Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Money isn't everything. This isn't about money.

As I was staring with some strange kind of emotional paralysis at my student loan payment plan for the next ho hum many years, I thought, damn. Why did I go to a private college that gave me nothing but a lovely grant for the first three years and then pulled the rug out from under me so I had to take out a loan to cover that entire senior year *plus* remember the loans I took out for the previous three years? Yeah, why did I go there again?

Right, I was going to edit TV shows...

And then I wonder why I was so driven to go to grad school.
Why I insisted I needed to get my MFA in writing.
A degree I knew would get me nothing jobby, but a whole lot in the personal and artistic growth area.
Too bad personal and artistic growth doesn't easily transfer to $$$

And I remember when I was in high school and there was a school in northern Minnesota that I could have gone to, basically for free and I decided to go visit the school all by myself and as I drove up to campus, on the single road that lead to campus, I drove right in the middle of a field of wheat and saw cows and nothing but nothing but the smell of manure filled the car and I thought, if I go to school here, I will become an alcoholic.

But I would have been an alcoholic with no debt.

And I remember a school on the west coast with a smaller tuition bill. It was on a hill, by a bay.
Why didn't I go to school there?

And I remember when I deferred going to grad school for a year and for that year I considered not going to grad school. I considered staying in Boston to run a cafe and drink espresso for the rest of my days.

I'm buried under by money. By the consequences of my hammerhead convictions that I would go to school, no matter the loans it took.

I'm buried under by the decisions that not only broke my bank, but maybe, a little (a lot), my heart and all the veins and muscle that surround it.

I'm buried under by constantly wanting to go back in time and figure out the way to make the right decision.

I'm completely perplexed by the puzzle of how far back I would have to go to make things right. For once, to feel that I make sense.



cc said...

Preach it sister. Yesterday I started thinking about how I could take time off this summer and go somewhere marvelous...like Japan...or Belgium...or anywhere other than here. But then I had to come to terms with the fact that if I took a vacation, I wouldn't get paid, and if I didn't get paid I wouldn't be able to pay my rent, my student loans, my car payments or any other bill etc.

And believe you me, I'm not saving anywhere near enough to go anywhere near Japan. Maybe New Jersey? Guh, New Jersey.

How can you not completely regret the path your life has taken but, at the same time, yes, really really really wish that you could understand future-cc, or future-m.lady's perspective, needs and, fuckit, desires and somehow amend that path to facilitate a slightly different outcome? I mean, if I hadn't gone to grad school I wouldn't have met a number of lovely people, I wouldn't want to take that back. But...something could have been different? Maybe?


Jen and Ed said...

I was reading these stories, good reflection on people early in their career.


Nobody makes all the right choices but I know others envy what you have today - they can't go back and get what you got.