Let’s Take A Positive Out Of This…

I wake up at 7:45am every morning and shut off my $15 clock/radio blasting a mixture of loud BEEPS/HONKS and bad-signal Mexican music.  I lay back down for 15 minutes, knowing my phone alarm is going to wake me up at 8.  Every morning I feel like I don’t want to wake up, and for some reason, it takes 15 minutes to convince myself that I should get out of bed.  Right on cue, there’s my trusty old phone saying, “Alright, Buddy, I’ll let you have 15 extra minutes.  Now it’s time to wake up and start your day.”  I look over at my roommate who I know won’t have to wake up for at least 2 more hours.  I walk through our 2 bedroom apartment to the refrigerator that’s sitting on a part of our carpet, because the fridge was too big for the space where the fridge should go in the kitchen.  I grab my Toasted Oats Ralphs brand cereal and grab my 1% milk, because it’s the in-between healthy milk.  It’s not the fatty 2%, but it doesn’t taste like water.  That’s a bash on you, Non-fat.  How dare you call yourself milk.

Where’s a freaking spoon.  We had 8 when I moved in and now there are only 5 dirty ones I have to dig out of this dirty holder that’s supposed to be clean.  Ok, got the spoon.  Where’s a freaking bowl.  Why is this bowl chipped.  Who’s been aggressive with my $5 Target bowls.  I eat my bowl of Toasted Oats because it’s cheaper than Cheerios and there was a 2 for $5 deal if I used my club card.  I finish up at about 8:20 and know it’s time to make my sandwich for the day.  I put my bowl away in a pile of dishes on the side of the sink.  I get out 2 pieces of wheat toast that I got 2 (loaves) for $2 (again with the club card).  I grab a couple pieces of turkey that comes in a nice little box and throw it in between the bread, add a few drops of Chulula, and stuff it in a Ziploc sandwich bag.  Take an orange/apple and maybe a chewy bar, and toss them into my little yellow lunch box.  It’s 8:30, and now I have a few options.  I need to use use the bathroom, take a shower, and brush my teeth.  On top of getting dressed.  Well, I have to get dressed, so that takes care of that.  Pick one of my 8 shirts, 1 of my 5 shorts, and put on my socks.  Now I have to pick 2 out of 3 of my other options in order to not be even later than I already know I’m going to be.  Sometimes I skip a shower, sometimes it’s the teeth, sometimes it’s the dump.  Can’t always have your cake and eat it too.

It’s 8:44am.  Crap, I have to start work in 16 min and I’m just now leaving my apartment.  Slip on my Nike’s and make the 5 minute walk to my car, which feels like it’s a marathon to my body this early in the morning.  I wanted to park closer, but parking is terrible here and I had to park 3 streets away from my apartment complex.  I get in my 11 year old, 170,000 mile car that’s been dinged and banged and looks like it hasn’t been washed in 4 months (which is probably a fairly accurate guess), and my clock now says it’s 9:01.  It’s alright though, because my clock is 10 minutes fast, and I’m too lazy to change it back.  I now have 9 minutes to go 7 miles to work.  Get on the freeway and stay in bumper to bumper for about 10 minutes.  The rest of the ride isn’t too terrible.  I show up at work at 9:13am.  Just made it.  Now I can write down that I got there at 9:00 instead of 9:15 and earn my full $10.20 an hour.

Work is painful.  Not in the physical sense, but mentally, it’s a struggle everyday.  And not because of the difficulty of the work that I’m doing everyday.  It’s more like the lack of difficulty and amount of work that’s required of me.  I take close to 2 hours to work on something that could probably take me 45 minutes to complete. And why?  Because I know that there’s not going to be anything for me to work on after I complete it.  I might as well make it look like I’m working on something as long as possible.  Maybe I’ll watch a movie today.  What do I feel like watching….

When you do the same thing everyday and hate it, every 4 hours feels like 6.  The second best part of my day is when the clock hits 1:00pm.  Lunch time.  Time to walk to my car downstairs and eat my turkey-Chulula sandwich and my fruit.  It takes me 15 minutes to eat and it’s time to go to sleep for 45 minutes, because I only slept for 5 hours last night.  A bedroom shared by 2 people that’s meant for one person doesn’t always work in your favor.  Schedule’s conflict and it makes it hard to get a night of quality sleep.  It’s now 2:00pm and I wake up from my nap.  Thanks alarm phone.  You never fail to wake me.  I walk back upstairs to go sit at my computer for another 6 hours.  I mean 4 hours.  The best part of my day is hearing someone’s alarm go off at 6:00pm.  It’s set everyday at that time.  People rush out of the room like they are evacuating from an earthquake or fire.  Get in my trusty automobile (which has cost me over $600 to get fixed this month) and leave work.  I made $81.60 today.  Fantastic.  My college degree is really paying off.  I spent 3 months trying to find a job using my degree and ended up getting this job out of lack of money.

Time to go home and make some din-din.  Heat up some chicken I cooked 2 days ago, heat up some rice, and throw in some veggies.  Crap, where are all the clean plates…

For the next 5 hours, I have no idea what happens.  Time goes by and nothing happens.  I don’t really do anything.  I just look at the clock and it’s already 12:30.  Maybe I should get ready for bed.

I wake up at 7:45am and shut off my $15 clock/radio blasting a mixture of loud BEEPS/HONKS and bad-signal Mexican music.  I lay back down for 15 minutes, knowing my phone alarm is going to wake me up at 8….

“I let you have an extra 15 minutes.  Now it’s time to wake up and start your day….”

Screw you, phone alarm.  Shut up.  You don’t have to go through the crappy work day that I do.  All you have to do is ring when I set you.  That’s all you do.  You don’t have it hard, phone alarm.  Do you have any idea what I go through?  I make about $1350 a month.  That means I’m going to make a little over $16,000 for the year.  I pay $400 on rent because I share a 2 bedroom with 3 guys.  I pay $200 for my college loan that’s totally paying off right now.  I pay $200 for medical insurance, $200 for gas, and about $100 for other needed expenses (eg. Groceries, oil change, toilet paper).  I have $250 left over to save or spend.  I probably end up putting somewhere close to $150 in savings.

I had an idea of what my life was going to be like after college.  I was going to be making somewhere close to $30-40k a year, start paying off student loans, and save enough to put a down payment on a house in 5 years.  I wanted to be making 6 figures by then, or at least on my way to making that much.  Whoops…

I have to make an important situation in a couple days.  Where I’m going to live and what I want to do with my life.  Part of me wishes I could move across the country and start over somewhere.  But a big part of me knows that couldn’t happen.  Financially and emotionally for me, I think it would be too hard.  I like to travel, but I love my home.

The truth is, I don’t know what I am doing with my life.  I thought I had a plan for myself and my life, but nothing really went according to plan.  Go to school, get into college, get a degree, and get a job that pays well.  Well, I did the first 3 steps, but now I’m in a position where I don’t know what I’m doing.  And it’s really sucky.   I think a lot of times, people get a false idea of what college can give you.  Go to school and get a degree and you will get a job.  But I think that’s a poor assumption.  You go to school and get a degree, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a job.  You have to apply yourself, and that’s something I didn’t really do.   Whoops….

It would probably help if I was passionate about something.  That seems like it would translate into a career or at least something I would want to strongly pursue.  Life is crappy and I don’t know where I belong or what I’m supposed to be doing in it.

But then I think about all the things that I do have.  I think about all the opportunities I have, all the situations I get into, and all the decisions I’m forced to make, and I’m lucky that I have this stress.  I have this stress because I’m forced to make decisions, meaning that there is more than one option I can choose from.

What do I really have to complain about?  I have a place to sleep.  I have clean clothes.  I have food.  I technically have expendable income.  It’s not really a lot to expend, but there is still some money in my wallet and some credit on my card.  I’m not really scraping by if I still have money in my savings account.  So what do I really have to complain about?

I wake up at 7:45am to a clock that my grandma bought me when I went away to college.  She wanted me to be on time to my classes.  I buy Toasted Oats because I choose to, not because I have to.  I want to save that money and use it on something else.  I don’t need Cheerios when Toasted Oats do the same to my insides.  It all looks the same when it comes out, right?  HAHA.  I buy 1% milk because I’m putting on some pounds.  Thank God I’m getting fat.  That means I have more than enough food to eat.  My bowl is chipped because it gets used all the time.  My spoons are dirty because 1) I live with 3 other boys and 2) I use them all the time.  I don’t go without food, so why should I complain?  I choose what I eat for lunch, and the little 3 piece sandwich I eat out of my little yellow lunch pale that I’ve had from high school fills me up just fine.  The lunch box is old and tearing in some places, but it still does its job.  I have a car to drive and to take naps in, which means I have insurance and a driver’s license.  I have to pay $200 for gas because I drive so much, but most of that driving is for fun, not for work.  I have friends I can go visit and people I can hang out with.  Some of them live farther away, and that’s perfectly fine with me.  You can’t put a price on experience with friends.  $600 this month is fine with me as long as it gets me from A-B.  I’m fine with 8 shirts and 5 shorts.  I’m not picky or what people might call fashionable.  Even if I had more clothes, I’d still do the same thing.  Just pick a shirt and a pair of shorts.  Only it would take me longer to do it because there’s more to go through.  I’m fine with walking 3 streets down to get into my car.  That means my legs work fine.  Walking is good for you too.  I realized that after I had to sit in a chair for 8 hours a day.

Work takes a long time because I don’t enjoy it.  But there are things that get me through my day.  I get to talk to friends online and sometimes I get to watch videos.  I sit in a comfy leather chair in an air conditioned room in shorts and a t-shirt.  I’m only going to make $16,000 this year.  Well that’s great!  I only need about $15,000.  That means I’ll save $1000.  I know that I can’t support a family on that money, but I don’t plan on doing that anytime soon.

I pay $200 a month for student loan.  That’s fine with me.  I’m not sure how I feel about the education that I got, but the friends and the experience that I have are irreplaceable.  I’ll gladly pay for that.

I pay $200 for health insurance.  That means every time I go to the doctor, it’ll only cost me $20 instead of $200.  I’m lucky I have insurance “just in case.”  I don’t NEED to see a doctor regularly, but lately, I have been seeing him more often than I’d like.  Haha.  And if I didn’t have this “just in case” insurance, then I don’t know how I would have been able to finance some of the bills for the things I’ve had to have done to me.

My body is hurting and it feels like it’s falling apart.  But I can still get up every morning.  I still have all my senses working.  My limbs hurt, but they are work.

This has to be one of the lowest parts of my life.  I’m overweight and out of shape, living with 3 guys in a 2 bedroom apartment, and barely making enough money to get by each month.  But I have nothing to complain about.  If this is the lowest point in my life, then it looks like I’m going to have a pretty good life.

I talked about being pruned before, and God is chopping off a lot of dying branches right now.  He’s cuttin’ me down.  But if this is really as worse as it gets, then I’m fine with that.  I know I just have to be patient and things will turn around.

I’ve been trying to say, “Well, let’s take a positive out of this” in every bad situation I or someone else gets into.  It’s been working a little bit.  Not a lot, but enough.  It turns negative thinking into a positive.  You’re forcing yourself to think about a positive in every negative situation that happens.  And are those negative things that are happening really all that negative?

What I’m trying to say is that I want you to appreciate what you have.  The next time you think about complaining about something, be thankful you can complain.  Because complaining happens when something goes wrong when it USUALLY goes right for you.  And if you keep complaining about the same thing, then maybe it’s just you.  haha.

Tomorrow, when my $15 clock/radio wakes me up, I’ll be thankful because I can hear it.

Let’s take a positive out of this….

– Positive Polly


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