La, LA la la, wait ’till I get my money right

First of all, I should say that it would seem that Yeezy still doesn’t quite have his money right, so is there really any hope for me?

I am so, so glad to be back in NY. I am also so, so broke. But this is nothing new…not at all.

I am 47 years old, and I have never had a salary of more than $50,000 at any job. I’m currently at $10,000 less than that, and still reeling from my year of unemployment followed by underemployment followed by a 10% rent increase. In a few years, with scheduled pay increases, I will finally be doing…sort of okay. In a few months, I will be able to start my seasonal job, and in theory I will be able to pay down some debts and begin to dig myself out of this hole.

Today, however, I’m so limited by living one paycheck away from financial disaster. And there are so many seemingly “simple” things that I want to do that I’m just not able to because of my financial situation. I am afraid that friends and family members who have extended invitations to visit think I am blowing them off, when really the $100 or so that a rental car would cost is beyond my reach. One of my dearest friends is now only eight hours away from me by car, instead of twenty, and yet I’ve only seen her once or twice in the year and a half that I’ve been back in NY.

Worst of all, I am facing the very real possibility that I might not make it to Grand Rapids for Elijah’s birthday in September.

I’ve never missed his birthday. When I left Grand Rapids, I promised Mona I would always, always come back for his birthday weekend. I have some possible overtime coming up at work, so I may be able to swing it, but I am also (at least in theory) weighing my options in terms of paying my rent late so that I can be there for his birthday. Since my single biggest fear is being homeless and having gross feet, this should give you an idea of how much this matters to me.

Then there’s another one of my best friends who has a milestone birthday coming up in October. I would really like to be there for this as well, but the possibility seems just as bleak.

(I have written about this before. I get so sick of rehashing it, and yet I feel like I should be doing something to change things. But is it really a moral failing? I just don’t know. I also think that in a financial sense, being single brings its own challenges, but that’s another topic altogether…)

I’m determined to do what I can to climb out of this pit, even as I dream of some kind of windfall that could wipe the slate clean, free me from debt, and allow me to spend as much time as possible with the people I love. I pray for money from some random source, and instead God gives me a second job, overtime, opportunities to work and continue to earn money.

I still wish it were easier. I still wish I made more money, that I could feel like I was getting ahead, that I could visit the people I love whenever I wanted to.

Choosing to live in NYC means that I am choosing to continue in this struggle. It also means, however, that I finally have the potential to make more money in the future.

Maybe I’ll get myself together after all…in the meantime, all I can do is hope that the people I love can forgive me for not being able to be with them at crucial (and maybe even the not-so-crucial) moments.

I want things to be different. I won’t stop praying for a ridiculous miracle, but I also know that I need to do my part. I don’t want to miss another birthday of Elijah’s…I want to be able to go visit Donovan for his birthday, and to someday bring both of the boys to New York for a reunion. I know that the past can’t be recaptured, but I would love to see them renew the bond that they had when they were small.

I have to find a way. I have to get myself together. Maybe it will happen before I turn fifty…but we will have to wait and see.

La, la, la, la 
Wait till I get my money right
La, la, la, la 
Then you can’t tell me nothing, right?

– Kanye West, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing

 

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