When Life delivers you a Slap to the Face


Being nineteen and feeling like I’m about to explode over the threshold and into life, I was planning to leave my hometown this fall. I intended to move to Portland to start my life as a grown-up barista/writer/art bum instead of a kid living at home. I still intend to. But life has delivered to me a roundhouse kick in the face of nearly Chuck Norrisian proportions in the ugly, ugly form of finance.

I tend to be pretty damn bipolar about money. I try to be a responsible grown-up person, but…. Money is for spending, right? So I’ll go on little spending sprees, swiping my card left and right for whatever strikes my fancy (mostly meals, dresses, and shoes– my three retail sins.) Soon, though, I’ll be tortured with guilt.

“What if I was having to pay rent?” my brain asks me, “or car insurance? or for gas to drive over the pass?” and thus I’ll begin my saving spree, refusing to swipe my card for anything, and hoarding my tips in an old Sobe bottle (a glass one thankyouverymuch.) Then, though, the bad part of my brain tells me, “Well, you AREN’T having to pay for any of those things, so why not live a little?”

And the cycle starts all over again. Disgustingly.

I didn’t realize that my spending sprees were outweighing my saving sprees so violently until I examined my bank statement closely and saw, lo and behold, I’ve been spending more than I was saving. A lot more. Not only is this grossly typical-American of me, but it is severely detrimental to my plans of growing up.

So what do I do?

Go into panic mode, of course. “I’m not spending money on ANYTHING!” I declare with my fist raised high. So far I’ve been relatively successful. I have relapses now and again, but I’m doing slightly better.

However, my habit of feeling rich (and spending like I was rich as relative to broke) has taken a pretty serious toll on my savings. Karma’s all like, “You’ve spent a lot, so now you have to spend nothing in order to accomplish your life goals!”

In other words, I realized I don’t have enough saved up to move from where I’ll get to leap from the threshold of life. I’ve got bad Portlanditis, but it would be more of a bummer to get there, run out of money, and have to come back than it’s going to be for me to stick around lil’  ol’ Central Oregon a little longer.

I’m currently formulating a plan to get to Portland, so we’ll see how it goes.

Also, I think the Higher Power is telling me to be content with my lot before He gives me a new lot in life.

I don’t suppose it does any good to buy a brand-new sweatshirt when the old one still has some wear in it, right?

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