Recent struggles

I’ve been struggling. I have several debts which I’ve yet to pay off. Because I’m broke, Tony and I haven’t gone out on a proper date in quite a while, which really bums me out. I keep thinking, “What a shitty life.”

And that’s where I’m totally wrong. It’s not a shitty life. I’m just going through a rough patch, and that’s totally freakin’ normal. I keep thinking I have a bad life when really, I have it so good. I have a roof over my head, food in my tummy, and cigarettes in hand. I may not have enough money now, but I’ll be able to pay everything off in time. No point in worrying about it when I know I’ll make it through.

So I made a choice. I could keep on feeling bad about life in general, or I could embrace the present for all that it is and make sure I don’t repeat the same mistakes that led to this financial situation. 

I choose the latter. And that, I think, is a pretty damned adult thing to do. 

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No-Spend March, or Help Me My Finances Are Going to Hell

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Recently when I got my paycheck, I spent Php6000 (approximately USD100) on makeup – a highlighter, 3-4 lipsticks, an eyeshadow palette, and a brush set. I plan on buying concealer as well this weekend, so safe to say I’ve spent a pretty penny this week alone. I’ve also paid off several thousands of pesos’ worth of clothing costs to my mom, whose credit card I used to fuel my insane shopping sprees.Read More »

Adulting

Coworker: Paano ba umasta ang adult?

Me: Di ko alam, fini-figure out ko pa rin eh.

As I’m nearing my 24th year of existence, I become more and more conscious that I should try to behave like a grown-up. But what does that even mean?

Does that mean I need to start eating vegetables?

Does that mean I need to stop laughing at dumb jokes?Read More »

I had to get my NBI Clearance. Here’s how I did it.

  1. Aim to wake up early to beat the crowd. Actually manage to wake up early but spend another half hour tossing and turning in bed, wondering what was the point of your meandering, meaningless existence, and whether getting an NBI clearance was a truly worthwhile goal in the grand scheme of things.
  2. Arrive at Robinsons Metro East before it opens. Feel proud that you made it earlier than planned. Then realize that everyone in a 10-mile vicinity apparently had the same idea because the line is long as shit. Feel bad because you can’t even do this right.
  3. Get in line. Read a Stephen King novel.
  4. Finally get near the end of the line when the staff informs you that you need to have paid and applied online before you can even start the process. 
  5. Go outside and smoke, trying not to cry because it hasn’t even been an hour yet but you already feel you’ve exhausted your physical and emotional capacities.
  6. Get yourself a little together. Find a computer shop and hold back your tears as you pay for the NBI clearance online. Realize that this is a small errand that any idiot can run, but that won’t make you feel better.
  7. Print out your payment slip and reference number. Fall in line again. Resume reading the King novel while noticing every irritating mannerism of the other people waiting.
  8. Finally get your name called at the counter. Have your photo and fingerprints taken. Wait for the printout. Smoke another cigarette, grateful that it is over. 
  9. Get home. Cry for an hour, trying to recuperate. 

Writer’s Note: There are countless other blogs that can actually help, which detail the actual steps in getting the NBI clearance. This is not one of them.

Something to prove

As of this morning, I am officially broke. My savings for my supposed Puerto Galera trip this October have evaporated. Payday isn’t until the 29th or 30th, which means that in order to pay my electric bill on Friday, I’ll have to forego picking up my laundry (and thus paying for it) until I get my salary. And dinner? Forget about it—the only food I have at home is a pack of Skyflakes, which I’m thriftily eating only two at a time so it’ll last longer. I could only eat at the office, where the food I buy is salary-deductible, thank Glob.
This is just me feeling sorry for myself, and I hate myself for it even more, because I brought this all onto myself.
I come from a middle-class family: my mom can definitely support my basic needs if only I had stayed at home. So why did I leave and subject myself to this hell?
A lot of people don’t understand why I moved out. In fact, when I tell them what I have to do to get by, they think I’m being stupid. I left the comforts of home—fast Internet, food in abundance, no money spent for utilities and rent—to go hungry, curse at my slow WiFi, and constantly worry about my bank balance. There seems to be no logic in it at all.
However, my reason is quite simple: I have something to prove.
Growing up, material things were handed to me on a silver platter. I went to good schools, had money to spend on expensive clothes and food… I never really had to worry about finances. Even in college, when I was constantly borrowing cash, I always knew that it wasn’t that big of a deal because I was using that money to buy stuff I didn’t really need, like books.
Ever since I could remember, I dreamt of moving out. When I told my mom this, she laughed and told me I wouldn’t last, because I spent too much money and I was too soft and lazy to make it. Stubborn and proud as always, I resolved to prove that I could be independent.
I’m putting myself through the wringer so I could grow up. I wanted to give myself the responsibility of paying bills and living alone, so I could realize the value of money and hard work. It was a challenge: having been taken care of all my life, I wanted to prove that I could take care of myself. I didn’t want to be the kind of person who has never learned to stand on their own two feet.
So, even though I’m fairly destitute as of the moment and have to pinch pennies for the next few days, I can say I have no regrets. This whole ordeal is teaching me a lot about hard work, managing my finances, and sacrificing what I want for what I need. And that, my friend, is pretty priceless.

Lessons learned

This has been an incredibly painful month for me. It didn’t help that I turned 22 and I still feel like my shit isn’t sorted. My only comfort is that at least I’m still learning, which means (hopefully) I haven’t given up yet.
So, here are a few things I’ve learned recently:

Growing up means doing things you don’t want to, because you have to.

For me, that means going to work and doing my laundry even on days when all I feel capable of doing is curling in a ball and crying. Growing up means biting the bullet and moving back in with my mom, even if it’s the last thing I want to do, because I simply can’t pay my rent anymore. That shit stings, but I’m a big girl. I’m an adult (supposedly). I have to be okay with the difficult choices I make.
And speaking of difficult choices…

Love doesn’t conquer all.

“Baby, sometimes love just ain’t enough,” so goes that song. Love is a beautiful, majestic thing, but it’s not the only thing. In love, as with everything else, there comes a time when you have to make a difficult choice. And as I’ve said before, doing the right thing isn’t always easy. You can love each other very much, but there will always be external factors that come into play.
And please don’t tell me, “If you love each other enough, you’ll find a way to make it work.” Haven’t we all outgrown that trite, naïve advice? Sometimes, there’s no other way than to let go.

Friends aren’t always there for you.

Being single can be awesome, but it can also get pretty lonely. When I was in college, I didn’t mind much because I had my lovely friends who I saw every day. Now that we are all working, though, we hardly ever meet. I can’t go running off to Tapsi to drunk-cry on their shoulders, because we all have our own separate lives and schedules now.
It’s not that they don’t want to be there for me. I know they do. But I can’t insist on taking their time just so I could feel a little less lonely for a night. That would be asking too much, and I never ask for more than what others could give.
Even The Best Friend has got a job now. He spends his time either working or resting. As much as I want him here right now, I repeat, I never ask for more than what others could give. I swear, these are the times that I wish I had a more emotionally available best friend.
These lessons are coming at me so hard and fast that I feel overwhelmed by it all. But if this is growing up, then please send me the hell back to my childhood.