Thursday, May 3, 2012

Laughing To Keep From Crying

A heavy weigh felt like it was dropped on my shoulders as I stood in front of a Wells Fargo ATM machine, withdrawing my last $20 bill from my account. I took the money and quickly stashed it carefully into my wallet. ‘This is it,’ I thought to myself. As I walked home, carrying the very last change I have left to my name, I couldn’t help but feel a strange sense of calmness. With my shoulders still dropped and my head down, I wondered why I wasn’t at the brink of tears. This $20 has to last me for the next 3 days until I finally get paid. Wouldn’t that make one nervous? But I wasn’t crying. Nope. I wasn’t anxious or nervous, or even worried. Have I finally become numb enough to not feel anything anymore?

It has been 6 months since I have been “let go” from the company I had been working for since my move to New York City and 4 months since I have been off Unemployment. I have been living—literally—paycheck to paycheck, stretching every penny as far as I could, and have yet to secure a real, full time job that’ll put me back above the poverty line. Has my life really come to this? Yes. Do I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom? I don’t know. Right now I can’t feel a thing. Again, no tears.

That same morning, I had an interview with a company I am hoping to work for. The interview was informal and held over coffee at the cafĂ© inside the New York Times building. I couldn’t even afford my own cup of coffee. It was $2.72. You have to laugh. It was 2 fucking dollars and seventy-two fucking cents and my card got declined. In this situation, you can't cry. You really have to laugh. I'm still waiting to hear back about the job.

Two nights before that, I was woken up from my sleep from completely crashing onto the floor as I realized the $30 bed frame I had bought from IKEA a year ago had decided to give out and break in some odd pieces. ‘SHIT,’ I said loudly in my head as I scrambled to pick myself up in the middle of the dark. I cannot afford a new bed, I told myself. But who’s crying. I’m not crying.

Some days before that, I found myself standing in front of an angry, screaming hair client who was hilariously upset that her appointment was 20 minutes late and wrongly blaming me for it. I’ve about had it with these over-privileged, entitled Manhattan women. I don’t remember saying much to her except wondering why I hadn’t vocally cussed her out and walked out on the job. But still, no tears.

A week before that, a statement came in the mail from Sallie Mae, threatening my account to go into default from my months of over delinquency. The minimum payment has reach $1500 per month. Default means they can now go straight into my paycheck each month and take out money. Is this a laughing matter? Absofuckinglutely not. But am I laughing? Yes. Why? I’m laughing to seal in the embarrassment. I’m laughing to repel the rejection. I’m laughing to justify the disappointment. I’m laughing to numb the pain. I’m laughing to push back the tears.

I am laughing to keep from crying.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Life is Sh--

Having my first cup of coffee before leaving the apartment for work, I wonder when the rain is going to stop falling. I cannot wait for a change; after all, at least something in my life has to transform, right? Although I have only been living in NYC for 8 months, it felt as if I been here for 8 years. I understand that I sound very dramatic right now; but in life; there are these moment where you wonder how different things could have been.

NYC -- the big apple, big enough for every body to have a little piece.  I am trying to get a piece of the big apple too- although I prefer orange. Being 21 and living in NYC is what lots of young individuals wish to accomplish. However, let me break the truth to all of you dreamers; in NYC, if you don’t have millions sitting in the bank, then your life is sh**.  I know that I am being a negative Nancy and life isn’t that bad, like my friend said, “From where you are standing, life aren’t bad.”  But when one have so much hope and expectation for yourself, life is sh** from anywhere.

            I am currently living paycheck to paycheck. Although there are no regrets of what I’ve done; I always wish that things would of turn out for the better. I am waiting for that big break from the world, that big moment when life will give me a corner stone to build that big pyramid to reach the top. Waiting to make the next step...

--Anonymous FIDM grad, Fashion Design 2011