Aiming For The New Year

This post was inspired by a blogger/writer I follow. I was going to skip over it, but I figured it can’t hurt. Can always try, right?

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions years ago because I never followed them. In fact, I only ever made them for school assignments and I usually faked them because I had none in mind. I’m the same way with goals. I rarely reach them, though I have some better luck with goals than with New Year’s resolutions. I used to have a “to-do list” page, which I got rid of because I eventually stopped caring about most of what was on there.

The above said, I would be lying if I claimed to have no goals for this year. However, the big goals are luck-based and dependent on whether I graduate school and find a job in the field I’ve been studying. I feel it’s pointless to bother writing them out since, based on my life’s history so far, the most basic goals get deterred somehow. To name some: I graduated high school a year late (forced to transfer), didn’t return to college until age 24 (had to wait until I could claim independence for FAFSA), didn’t get my first job until 22 when I wanted one at 16 (family did not allow me to work during high school), and more I just don’t want to remember right now. Point is life has never gone as planned for me (if it had, I would’ve grown up in my hometown instead of moving more than literally a dozen times), so I have no reason to trust it will now.

Heck, the new year itself didn’t start off well. I mistakenly broke my phone yesterday, the first day of the new year, and today, my train to school was cancelled, meaning I had to pay $19 to take a Lyft ride to be on time. If that’s my start to the new year, should I bother with goals under the assumption anything will go as planned? Truthfully, I’m likely an idiot if I think so. Actually, I’m an idiot even if I don’t. And I don’t.

The writer of the post I linked talks about his goals specifically for 2019 rather than goals that can span over more than one year. So, I’ll go with that. That’s the idea with most of my goals anyway. I don’t have much confidence I’ll keep them, but I’ve always found writing what’s on my mind to be cathartic. Plus, maybe with my work hours cut down, things will be somewhat easier.

  • Make this blog more active. In my defenses, the reason this blog is slow is I struggle to think of topics to write. A “slice of life” blog is a very open subject, but “wake up, go to school, go to work, study, sleep, repeat” isn’t an interesting topic for repetition. I used to make up for this by having days dedicated to certain ideas, but I lost track and eventually stopped bothering to keep up with them. I’m happy this blog is still alive, and I’d rather have slow years than nothing at all, but I’d still prefer an active blog. I don’t have a schedule worked out yet, but I’ll see what comes to mind later on.
  • Climb my way out of credit debt. Half of this is school costs and the other half is my fault. Retail therapy is real! The stress over the holiday retail craze resulted in me developing a shopping addiction. I can do this without getting a job in the field I’m studying, but that’ll make it much easier.
  • Get my driver’s license. For those wondering why I’m almost 25 and don’t have my license, I never cared because neither my family nor I could ever afford a car. Taking public transportation doesn’t bother me (when it works! Screw you, NJ Transit!) because it’s how I grew up, so I’m accustomed to it. But when your home, your school, and your job are in three different cities, it adds up quickly. Granted, the costs are probably ultimately still cheaper than a car, but at least I won’t have to count on someone else’s car if I’m running late (thank you, Lyft!).
  • Keep up with medical appointments. Oh, boy! Well, I started with this one last year, but only with the dentist and optician. I need to visit the regular doctor and I need to go to Planned Parenthood. Especially PP since my relationship with my boyfriend is only progressing further. Right now, however, I just want my teeth fixed!
  • Cool my temper. Like mother, like daughter. My temper needs to go on ice! I’ve been working on this one for a few years, but 2018 pushed me to the limit and undid my work. Granted, the things I explode over are usually justified (the worst was a case of unfair/unkind treatment by one of my bosses, though we made up over that because this friend got us together to talk about it), but exploding is tiring! My head hurts! That said, watching someone else drop F-bombs is hilarious.

I have more than that, but for 2019, I’m going to stop here. I won’t post the rest because those are the luck-based ones, and it’s possible they won’t be accomplished within 2019. If they’re not luck-based, they’re ones I’m almost guaranteed to eventually lose interest in, so I won’t bother writing them.

I can’t say I’m optimistic, but let’s see what, if anything, worthwhile happens this year.

Eve of New Year’s Eve

Counting today, there are two more days left of 2018. Truthfully, I am glad. I hated this year and I’ve been dying for it to be over since it started. Usually, there’s something that makes me not entirely regret a bad year, but 2018 is not in that category. I can call it the second worst year of my life (first worst was 2010).

In chronological order, and from bad to worse:

  • I lost my full-time position because I couldn’t keep up with the workload. Actually, I had to step down from it to avoid being fired for incompetence. If I’d know taking a promotion meant putting your employment on the line, I never would’ve asked for it.
  • I had to delay school by two months for the very stupid reason of my birthday falling after the deadline! Seriously, what pompous a**hole thought that was a good set-up? I would’ve been done with school by now, and wouldn’t have had to struggle with the hell of juggling holiday hours and school hours.
  • Falling out with my sister. We didn’t get along to begin with, but she tried to blackmail me and attempted to start a family feud via my boyfriend. I very nearly cut our relationship completely because he went behind my back to her, but he apologized and I did find out part of it was her taking advantage of his anxiety (which does notoriously make him do stupid things).
  • The Black Friday shooting I was part of. I didn’t have the heart to return to that job, and I still haven’t set foot in that mall. I’ve thought about it, but knowing that’s an annual event at that mall is too much for me to feel good about going back. And yes, I know a shooting can happen anywhere, but when it’s so commonplace that knowing it happens every year is supposed to be comforting instead of terrifying, that’s not my idea of a safe working environment. Or shopping one, for that matter. (Interestingly, I’ve been more easily startled by loud sounds since this incident, especially crowd noise)

Not a damn good thing came out of this year, and I’d gladly burn it to the ground if I could. I don’t have hopes for 2019, especially since it’s supposed to (key word) be the year I finish trade school and go into the field I studied. Note to self: avoid anything to do with networking at all costs. I’m almost expecting it to be worse than 2018, considering certain circumstances I don’t feel like getting into.

500% done with this year!

Six Years…

I’ve been running this blog for this six years, and I haven’t even remembered every “blog-iversary”. It’s probably not worth thinking about every year, similar to how birthdays can lose their excitement after so many of them, despite being only once a year. Still, I never expected this blog to last as long as it has, despite that being the goal from the start. I expected to have deleted it by now due to inactivity or boredom. I guess a “slice of life” blog isn’t a subject that’s too difficult to maintain since, well, life doesn’t stop until you die.

My disappointment in those six years is that I’m not really any better off than I was when I started this blog. I’m still living in the same place, still yearning for freedom and independence, and still trying to figure out how this whole game of adulthood works. Yes, I’m working toward it with school and a job, but I still don’t have it and patience is not a virtue I possess.

Oh, well. Can’t have it all.

Got Credit?

Things I need to do: stop talking. Too bad the chances of that are nil.

Almost a year ago, I mentioned I never want to have credit because, from the perspectives I got of many cardholders and reviews, it was overall a trap. Can I go back and slap myself now?

Okay, I still am cautious, but it turns out credit cards and debts aren’t so scary if you can manage them. Currently, I have a total of three credit cards and a limit across all three of $2,700. I only planned on one, but I was attracted to the second for its cashback reward and the third is a medical credit card, which is immensely helpful and allowed me to get the new eyeglasses I very much needed. I stick with the advice of spending less than 10% and several months of on-time payments with the first card was rewarded with an increase in my credit limit for that card. Before I attained the third card, my credit score read over 700, into the “good” zone, and I was very proud of that. The debt for my eyeglasses caused it to tank by a lot, but I’ve been assured it will climb again after I pay that debt off, which I have been doing steadily since. Thankfully, my job pays me enough to let me pay four times the monthly minimum payment so I can avoid interest after six months. With the other two cards, I pay off the balance in full every month.

Having just one credit card proved to be more helpful than I expected. It allowed me to pay for something I may have needed right then, but not have to pay with my own cash until I got my paycheck. That’s not to say I use my credit cards just for the heck of it, but they are used for small purchases like train tickets or a small snack to hold me over at work. The only “big” purchase I really use one card for is my cell phone bill, and I didn’t do that until I got the increased limit on the first card to avoid spending more than 10% of its limit. I don’t forget credit must be paid back!

I’ve had credit offers come through mail and email since I got my first card, and the offers have only increased since then. It’s gotten to the point I get at least one credit offer every week, some from the same companies I’ve already said no to. I just cut them them and throw them in the trash. I’d think the debt I have and my score tanking would decrease the amount of offers, but it seems like I’m now getting them simply because I have a pulse. One was even a pre-paid debit card, and it was not a sample card! It wasn’t activated, however, so I was able to discard it without consequence. Why the heck would I load a debit card with my own money when I could just use the one I already have from my bank that’s connected to an account with my money?

My experience does make me curious about one thing: how do people get in over heads with credit card debt? Barring medical and other unforeseen necessary expenses, and the company screwing you over (I’m not ignorant; I know some companies suck), it seems like credit card debt is the easiest debt to avoid. Yet, I’ve read of people being thousands of dollars in credit card debt, as high as $100,000 in one anecdote I read. I can’t even spend $100 in a week unless it’s for bills. I remember when I saw my first card’s limit increased and my immediate thought was, “What the heck am I going to spend that much money on?!” Of course, my viewpoints aren’t universal, but the point is reading of people in huge amounts of credit card debt that is not medical or other unforeseen expenses leaves me stunned.

I certainly don’t plan to acquire debt just because I know I can pay it off. I love not owing money to anyone! I cannot wait until my eyeglasses are paid off and the balance on my medical credit card reads zero. I could’ve paid it off with my savings, but I figured it’s better not to wipe out my savings account.

I have no regrets about getting a credit card. In fact, increasing my credit score is what let me get that medical credit card. I applied for it two years prior and was rejected because my score was awful. I had no idea it came with such a huge limit, but since it covered the whole cost of my eyeglasses, along with insurance, I’m very grateful. And yes, I know better than to max out my credit  cards! Not something I want to do anyway since, again, that money must be paid back! I also don’t plan to have a lot of credit cards. I do know a high limit of credit is good for your score, but I’m not someone who needs a lot of credit.  Then again, maybe I do to stay under 10% of my total limit.