Newly Broke, My Conscience Speaks

That moment when you realize it’s been a year since you did that thing your family’s been telling you to do your entire life: go overseas. See where you came from.  It’s been an entire year and everything you’ve ever written about it has barely scratched the surface of the way it’s made you feel.  It’s been a year since you begun to drastically overhaul your life.  Discarding things just as quickly as you accumulate them.  Paying up with your heart.  All your friendships tested.  You’re different and yet you’ll always be the same.

That moment when you realize that throughout all the trials and tribulations of the past year, one thing has emerged as unchanging and ever-true: you were born to write.  You were given a voice and you have a responsibility to use it.  Writing is breathing to you, and for the first time, you can breathe deeply and clearly.  You are privileged.  Even in wilfully deaf, closed-minded circles, you are undoubtedly privileged by way of your ability to express yourself.  Even when you think no one is listening, you are onstage.  No one has listened to you for 20 years.  Now they will listen to you for the rest of your life.

That moment when you realize you have a deadline at the end of this week, and another at the end of the next.  You’ve dipped your calf into a potential lawsuit when you should really be swimming in it, but just like in real life, you’re afraid of diving in in case you drown.  But everything will work out, you say.  You don’t believe it, but you say it anyway.  You’re getting paid to do what you love.  Love will win out in the end.  Karma is g-d and justice will be served.  Right?  That’s what’s happened so far, so it has to be true, right?

That moment when you have each of your three bank accounts open in separate Safari windows and they collectively spell out disaster.  Doing what you love pays shit.  You haven’t read the price tag on anything in years.  This is 2017, not 1870.  Did you really think you could ride this wave forever?  You can’t swim.  In water or in debt.  There will be no handouts, no lifelines after this one.  You had one shot.  Where did the last year go?  How much did it all cost?

That moment when you realize that the rest of your life is going to be like this, no matter how passionate or resourceful or privileged you are.  Hustle, hustle, grind, grind.  You regret not taking more practical courses with your spare time.  You regret not hiring a real financial planner, and investing in more than the sinking economy at the hands of half-committed TD employees.  You regret every stage of this transformation that’s cost you money.  Nearly all of them.  You miss your material things.  Your choice.  It was in your hands for such a short period of time, and then, you had to get up and go places.  See things.  Feel things.  But you were never special, sweetheart.  Let that sink in, snowflake.

That moment when you realize you can’t escape this madness.  The rat race is inescapable, even - and especially - in a place like where you live now.  So you have to dive into it.  Your insane brain percolates with ideas and snippets of inspiring podcasts about people who made it from nothing.  You still have something, more than what most people have, certainly at your age.  You can still make it.  You just have to figure it out.

It’s all happening.