This one is going to be a tough pill to swallow for some. Hell, it took a lot for me to even come to this point of understanding so I know it’ll be hard for others. Before I jump on in, I‘m going to need you (yes, you) to agree with me on something that we all know is true but probably don’t want to admit….
We are now too old to expect for the things we want or need to be handed to us with no effort on our parts.
Can we agree on that? If so, awesome! You’ve already got your adultin’ pants on. If not, that’s okay. This post will be here for you when you’re ready to stop letting your mom buy your clothes from Baby Gap. The rest of us will move forward. You can catch up later.
Now, for those of you who are joining me at the adult table, I’m about to get a little personal. Some will judge me, and that’s okay. Some won’t, and that’s okay too. I just hope that this helps to get my point across in order for you all to learn this lesson the easy way. I took one for the team and did it the hard way, so now you don’t have to.
Last October I made a mistake that got me kicked out of the family apartment. The details of the mistake don’t matter. I was completely at fault and too stubborn to admit it back then, so instead of apologizing I packed up my stuff and moved five minutes up the road to Gradma’s house where I had a little more freedom, and a little less space. Grandma made breakfast every morning, sent me to work with lunch, and dinner would be cooked, plated, and in the microwave by the time I got home.
Where the problem arose was money. Grandma would come a-knockin’ for my third of the bills after I’d already gotten paid, payed my bills, then blew the rest on Friday night booze with my friends. Every. Single. Time. She came to me one day and asked me a question that I answered quite stupidly: how do you expect to stay somewhere and not have to pay for it. My immature ass said “watch me”. I packed whatever clothing I thought I would need into my gym bag and left. I willingly chose the life of a nomad: sleeping in grungy motel rooms on nights when I had money, and sleeping in the car in a variety of twenty four hour parking lots when I didn’t. Logic would have said to just pay my bills, put my owed third to the side, and if I had enough just buy a pitcher of cheap beer when going out with friends, but no. I wanted my three glasses of Liquid Marijuana every Friday and I would have preferred to live on the street than give up the face tingling feeling it gave me. When finances got really tight I would take what I could and sell it at a local pawn shop in exchange for just enough to fill the gas tank or just enough to pay for another night in the motel room. Leaving didn’t make my financial situation better – it made it worse. I wasn’t putting any good out into the universe so no good was coming back to me. The borrowed car had to be returned (and by then it was pretty trashed, mid you), making me spend money on Uber on top of everything else if a friend couldn’t give me a ride to wherever I was planning to stay for the night. I ended up hitting rock bottom, and then digging myself a little lower every single day. It took me getting to the point where I’d just had enough to decide that something had to change. And it had to change immediately. I had to get my shit together.
The first thing I did before I had to give up the car was drove my ass to the people who could help me figure out what the fuck was wrong with my head and how to fix it. Therapists, psychiatrists, primary care physicians all helped me take care of myself so I could reach a place of physical and mental well-being. I got myself a gym membership (that I barely use now but will change in the near future), and planners. The planners are one of the most important things that I’ve ever bought because they took away one of my biggest excuses that was leading me down a hole that I would find it hard to get out of, and that excuse was “I didn’t know”. In both planners I keep track of where I have to be, what time I have to be there, and what I need to do on any given day. I use Wunderlist to keep track of daily tasks as I complete them and keep notes of when bills need to be paid, when the schedules of those around me would affect my own, and other things of that nature. Now instead of ‘I’m going to be late for work because I didn’t know I was supposed to be there today.’ my excuse would be ‘I’m likely going to be a little bit late because of who I am as a person.’ and that just sounds awful; so unless I have a more valid reason to be late (ie: I cried all of my makeup off and didn’t want to show up to work a hot mess. My dog peed on my clothes while I was putting him in his crate. Traffic is always bad at three o’clock on a Saturday…. ect.) I tend to be on time.
These changes didn’t make everything better immediately. I still had things within myself and with other people that I had to work out. I tried to apologize to the people I’d wronged, which didn’t work out too well but that’s a different subject for a different post. I had to suck it the fuck up if I couldn’t afford to go out drinking every Friday. The way I saw it, why spend a shit ton of money on public intoxication when I could spend less money just buying a bottle of alcohol from the gas station and drinking at home; sometimes with just my pets, sometimes with friends. Doing that left me with:
- More money.
- Less trouble if I hadn’t had enough to eat or had to go to work early the next morning. (I still try to avoid drinking if I know I have to get up early, but that’s for obvious reasons.)
Getting my shit together is still an ongoing process. I’ve most recently picked up some self help books, created a vision board, and started meditating on a daily basis. All of those things combined worked absolute wonders for me, but my not work for everybody. My best advice when it comes to getting your shit together is to do what works best for you. We all lead different lives, have different goals, and are fucking up in a plethora of different ways. I’m finally getting my shit together. Are you?
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
Categories: Lessons on Life