Some people go through the processes of life seamlessly. They progress through post-secondary school and graduate studies with no problems, and come out with no debts and even get a perfect job right away. They somehow make and/or have a lot of money. They have children. They own a home. They have pets. They have nice, reliable cars, and more then 1 for the entire household. They never have a single medical issue.
I have completed undergraduate work, with mounds of debt. Not just student debt, but personal debt with family, and with credit cards. Student loans only cover so much, and I have to eat and pay the rent. When we don’t have our heat on and live in a crappy apartment and use our credit card to buy only essential groceries, it is those purchases that add up to our credit cards. But what is the alternative? We already don’t have heat on, no cell phones, no cable, our bills are minimal and only essentials. I have been trying to go to grad school, but I can’t afford tuition and am not eligible for student loans in the states because I am Canadian, and there is so little funding and scholarships for social work studies it is ridiculous. And you can forget about stipends for social work graduate studies, they don’t exist. Yet, social work strives for change for the greater good of society, so you would think it’s extremely crucial to get well trained individuals up and running….but it is impossible to get trained without funding. Getting the perfect job after graduation? Well there aren’t many social work jobs because of cutbacks, which reiterates my point above. And the jobs are usually not in the high-paying category….but then how do you pay off the massive debts your have from just getting the education to get that job in the first place? It seems I am always broke. The Artist and I do not have children, unlike most of our peers right now. How on earth could we afford to feed a child when we can hardly feed ourselves? We do hope to be fortunate enough that in the future, having children will be possible. We do not own a home. Obviously because we can’t afford it, but we aren’t even sure if we would want to. I think we would have children well before we owned a house. And we like weird places, like lofts with concrete floors and brick walls, or warehouse space, etc., not necessarily a house, unless the house meets our weirdo-style- haha. We do not have pets. We are reallllly wanting a dog, we love dogs. We have only 1 car between the 2 of us, and it is quite old and has seen a lot of mileage. The Artist has had it for years, it is the first car he ever bought and it is still hanging in there. Just 1 car between us is most inconvenient. And I have a crazy thyroid issue, as talked about here: https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/under-active-thyroid/
So I have been navigating through life much less then seamlessly. There is always some ridiculous barrier happening to cause us more struggle. It is exhausting. It tests our patience. It tests our faith that it will all come together in the end. But, we can always find a way to get around the roadblocks, and we never lose sight of what we want in education, careers, and our ultimate goals. We are hanging in there, and not giving up on them. I can only do my very best at everything I embark on, and sometimes, after that, things are out of my hands. I did my very best on my scholarship application and sent it in, now it is up to others to decide if I get it. I can’t control what others think and do, so I try not to worry myself with it. I concern myself with putting my best effort forth, which is something I can control, and avoid concerning myself with things beyond my control.
Yes, this is stressful. Yes, I want to get paid to work and not just volunteer. Yes, I want to go back to school but can’t afford it. But at the end of the day, I have a loving family, and a great husband. When I lay my head on the Artist’s shoulder as we get into bed, and he wraps his big arms around me- that is all I need.
I believe in the butterfly effect, that if I changed even 1 thing I wouldn’t be where I am today. If I didn’t choose to attend Georgian College I never would had met my Artist, for example. So if I had to go through some craziness to get here today, then so be it- because happiness and love are priceless. And if the Artist and I have to continue through more craziness to reach our goals, then fine- why should we settle for anything less then exactly what we want?
I may not have much aside from struggle and debt, but I do have the most important things- great love, and indescribable happiness. And without that, everything else seems pointless. ❤