WARNING: I got all done writing this and it wasn’t AT ALL what I intended to write about. It’s long and it’s rambly, and it doesn’t end up AT ALL where I thought it would. You’ve been warned. 😉
Holy crap. Do you ever feel like you’ve been shot from a cannon and you’re flying forward without any idea where you’ll land, just squeezing your eyes shut and hoping it won’t hurt when you hit the ground? That’s how I feel right now with the condo and the law school and the Bugs We Shall Not Name. (FYI: I fogged the inside. They were still coming in. Now I just spray the entire window casing down with bugspray EVERY NIGHT and that seems to be doing the trick so far. Maybe I should buy stock in Raid.)
My eating has been ok. Not great, but ok. I haven’t been to the gym all week, so I’m going a little stir-crazy. But since I was leaping out of bed in the middle of the night to spray bugs, and then not sleeping (bug-induced nightmares), I couldn’t get my ass out of bed at 4:30 to go to the gym, you know? As I sit here, I’m working on my 3rd glass of wine, which is the “worst” I’ve done all week, so I’m feeling ok – and strangely, not crazy about the food issues. I mean, I’ve been journaling and planning, and it hasn’t sent me off the deep end. I’m doing . . . ok.
I think a lot of that has to do with doing what I know I’m “supposed” to be doing, even though it freaks me out. I know what my next step SHOULD be, and I’m literally stepping out in faith that there will be a net to catch me. I have a realtor as of yesterday (well, I confirmed today, but I knew after talking to her yesterday). She’ll broker the deal at the condo, and they are DESPERATE TO SELL, so I’ll buy there, one way or another. (Those condos are “luxury” condos, and they went on the market in July of ‘o8 for $325,000, which would not be a bad price in LA in a normal economy. But the economy got worse, they’re down to asking $225,000, and only half the units have sold. They want to unload the rest as fast as possible, I’m sure.) So I’m taking the next step. It’s not an area I’m crazy about, but it will appreciate a lot over the next 5-7 years (I’m guessing I’ll be able to sell for almost twice what I paid at that point), and it’s close to all the places I need to be: work and law school.
I’m totally freaked out. I alternate between being so excited I’m practically jumping up and down and crying hysterically with anxiety and fear.
See, I’ve always dodged the things that could help me. That sounds weird, doesn’t it? But I’m the queen of self-sabotage. I binge the worst (and drink the most) when I’m on a diet. I spend the most money during the months when money is tight (I’ve learned to keep a “mad money” stash – and in my case, I don’t mean “mad” as in “angry,” I mean “mad” as in “street-rat crazy”). When I’ve been offered a good job, I’ve opted to apply to grad school (and get in, and then decide not to go, and then go back to tending bar). If they ever make self-sabotage an Olympic sport, I’LL TAKE THE GOLD, BABY. Um. Unless I sabotage that. Now THAT would be ironic, wouldn’t it?
But I was talking to my acupuncturist the other day, and I realized something: this is a cross-roads. I have so many things I want to do in my fantasy world: I want to have/adopt a bunch of kids (dude, I could SO have the Brangelina life), I want to start a non-profit for foster kids, I want to fund scholarships and travel and join the Big Sister organization and the No One Dies Alone organization and write cookbooks and homeschool my kids and andandand . . . So much to do. I know I can’t do ALL of it. But I really do want to have a bunch of kids (maybe 8 or 10: 1 or 2 biological ones, and then a bunch of adopted kids) and ideally homeschool them and start a non-profit for kids aging out of the foster care system. A BIG non-profit. HUGE, even. A NATIONAL program. And I’d like to fund the No One Dies Alone program, because I was with both of my grandparents when they died (the other two are still alive as of this writing), and it was important. If I hadn’t been there, I don’t think I would really GET how important it is, just to have someone there when we die. Anyone. We aren’t born alone, and we shouldn’t die alone. IT’S IMPORTANT.
But I can’t really do any of that on a secretary’s income. And if I go to law school, I can. I can do ALL of those things. For pretend purposes, let’s say I make $100,000 a year now (I don’t, but it’s easy math). When I become a paralegal (2 years or so?), I’ll make 50% more: $150,000/ year, in this example. When I get promoted to Jr. Attorney (4-5 years), I’ll make 100% more than I make now: $200,000/year. Suddenly, if I live like I live now (or even a little above), I’ll have CRAPLOADS of extra money to pay off law school, invest, and then GIVE AWAY. How cool would THAT be?! And as I continue to get promoted, I’ll make even more money. And the REALLY great thing is that being a lawyer for a movie studio is an 8-5 job, most days. It’s not the 16-hour-a-day job you hear about for young lawyers out of law school. Can you even IMAGINE?
I’ve spent my whole life sabotaging myself. And I have to admit that there have been a couple of nights recently when I’ve cried myself to sleep at the thought of living in North Hollywood. But I listen to a lot of Dave Ramsey, and one of the things he says is, “If you’re willing to live like no one else now, then later on you can live like NO ONE ELSE.” In other words, if I’m willing to put in 4-5 years of hellacious schedules and long nights and crazy-tight budgets and living in an area I’m not crazy about and having a roomate to defray expenses and ALL THAT STUFF . . . then in 10 years I can have EVERYTHING ELSE I want. And to my peeps’ credit, they aren’t sending me to a studio apt in gang territory (that’d be about 8 blocks over – no joke). They’re sending me to a small, but luxury condo, all new stuff, in an area that’s gentrifying rapidly. They know me (and my limits of what I can handle) very, very well.
So I’m grateful. Some nights lately it’s hard to remember that, but I am.
That stuff is a powerful motivator.