woes, along with mine. So, by following directions, I was led down a primrose path of deception. I didn’t think twice to question the path because it looked so pretty and, after all, I was following directions.
The good news is that I’m young and I have quite a lot of time ahead of me and it is time for me to do something about it. I’m done following directions. I will be giving the directions from this point forward.
House: Oh, how I love you house. I am so proud that you are mine to fill with love. I love the changes we’ve gone through together. I am sad that I can’t give you the TLC you deserve due to lack of funding and skills. If I had my way, you would be a part of my family for the rest of my life. I will always love the yellow house in Henderson. My first house love. You brought me chickens, gardening, plumbing, our home studio, built in bookshelves, the roaring fireplace, my first tinsel Christmas tree, puppies, loud parties, quiet dinners, and a place to call home.
Alas, you are not mine according to the bank I borrowed money from. With a serious reduction in monthly clam earnings, the bank may soon decide that you are theirs and I have to go. This is okay. You are four walls, some windows, and a leaky roof. You are a structure built by man and there are many more of you out there. As a matter of fact, I can build my own sweet home one day without a leaky roof and know every square inch of the structure that will become a home. A home is a home because you make it a home. A teepee can be a home. This yellow house is a home because I am in it. So, if the time comes for us to part, I will part with gratitude in my heart for the shelter you provided me and my family to create a home in. Then, I will move on and you will become a home for another family. All will be well because wherever I go I will make a home.
Credit Cards: You are the devil. Pure Satan. I will give you what I owe you because I’m a man of my word and then that’s it. You are a like a bad ex-boyfriend who keeps coming back. You and I are through.
Job: Teaching is amazing. I hate it. I love it. I’m so mad that I have to pay student loans for this job. I’m so mad that this job pays me peanuts. If I worked with elephants at the circus, my monthly gross income of peanuts would make sense. No, I work with the future leaders and decision makers that will be in charge of all of our asses in a few years. You can’t put a salary on that. You can’t calculate the amount of hours I work per work. I’m working all the time and I’m still never finished! Most importantly, I put all of my heart into this job. I feel so grateful that I am able to love and nurture for a living. Now, if only that living was enough for me to live.