Cue the line of tap dancing girls! I am done talking about how I didn’t have a job for awhile! HUZZAHHHH! Well. After this post I am. GOTCHA.
Three things I have not addressed but want to before I shut up about this already!
1. Interestingly enough, while employed, I had MORE credit card debt than I have now, after being unemployed for 10 months. WHYYYY!? Well, obviously I had to be more conscientious with my cash once I was out of work. Unlike at my job where I (stupidly) told myself I’LL GET PAID NEXT WEEK AND PAY THIS OFF!, I could no longer make those impulse out-of-my-budget-anyway purchases.
But surprisingly enough (AKA not a surprise to anyone), the more money I made, the more money I spent. The American Dream! I also had my previous job’s work e-mail subscribed to all those discount sites. GROUPON! GILT! GIMMEYOURDOLLARZ.COM/SRSLY/HANDITOVER!
Guess what? If you are spending money on things you wouldn’t normally buy anyway, it’s not really saving you anything. KA CHING!!!
When I lost my job, the only thing I could really think of that made sense to buy at a discount were the things I was going to do anyway but could no longer afford to do for full price. Hence, I bought about 5 or 6 deals to join various exercise programs, gyms and yoga studios.
AND LO, it was money well spent. And I got to try out different things and different places and I grew and changed and Hollywood ending. Also, I fell in love with the pilates reformer and now we are married.
The point of the story is that I learned a lot about money. And me and money. Basically I was in deep denial that I was THAT kind of American living above my means. (I was! Congrats!) If I wanted something, I bought it and told myself I’d deal with it later. (I don’t want to analyze it too much but I assume it comes from so many years just scraping by and not being able to afford anything at all. So when I could, I kind of…overindulged.)
Unemployment would’ve been even more enjoyable had I not had credit card debt to deal with. Credit card debt that I had accumulated…while employed. *SLAMS HEAD INTO A WALL*
I am on a mission right now to pay down what is left over the course of the next few months and banish it from my life forever which brings me to…
2. I am back to a full-time job as of last week. I KNOW! YAY ME! Well, not full-time. It’s temp work (4 months as of right now, filling in for a woman who is on maternity leave) but it’s full-time hours at a company I like, in a fantastic location, and it is equal parts Challenging and Learning New Things!/Yet Not So Stressful That I Am Considering Storming Out and Slamming Doors!
I am finding the stability and security completely soothing. There’s something about having a place to go every day, having a steady paycheck to rely on that frees up a lot of anxiety. With this work, I feel much more at ease trying to figure out what to do with my life long-term. There’s no rush to decide. And being in a routine is actually so much more freeing than having none at all.
Basically it’s great! And no one has yelled at me so far! Which is my only criteria for a job apparently.
(This is probably because the first boss I had out of college was a screamer and she often threw staplers at the wall and because I was 21, I was like OH I GUESS THIS IS WHAT WORKING IS!!!)
So I’m feeling grateful for this job and really loving a brand new year in a brand new place with lots of exciting things on the horizon which brings me to the last thing I wanted to talk about:
3. This year was hard in so many ways but the grounding force in my life was my boyfriend. (Who I almost called ‘my partner’ but I never know if that’s going to give you the impression that my boyfriend is a ladyfriend which would be fine but he’s of the boy variety and I don’t know about you but I’m always caught off guard when straight people use ‘partner’ and I am overthinking things right now.)
ANYWAY. My partner. My love. I feel lucky that through the emotional mess and financial stress of this year, I fell flat on my face in deep love with a very amazing someone.
He is all the things I like a whole lot in a person – kind, funny, helpful, calm, he doesn’t really take anything personally, he is constantly encouraging and wanting the best for me and as a bonus, he is awfully adorable.
(Sometimes he runs to the bodega on the corner for a snack wearing his bathrobe as a coat but hey, you know, we can’t have it all.)
So, that’s it. I’m really loved and I feel really happy about that and I just wanted you to know.
2012: Year of Less Debt, More Love, More Clarity, More Financial Self-Control and More Compassion For All