Most of my recent posts have been and while I am nervously waiting in what may be my “4th” week of pregnancy, I decided to write about money and the school loans that take it mixed with the guilt that my writing could save the money from being taken.
I am terrible about checking the mail and bills. So many of our bills are the same every month, so I see the envelope, pay the bill and file it most of the time without opening it. But I should have been looking because I almost put us into financial ruin (more than I already have by nearly $30,000). I hadn’t checked my husband’s Wells Fargo private student loans and if I hadn’t, we could have been in the second stage of delinquency meaning they would expect the nearly $30,000 on the spot. Luckily, I did read it and we did the over the phone check which will start processing tonight. Thanks to this being my commissions week and Alex’s much higher paycheck even without overtime, we were able to afford it even after paying the bills and I know when our next payment will be. Another $299.77 coming out of at least one paycheck every month. When I make roughly $500 a month (I get $550 off of our rent because of my job plus free laundry) and he makes almost $1800, you would think we wouldn’t be too bad, but take out car payment, car and life insurance, cell phone, internet, Hulu, Netflix, utilities, rent (around $270 includes heat, gas, water, sewage so not bad), groceries, random medical bills, and credit cards that almost $2300 a month goes away fast. Plus, we are trying to have kids so there is a big chance more medical bills will be coming! Bills suck especially private school loans because they aren’t deferrable and the payments are typically set at a certain rate whether we can afford that or not. Sometimes, I wonder if school is really that important compared to the mountain of debt it can create.
I know everyone thinks they could make it big and let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that “I just want them to see my art” is the sole purpose of writing. I’m not saying we all want to be Stephen King, Nancy Myers, Len Wiseman, or J.K. Rowling (okay, maybe a little bit) but to have our work and time validated that could lead to a better financial situation can be somewhat motivating. I’m not being egotistical because I think everyone has the possibility of greatness but I am lazy about pursuing my greatness. When we have the bills we do, I feel a sense of guilt that I am definitely not doing enough. It’s bad enough I am terrible about cleaning our apartment or doing laundry but I know there is potential in my work and my laziness and perfectionism is a double-edged sword. When I do want to write, I obsess over every word making sure it sounds right which leads to the laziness of not wanting to put that much focus onto one thing. I could do more and something keeps holding me back. I keep holding back and I think what if everyone held back. There would be no movies, books, politicians (not a bad thing), teachers, athletes because no one would be trying to do the unexpected of them; they wouldn’t try to do everything their minds and bodies can do. What if what I can write and see would go wasted? I don’t want to pass that down to my kids. I don’t want them to think that the bare minimum is the only thing they have to do because there is so much more room to grow. I’ve stunted my growth as a writer and I need to release the blocks that keep me from moving forward if I ever want to truly do more for my family.