I have never considered myself to be wealthy or to come from a wealthy background. When I was younger, things were a lot easier for my family. We never had extra things, but dinner was always on the table and if there was anything that me or my siblings needed, my parents took care of it. If they struggled with money before I was around 14 or 15 years old, then they did a good job of hiding it. When I started high school, my father started to get very ill and his business began to fall under and there were little things that made me start to realize that things were starting to change around my house; empty stockings at Christmas, my mother no longer holding holiday parties, less and less trips to the grocery store, no more family outings, not being able to go anywhere besides school because my parents couldn’t afford gas when the prices started to rise, my brother paying for my prom dress because my parents couldn’t, etc. Even though things weren’t as easy as they had been before, I still wouldn’t have ever said that my life was bad. We got by. It wasn’t easy, but my dad always found a way to make it work.
After my father passed away and his business went under, my mom got a job opportunity out of pure luck that actually started to make our lives somewhat financially okay again.I moved off to college at the same time and my mom and brother fell into expensive habits with prescription drugs. I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until the damage was done, my mom had lost her job. Talking to her began to feel like talking to a brick wall; she was emotionless, didn’t care, didn’t listen, and it was completely pointless. In the past two years since, I’ve had no outside help financially or emotionally with my life. I went from having a big, supportive family, to essentially having no one. There are a lot of other factors that went into the situation, but if I told the story in full, wordpress would probably crash because the post would be so long.
All of the things that have happened to me thus far in life have led me to this point. Broke, alone, and essentially on my own. I’m a full time student and currently have two jobs and I’m attempting to take on a third. I’m not really sure what I’m doing. But I don’t regret the hardships. I am trying my best to embrace them and to learn from them. I now know this is never how I want my life to be. I don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck. I want to be successful. I don’t want to go back to my hometown after college. I want to move to a new city and start a new leaf. Even if it’s hard, it can’t be much worse than what I’ve already been through. Sitting alone on my couch most nights, eating a can of peas that expired a year ago for dinner, brainstorming how I’m going to make rent, even though I’m working two jobs and that’s still not enough.
This isn’t a sob story. I’m writing this post so that I can look back one day when I’m in my downtown apartment with high ceilings and windows for walls and be humbled. I never want to forget where I came from. I want to always remember that I came from struggle so that I can appreciate my life even more when I get out of this rut one day. The future excites me. I know that life isn’t all sunshine now, and it never will be, not even when my paychecks are a number that I can only dream about now. But it will be worth it.