Sunday, August 30, 2009

just more complaining

I'm just annoyed. And I feel like I will be for a while.
I'm annoyed because it's so hard to make enough money to live well in this country.
Because I work forty-two hours a week and still don't make enough to even begin to cover my expenses. I don't even make enough to pay for an $800/mo apartment and my food and gas. That's pretty sad. I look for a new job every day but there is not a lot out there. In fact, I have it pretty good for someone who only has a two year degree. (the issue of my education is complicated and makes me really angry. I went to Brooks School for three years of high school. It's a private boarding school in North Andover, MA. Then my parents got divorced and my dad refused to pay for my last year. I know it was intended to hurt my mother but it really fucked me over most of all. It threw me for a wicked loop as I was trying to apply to colleges and I ended up finishing high school early at the local public school. I couldn't get loans for myself because technically I was still covered by my parents, even though they were not going to pay for school, so I was kind of screwed. I couldn't get loans, but I couldn't pay. A few years later, my dad agreed to pay when I got into Bennington. That lasted a year. He and my mom were always in and out of court fighting about money for this and that but by that time I was really fed up with the roller coaster and said fuck it I didn't want their help anymore. Since then I paid my own way at VT community college to finish my associate degree. I want to get my B.A. but it takes forever only being able to take two classes a semester because I have to work full time as well. I know a lot of people have to do this, but that doesn't make it suck any less.)
That isn't even what is really making me crazy these days. The thing consuming me is the fact that I can't save enough money to get my own apartment and I can't afford the one I'm in by myself. Even if I didn't have to pay for my methadone every week, after putting aside rent, I hardly have enough left over for food and gas to get to work. Then I'm sure I don't have to list all the other types of expenses which we all have. Then I have to feed all my animals.
I want to stay in the apartment I'm in because then it wouldn't be so much change all at once. I've always been a boyfriend girl, as in I've always had one and he was always my best friend also, and as crazy as Mike makes me sometimes I think maybe it's better than being alone. I know this isn't true, but I still get really scared. And I've made friends with my neighbors and I feel safe at this place I live now. And I work with the girl who lives upstairs and I know they would help me if I needed anything. I just want to stay there and I can't think of any way to make more money without having to work seven days a week.

I know people will think that I should work seven days a week if that's what it takes and stop complaining and there's people a lot worse off than me and blah, blah, blah. Well just because it could be worse doesn't mean that we should be okay with a crappy situation. I don't think life should have to be that miserable. I think I should be able to want more for myself than to be exhausted and stressed out all the time. I'm not lazy, I don't mind working, but within reason, you know?
Besides not being able to afford the apartment, we share a car, and out here a car is imperative. Riding a bike is just not feasible and there is no public transportation. I could ride to work with Laura most of the time but it would make the rest of my life so sucky not to have a car out where I am. The grocery store and laundromat are at least twenty-five minutes away. I would be so stuck in the boonies. I really need my own car and the one that was at my mom's had, like, no floor or brakes. It wouldn't even have made it back here, so I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to get my own car. Then I need a license. That's at least five hundred in fines I have to pay before that could happen. It's not for anything really bad, not even speeding. One is for a cracked windshield and one is driving with a suspended license.
What is really fucked is that the situation I'm in is really typical of so many Americans. And I don't even have kids. I don't understand why people don't organize a revolt for better wages. I do understand how people could go crazy and rob a bank or something to feed their families. It's hard to stay positive when you work your ass off and it seems like it never amounts to anything.
I'm now going to numb the frustration with tobacco, marijuana, food and mindless sitcoms. Later.


Jeannie said...

I've always been quite shocked at how low the minimum wage is there. Ours is up to $9.50 which still isn't enough to live on alone but you aren't expected to - you're expected to bunk with other roommates. Minimum wage is also considered to be for starter jobs, student jobs...people are supposed to aim a little higher for "real" jobs.
You must be old enough now to qualify for student loans unless the rules are different there. My daughter got one without needing to provide any info at all about us. That's how she can afford to go to school and move in with her boyfriend. They are also in a $650/mth apt downtown. Which isn't near the university at all but they have the bus hub just down the block.

Life does seem harder than it should be. Our standard of living is so much higher than ever before in history though...even if you are at the bottom of the ladder. How do people without jobs, water, hydro etc. do it? Has humanity always been full of despair? I'm not trying to make you feel bad for wanting stuff - we never stop wanting stuff - it's hard to be content because there's always more stuff out there.

Anonymous said...

I'm now going to numb the frustration with tobacco, marijuana, food and mindless sitcoms. Later.

Of course you always have money for drugs...

Nellie said...

Thanks Jeannie, I always appreciate hearing from you. Yeah, I do get loans now, that's how I afford the schooling I do. And I'm beginning to come around to the idea of looking for roomates, though I think I'll have to put out signs and ads and stuff because there is no one advertising in the papers for roomates around here. I do live in a really small, rural town though which doesn't have a lot of options. But I haven't given up yet. I think no matter what, major life changes are difficult for most people. My life has just been a series of major changes and I haven't given myself much chance to be happy.
I think life has always been full of despair, or at least hardship - even in the days of hunter/gatherers. One of my favorite books growing up was The Clan of the Cave Bear and that woman who wrote that book seems like she did a ton of research - and even in those societies there were alchoholics and bad parents and people born with deformities and death and natural disaster, you name it. I think that is just the test of our life here on earth. Can we make it work? You know?

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I sympathize, Nellie. We sure aren't going to be able to live anywhere on the level of our parents, are we? My folks retired early and have two small homes. I'll be working until my ass drops off and renting.

It is scary to leave a situation and be alone, but it sure was the best thing that I ever did. In retrospect, I wish I had done it sooner. I love not having to answer to anyone and living in my own place. There is no one who can get mad and tell me to get out, you know? I can feed the cats on the damn table if I want to. Yay! I will never live anywhere my name is not on the lease or the deed again. No way. No how.

Sending you love,


Nellie said...

SB - I totally hear you on that one. It really sucks to be dependent on another person, especially if they use it against you. I know I'll be happier once I get used to being alone and figure out my finances. You're right though, we will never live like our parents.

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