Someplace I never thought I'd be.
That means paying mortgages and bills and having a responsible job helping people and shit.
And having a car and paying for my education and not letting the dog starve or the cat go without her medication and eating healthy and exercising regularly and cleaning the toilet from time to time.
It means admitting that I am not 25 anymore. Switching my afternoon snack from barbecue chips or guacamole to broccoli. Not staying out all night having fun with friends. Grading papers and having insurance and planning for retirement. I've never thought I would be able to rely on Social Security anyway and really, that's ok with me. Social Security gave us a monthly allowance until I was 18 because of my dad's death so I figure that by the time I retire, we are even. That's what Social Security is; a safety net for people who really need it.
Besides, I'm totally middle class now. Yep, I made it. I was reading "Robinson Crusoe" the other day and in the opening pages, Defoe was talking about how it's best to be in the middle class, free of the problems of both the extremely poor and the extremely rich and how it's a nice life to have. To neither be envied nor desperate. I like the middle class. It comes with fresh vegetables. And a husband who shares stuff with me. Like barbecue potato chips. Seriously, he needs to stop buying those.
Being a grown up means that I have to pay my student loan.
I owe roughly a million dollars. I'm not sure of the exact number. And I just knew the repayment amount was going to be about another million dollars a month. And when I don't know things and I'm afraid of them, I tend to ignore them until someone mean and ugly comes and knocks on my door or sets me on fire or whatever.
I made a New Years resolution this year that I would get my financial house in order and keep it in order. I take my resolutions seriously. One year it was to lose weight. One year it was to get in good enough shape to become an aerobics instructor. The next it was to become an aerobics instructor. You get the idea. I have done all of the things on my lists since 1999 and the only goal that I did not accomplish was running a marathon. I did a half marathon but had too much joint pain to do the whole thing. Ah well. It's a way to keep my life on track and I think I do a good job. It wasn't always that way. I used to make resolutions to always love fresh strawberries (I was 8, gimme a break) or to learn to power slide in a '77 Firebird. I did and I also learned how to power slide a snow machine. Now you know why I am so surprised to have made it to the ancient age I am now, and why all of my parts don't quite work.
|I blame a car like this for lots of mis-adventures|
These days I am a little more contemplative. I sit around between Christmas and New Years and ruminate on my fortunes and fames (and misfortunes and infamies) and plan. It's how I give myself a pep talk. Imagine my inner old white man gym coach chewing a cigar and wearing gray sweats saying Hey Girl, quit screwing around and think about what you want to do this year. What went well last year? What do you want to do better this year? What do you want to achieve? You can do it! But quit screwing AROUND!
Probably more than you wanted to know about the people in my head. Believe me, with the cigar-chewing coach there lives an inner 9-year-old who loves jelly belly's an inner 79-year-old who wants to cover the house in doilies and paisley table cloths. They are over shouted most of the time by competitive swimmer who can't swim, a fat fratboy who loves beer and tattoos and a Mary-Kate Olsen look alike who just wants white wine and slim cigarettes and good perfume. Somewhere in there is a 39-year-old who should pay her bills and help college students learn to be adults. She doesn't always get to run the keyboard.
Today, my inner 39-year-old listened to my cigar-chewing grizzled gym coach and called about her student loan payments. I talked to them and listened and figured it out. Oh, I was supposed to pay you guys this exorbitant amount? Uh, nope. Can't do that. I'm a public school teacher (magic words, by the way. They also mean that I'm poor and you'd be committing sodomy if you asked me for more than 10% of my income). Even Uncle Sam AND the State of Oklahoma give me back the taxes I pay.
Once, I had my house broken into. The robber looked around, felt really sad, and left me twenty bucks.
That last part wasn't true, but it could be.
I get to fill out some paperwork and then in August I will start paying on my loans. Something I can afford and live with and still make some headway on those loans. I will protect my stellar credit score because we are selling the house soon and I want to be able to get a good home loan for a new place. Like an adult and stuff.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go grade some papers before sliding off with Grey in our adult version of the muscle car that gets good gas mileage to go have adult fun in Eureka Springs with my other grown up friends. Maybe there will be strawberries and potato chips.