Sunday, November 01, 2009
I'm stuck. I want to pursue a broadcasting career, which means higher education, but that takes time and money, neither of which I have. What little money I bring home from my crappy job is being sucked away by rent and credit card payments. Earlier this year, I had to enter a debt consolidation program because the monthly minimum payments had become too much for me to pay in cash, and I ran all my other cards up to their limits so I couldn't use them to pay off each other. So in exchange for having my payments lumped into one monthly debt and having that lump be considerably less than what I would owe if those debts were kept separate, I don't have access to those credit cards anymore. For the first time in more than ten years, I have to live on the wages I make and nothing else. The lifestyle adjustment has been at times overwhelming. No longer can I decide that I feel like going to Quizno's and getting a $7 sub because that's what I'm in the mood for. No longer can I notice that I'm short on cash and drop by an ATM to get more green. It's a very humbling experience to continually ask my aunt to let me pay $50 less than what I owe for rent because I simply don't have the money. It's very humbling to have my fiancee notice that I'm desperately short on food money and send me a big box of food, like I'm deployed in Afghanistan or something. She also recently sent me a $50 gift card to Jewel Food Store. I appreciate her efforts immensely, but she can't continue to support two people on one salary. I have been looking for a second job, but no luck thus far. And even when I find one, it's just a temporary Band-Aid, a way for me to pay my bills, not to save money and pursue an education. My fiancee and I can't really discuss wedding plans because nothing's stable in our lives. I can't afford a wedding right now, and if I could, she wants to wait at least a year because she may want to stay in Memphis and have me move down there instead of her coming up here. She found a job that she's happy with, and she sees potential career growth, so she's no longer a slam dunk to move to Chicago upon our nuptials. It's frustrating because we're both anxious to start our life together, not to mention the financial help I would have paying bills the moment I gain her as a roommate. I was determined not to be one of those couples who were engaged for seemingly years on end, but due to circumstances beyond our control, that's exactly where we're headed. And I'm not getting younger, on the marriage front or on the education front. I didn't want to be earning my bachelor's at 40 and trying to break into broadcasting then, but I may have no choice. And I don't want to wait any longer to get married now that I've found the one woman worthy of it, but unless we put together the world's cheapest ghetto wedding, it's not happening soon. I just feel like I'm in a hole that I can't get out of, and it's very, very frustrating.