I’m sitting in my room with another week without work. Hi, I’m Michael and I’m a little broke right now.
I’ve been living pay week to pay week and now I’m waiting for when work requires my services again. I’m in a limbo of financial insecurity and it’s taking its toll. This could be the brokest period of my independent life.
It wasn’t just the trip to Melbourne that did it. It was the unfortunate combination of heavy car bills the week before departure and the lack of work when I got back. I have IOU’s to several people and the ever looming student loan over my head.
While I desperately look for other lines of work I have realisations to face. These things called bills: Rent, Electricity, Gas, Internet, and Food. See how I put Internet ahead of food there? Yeah, scary thought. And expenses such as petrol, cat food and other car stuff. This is the first time I’ve really had to pay close attention to my fuel gauge and squeeze out every last drop, riding the fine line between getting to work and then running out of gas on the way home.
Not only has it been hard paying rent (I’ve had to IOU a few times), but the feeling of independence is simply gone. I feel positively weak without money. I don’t crave money for money’s sake mind you, but for the opportunities it provides. Right now I can’t pay for a night out with my girlfriend at a restaurant or a cafe, Even picking something up at the supermarket is out of the question when there’s only 8 cents to my name until the next pay day. I’m utterly reliant on other people.
I’m not comparing myself to someone living on the street, the extreme poverty around the world, or with an Arstotzkan customs officer struggling to feed his family. It just really shows how we grow accustomed to certain things, and when those things are stripped away we feel naked, disarmed. It’s like money is our security blanket, the one tool we have to actually survive in this New Zealand climate.
I’ve tried budgeting before, but it never really works out. I ruled up spreadsheets and calculated columns, but life doesn’t work in that strict by the numbers way. This is the time when I could really use some kind of open door such as a new job confirmation. Ahem. Are you there God? It’s me, Michael.
Now I really do fit the stereotype — a guy with an Arts degree wanting to pursue his creative ambitions, but can’t even afford to pay rent.