I have a confession to make.
Being “responsible” about saving and managing my money might be a symptom of something that’s far less positive – I’m so focused on achieving financial stability because I feel like in so many other parts of my life I am just floundering. Like a flounder. In the sea. (Think of Dory in Finding Nemo. Although I’m sure she’s not a flounder).
Most days I am really tired. And down. I feel old. Not in the chronological way, but in a, I’m 22, I’m in the office all the time, I never see my rooomate, I am afraid of looking at my blackberry on the weekends, I haven’t been to the gym in forever, I’m eating expensed meals at work every night and while having no dinner expenses might be good for my budget, it’s wrecking havoc on my waistline, cholestrol, and friendships (if I listen really closely, I can hear my poor clogged arteries trying to protest. Then I eat another greasy piece of fried chicken), way.
But maybe that’s my problem – I haven’t been focusing on the positives of the situation, which, though I may seem bitter & down, do exist.
I have a job will enable me to achieve my financial goals, has great benefits, and offers me opportunities to learn about different industries & businesses. I am still young, despite how I might feel at times. I have the chance & the time to strike out in a different path once I’ve gained some experience. I have a good friend at work whom I can count on for support & camaraderie. I have parents who love me and brings food for me when I’m feeling sick. I have an aunt who commiserates with me and advises me when I’m tired and down in the dumps. I have CB whom I live close enough to see on the weekends when I don’t have to work. I have a degree from a good school. I have an emergency fund of $8,000+. I am smart. I have options. I am not stuck. I am learning about myself and what I want in life, which, at 22, is a pretty great development, even if that lesson has to come by at 11 PM, when I am still at work.
So… first order of business: join a gym and go twice a week. There’s a gym close to work that costs $45/month. Is it pricey? Do I want to die an early death from pent-up stress & clogged-up arteries? Um – no. So there. It’s not too expensive.
2nd order of business: learn to let things go – be more zen, I guess. Just… chill. This is not the end of the world. Before I know it I won’t be a newbie at work anymore – instead, a new crop of newbies will come in to take my place. Muahahah.
3rd order of business: Continue to build my savings so that I have financial flexibility in the future, so that I can reach the “crossover” point more quickly.
4th order of business: write a list of things I’m grateful for, every day. The wildfires in SoCal and the homeless man that I pass by every day on the way to work all remind me that I still have so much to be grateful for. And there’s a selfish reason for wanting to feel grateful to – I want to feel better. I want to be happier. I don’t want to be the overly-bitter, overly-stressed, overly-unhealthy workaholic that I fear I’m turning into. And if I feel more grateful, I will feel happier. It’s scientifically proven (right? RIGHT?).
5th order of business: learn as much as I can at my job & gain as much experience as I can. I’m at work to learn, to contribute what I can, to develop my professional & technical skills. Keep perspective – this is not forever. Not by a long shot. And whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
6th order of business: pray. To be honest – I’m not a religious person, but part of growing up is realizing when I need help and when it helps to believe in something greater and to draw strength from something greater. So I’m starting to pray, and if you are so inclined, feel free to pray for me also. Good thoughts never hurt.
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