Bad Day

Today has not been a very good day for me so far. I’ve gotten things done and I can look back on the past few days and recognize how much I’ve accomplished on this working vacation, but at the same time, I’m feeling monumentally overwhelmed. I’m taking on a lot right now, but it’s all extremely important and needs to be done. I know I can do it, but it’s a lot to do, and it’s bearing down on me. I need to organize myself more. My lack of organization is a major source of anxiety for me. I’m getting things set up to be more organized, and it’s both fun and stressful. Once I get it all set up and flowing right, I know I’ll be more relaxed.

I also need to get my finances in order. Money, and the disorganized way I’ve dealt with it all my life, is another major source of anxiety. In just over a month, I’ll be moving to Lawrence and living with Brooke. We’ll both be able to save money living together and we’re looking at more ways we can cut costs, start saving more money and pay down debt. Just thinking about it makes me feel calmer and more ready to take things on.

Unfortunately, things are still so bad with me money-wise that in that month’s time, everything could fall apart. I woke up this morning stressed to the gills, fretting about money, worrying about how I’ll be able to pay everything I owe right now when I simply don’t have the money to do it. I won’t lie, I got terrified, and that terror hasn’t really abated. A lovely friend sent me a DM this morning on Twitter and told me to ask people for help if I really need it. “I’m tired of asking for handouts,” I told her. “I don’t want to be the Hobo Librarian.”

But the fact is, I’m desperate. I don’t want to ask for help, but I don’t know how I’ll be able to get by without it. I feel horrible, but I don’t know what else to do right now. I don’t intend on forgetting who’s helped me out and I intend to pay everyone back in one way or another. I see this as a sort of Kickstarter program. It’s also a Kick-in-the-Ass program and a Kick-in-the-Eye program. Being in this situation has really pushed me to take a hard look at myself and how I live my life. I’m taking huge steps to get things under control and get on top of everything. But I also know I can’t do this alone.

This is, of course, purely voluntary. People are free to give what they think is appropriate and what they can afford. I’m not a charity case and I’m not a lazy bum. I’m not looking for a free ride or to be supported by other people. I’m just someone who’s in trouble right now and needs some help to get to a place where I can be more stable, more productive and happier.

I’m putting my Paypal donation button back up. I hate that it’s come to this, but…sadly, it has.

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8 thoughts on “Bad Day

  1. When you realize you’re having trouble coping with one of life’s “normal” problems—health, sex, food, money, career, relationships—seek help. Have you sought out guidance from a knowledgeable friend or financial planner to build a budget, realistically tackle your debt, and make future life goals? Have you followed that guidance? Seek help.

    I’ve turned for help to psychiatrists, nutritionists (just recently!), therapists, physical trainers, financial planners, rabbis, professors, etc., etc. No shame in asking for help. There’s only shame in asking for help and not using it.

  2. I’ve been reading U.S. Grant’s memoirs and letters lately, and except for his natural genuius in military strategy and mathematics, I feel a certain kinship with the guy. If it hadn’t been for the Civil War, no one would have ever heard of him. He failed at everything before and after (usually due to surrounding circumstances and not by his own hand). He was borrowing money all the time. In fact, the Confederate commander that was forced to surrender to him at Ft. Donelson, was an old army buddy who had loaned him money before. Can you imagine that? I would have been like “Oh, shit, it’s you, Buckner! Well, since you saved my ass that time, I’ll save yours this time.” And we’d still have slavery as an institution to this day. Anyway, he was a firm believer in Destiny because it seemed all things he set out to achieve he couldn’t, but the things he didn’t try at or couldn’t care less about (power, position, fame, etc.) came naturally to him.

    I think money and I will forever be at odds. I don’t “blame” my parents for my financial screw ups, but I have to say I was raised with the idea that money = success (but not happiness). So money has always been anathema in my mind. I’m totally afraid of it.

  3. You’re right, Brandon. And the big reason why I talk about this whole situation being a kick-in-the-pants and a kick-in-the-eye is because I’m realizing how much good advice, instruction and help is worth. This year has so far been mostly about me taking a really hard look at myself, my past, the habits I’ve developed and the ways I’ve lived my life. I’m doing my best to do more of what’s been successful and change what’s held me back. Like I said, I can’t do it alone, but I absolutely have to do it. I’ve always worked to change things, but now I feel like I need to make some big changes.

    Beth, the U.S. Grant example is a really interesting one. I’ve been thinking lately that a lot of my own success has been due more to synchronicity than to skill and hard work. But maybe I’m selling myself too short. (And maybe Grant was, too.)

  4. I should have taught you how to handle money when I had the chance.

  5. It’s funny you say that, Julie. I was thinking earlier today that the more I take a really hard look at myself, the more I realize how much I relied on you–and girlfriends in the past–for a lot of things (like keeping track of finances and keeping a schedule). It was a very sobering thought. I’ve skated by in a lot of ways, and I just can’t do that anymore. It’s not fair to the people around me and it’s not who I want to be.

  6. You’re not the only man to do so, not by a long shot. The percentage of men who, at some point in their lives between college and retirement, have depended on a woman to take care of the practical nitty-gritty day to day bollocks is probably 100%.

  7. 100% is hyperbole. But probably not far off, sadly. It shouldn’t be that way.

  8. I’m only good with money because my parents were and I learned mostly from them. If you have no one to learn from, well…

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