10:07 a.m. - 2006-04-21
There are a lot of neat little bayside towns with charming streets, shops and restaurants to tour. It feels funny being a tourist in my own state. Its cool though. It'll feel like a mini vacation of sorts.
Tonight I'm invited to their neighbor's home for a game of something called Bunko. I have no idea what I'm in for, but I'm in. Wish me luck. I could use an extra boost.
BTW - I took the leap and got a money order to mail out to my 401k company to consolidate 1/2 my dept and get a new loan.
I feel really good about this. When its accomplished, I'll be applying for a personal loan at a local credit union for the other half. I should be in really good standing once the 401k absorbs what it covers. My credit is actually good, I'm just proportionately unbalanced, income to unsecured debt-wise.
One I get everything arranged, I'll close every credit card except the oldest one, for credit ratings, and a very low balance one for emergencies and things such as internet airfare purchases. This is where I'll need a lot of help. Internal and external help. I need lots of reaassurance that I can do this, that I want to do this, and that there are starving children everywhere who would think I was the skankiest bitch on the earth for the excesses and wastes I indulge myself.
I never thought of debt and all the stuff I buy as a waste. I think about energy, housing materials, space, rainforests, fair trade, and all sorts of human interests. But, I never put my own spending habits into the same perspective. I mean, I have a small apartment, because I don't beleive in wasting materials and energy when only one person is using the space. I buy fair trade and research most major purchases to ensure that I am doing the right thing by the earth and its inhabitants. Yet, I will buy product after product, or food item after food item, or piece of clothing after... and throw away or sell or give away so much stuff because I bought it on impulse and its crap or doesn't look right or I accumulated so much there's no room for it.
I grew up with a mother who dealt with depression era ethics in her mother's household and rebelled when she had enough money to splurge (when my dad dies and she got the insurance). I mean, she didn't go hog wild, but we no longer ate saltines and tomato soup stretched with too much water every day. We didn't use cheap soap and shampoo that burned my skin and eyes anymore. I had nice clothes and participated in fun activities.
And I took it a step further and when I started making money, lived like I was making four times my salary, because when I was in college, I got thousands and thousands of dollars worth of credit and I thought I was rich. I never said no to myself, or anyone who wanted to sell me something. If I didn't like my lunch, I'd go buy one I did want. And it spiraled out of control.
I've become an economic nightmare to myself. I am a spending pig. A financial oinker.
But, this new plan will give me a chance to climb out, and be able to respect myself one day.
I've been very fortunate so far that I've gotten steady raises and have performed well on the job. If I hadn't landed this job years ago, I would be claiming bankruptsy for the third or fourth time by now, and living with my momma. I have decent resources, and could live a simple life, and be able to give freely to causes that rock my world, instead of passing by the collection basket because I bought too many shoes and ran out of money.
I understand now how I've been in denial about how my habits make me feel, because I am deeply committed to simplicity, and helping people who have no realisitc opportunities, or who are oppressed, or taken advantage of.
All the food I've thrown away could have fed a starving kid. All the clothes and shoes I've bought could have been donations to the Red Cross. The money from all the products I've bought, used twice, then thrown away because they didn't come through on promises or didn't make me feel any more beautiful could have been put toward travel, and a greater understanding of humankind.
I can't remember the last time I used a shampoo/conditioner till it ran out. I usually get sick of the smell, or have a bad hair day and chuck it out.
Its time for me to integrate what I preach into my own lifestyle, even that part that is hidden from public view.
I've known for a long time that I could do anything I put my mind to. So I know, bone deep, that I can do this, and be happy.