We’re nearly a week into 2020. The past six days have honestly been a blur. For no real reason in particular. Just a blur.
I’ve been bustin’ my butt to make some money over break. Between promoting the race Josh & I are directing in 12 days and restarting work as a classroom aide, there really hasn’t been a dull moment. I’m fairly certain 80% of my classmates are either vacationing or binging Netflix over winter break – honestly, neither of which I would prefer that I was doing. I’m not the person that can sit still and have things handed to me. I just prefer to go go go.
There’s no denying that as a graduate student, loans are adding up and my bank account is dwindling. I feel like I’m floating in the middle of an ocean holding onto an inner tube that is slowly leaking.
I told Josh on New Year’s Eve night that one of my goals for 2020 is to not run out of money. As hilarious as that sounds, it’s a real fear of mine. I know I know I know I KNOW that money doesn’t define happiness, but it sure does seem like it defines survival.
How ironic was it that less than 24 hours after I announced one of my 2020 goals that we discovered one of my car tires was basically flat? Two months ago I replaced all four tires because they were bald. Now, here I was at the mechanic shop praying I wouldn’t have to fork out too much money. It wasn’t that bad at the end of the day (I honestly feel like the guy cut me a break when I told him I’m a college student).
I only spend money on things that I absolutely need – food, gas, car oil, textbooks (UGH!). I don’t buy clothes willy-nilly. I never go on extravagant winter/spring break vacations. I don’t have a Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime account. I don’t go out to clubs or bars every weekend (or ever for that matter). I don’t sign up for races every weekend, every month, or even every other month. I am blessed that Josh will meet me half way between his house and mine so I don’t have to add miles to my car or spend more money on gas.
I am trying to live as inexpensive as possible for the next 12-15 months until I get a job that provides me with a steady income.
So why does it seem that everyone else is relaxing on winter break and I’m busting my butt so my bank account will never read $0.00?!?!
I’m not here to throw myself a pity party. I’m hear to remind myself (when I look back on this one day when I have a full-time job with benefits) that I’M DOING WHAT I HAVE TO DO. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing or where they’re going or how they’re spending their weekends. This is what I NEED TO DO. I need to do this for myself. I need to do this so I don’t have to ask anyone for money. I need to do this so that I can get to December 31, 2020 and still have at least one penny to my name.
I feel guilty regularly that I can’t help Josh buy food for our weekend meals together. I feel guilty that I can’t help my parents buy groceries. It is a mental battle for me to accept this type of financial help – on things that are a necessity. I keep promising myself that once grad school is done and I have a full-time job that I will be able to help with groceries or that I will be able to go out for dinner on a Friday night guilt-free. This financial guilt is temporary.
So here I am. I will shamelessly self-promote the race I am directing every day until race day. I want people to have fun and put their trust in me that all my planning and logistics will give them an amazing experience to start of 2020. I will say “yes” to every classroom aide opportunity presented to me in the next two weeks even though I’ll have no idea what classroom of students I will have to work with.
I will work. my. butt. off. so that come December 31st, 2020 AND the day I say “yes” to a full-time job every damn sacrifice will have been worth it.