Work. School. Friendships. Family. Bills. Pets.
I just returned from this fabulous family vacation, so why don’t I feel any less relaxed than I did before leaving? Maybe it’s because work is always at the forefront of my mind, and my thesis paper has plopped itself right there beside it. I don’t sleep well – for multiple reasons, but mostly because I am anxious about the semester and finishing this degree while I have a full-time job.
These are the responsibilities that haunt me, daily. Sometimes I feel trapped within an endless routine. Cooper wakes me up to the sound of his incessant whining at the bedroom door before my alarm has even alerted me to the fact that it’s time to rise from bed. For the entire hour that I am getting ready to leave for work – brushing my teeth, washing my face, combing my hair, and even while I am physically standing in the room getting dressed – he is just crying or screeching like a Howler Monkey. Most days I can’t stand it and I instantly regret adopting him.
The spring semester at school was a cluster-fuck of deadlines that I couldn’t seem to keep up with and, I wonder, if I will even pass these classes. Mixing graduate school with a full-time job was not ideal, but if I want to be done with it, I need to focus and finish so that I can graduate next May. Just three more semesters stand between me and my diploma. Once I graduate, I can stop borrowing money and start focusing on re-paying all of my current student loans. I want to go back to school again someday, but that venture will have to come out of my own bank account, so I have to save for that. Next degree – MFA Writing!
My time living in New Haven was messy, financially. I spent thousands of dollars more than I had by falling into the predictable credit card trap that so many other 20-somethings do. Right now, I’m working on paying off that debt, but it’s a 3-year repayment plan because of how many card balances were completely maxed out. The more money I make and the more debt I re-pay, the more of my paycheck we re-allocate to other card balances. By September, I will have paid off two of credit cards in full and we can then focus those extra funds to paying more towards balances on my AMEX and Mastercard. While I do have a budget now, I still feel the constant stress of these balances looming over me like a dark cloud. Someday my entire paycheck will go towards savings, and, on that day, I will dance joyously on my front lawn…or in the living room of my apartment, but we will see what comes first.