What I Never Thought I’d Be Thankful For

I originally read this post over at Meadow DeVor’s blog and thought it was an interesting concept. When I was trying to think of the five things I was most grateful for, my mind kept pulling on one terrible thing and all of the growth that came out of what was at the time one of the most horrible things that had happened to me.

{and that horrible thing isn’t how when I went to finish this post I discovered the 600+ words I had finished and pictures were suddenly gone and all I had was the above paragraph}


This will be the time that I talk (once again? I don’t know how often I’ve actually truly touched on this subject) about the time I was dumped and how I let it destroy recreate my life. When you date someone for four years, you are investing the time you’re presently spending with them, but you’re also investing in a future with them. You’re investing in the wedding that you’ve talked about, the houses you want to start looking at buying, and all that jazz that comes with the territory. Unless, of course, you’re us. In which case you’ll pretend to do those things, both be miserable, but then one of you dumps the other out of the blue after a 16 hour bus ride from a conference. Not that that happened (#ithappened). Anyway. Backstory as to what this relationship actually was – a coping mechanism.

I’m not a believer in using other people to heal. In fact, there was a huge purposeful waiting period between wonderful current bf and old bf just so that I wouldn’t accidentally use someone to cope. I began dating old bf about a week after my younger brother (who was 15) died of a cardiac aneurysm. Over the course of that 4 years, my family’s house burned down (and the family was saved by old bf), my 19 year old cousin was hit by a car and died, one of my dear friends died, another was in a major car wreck which left her with her back broken in four places, another friend committed suicide, and then there was the fact that I was already suffering from unmedicated OCD, general anxiety disorder, and major depression. Instead of trying to perform self-care and the like, I used my relationship to fill that hole. It gave me a person to be and tasks to fulfill. It gave me tangible “goals” to reach in the most unhealthy of ways.

In the aftermath of being told that I was a terrible person and the like, and being told that he never wanted to speak to me again (after spending virtually all of our time together), and dating my roommate etc…I had a really terrible time.

The bad: failed all my classes, got fired from two jobs, lost 30 lbs in less than a month, lost my leadership positions, didn’t finish graduate school applications, and disappointed myself and my family. I also went into a deep spiral of depression that I tried to cope with using extreme OCD tendencies that I already had that lasted for about a year. I also lost nearly every friend I had and felt like I had destroyed the reputation I had created for myself through years of hard work, and had destroyed my GPA in the process.

So why on earth would I be thankful for any of that?

  • It let me know who my real friends were There were people that I would have sworn up and down would attend my wedding and that now I don’t even have their phone number. And then there were the people who were stoic giants, even when I was being super crazy. The people who, two years later, are still in my life and are actually active participants in making it better.
  • It got me on a health kick – I realized at that point that I had gained about 70+ lbs dating him, and although a lot of the initial weight loss was not healthy, the difference in the way I looked, felt, and carried myself was drastic, and since then I’m down 40 lbs of that.
  • It forced me to acknowledge what love is…and isn’t – I had to acknowledge that love isn’t turning yourself into someone else to fill the other’s needs. I learned that it isn’t accepting less than what you deserve because you feel affection toward them. I learned that it’s not verbal abuse, it’s not a lack of respect or encouragement. And  I learned that you do not have to completely engulf yourself in a relationship to prove anything. I learned how to love truly and deeply without losing the love for myself.
  • It kept me from committing to a career path I wasn’t actually passionate about and has given me actual work experience – It kept me from just applying to graduate school willy-nilly because I felt like I was going to have to be the breadwinner if anything was to be done. I still haven’t graduated…and will be graduating two years later than even that year late, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. I’ve figured out a lot more about what I know and don’t know and real-world experience.
  • Lastly, it made me rediscover who I actually was as a person after that breakup, I couldn’t have even told you what my favorite color was. I couldn’t have told you my favorite television shows, my favorite games. I couldn’t even tell you what I was interested in. By being really abandoned like that, I had to go on this massive journey of self-discovery, and now I’m ten times the person I was. And instead of giving reasons like “we both like math and watch Chopped!” my favorite person gives reasons like “She knits, she makes bad jokes, etc..” and can actually appreciate the things that make me an independent entity.

So Happy Thanksgiving everyone 🙂 Sometimes it’s the things that seem the worst, and when times seem darkest, that something good is on the horizon.


‘Tis the Season to be a Seasonal Worker

Guess what!

Guess what!


Is your guess that I found a temporary, seasonal job in order to pay for tuition and presents? Your guess would be…CORRECT! I’m incredibly relieved, not just because I didn’t want to have to be such a penny-pincher, but also because job searching is exhausting. I started back in July to find the job I have now, and spent September-November applying for seasonal jobs, literally at over 30 companies, and heard back from 3. Target was a no-go, but then I had interviews at Sephora and Macy’s. Macy’s gave me a big no the next day, so I was hoping that Sephora would be the one. It has the appeal of not only being a fancy place to work ;), but it’s also very near my primary job and is as a cashier, which I have experience with doing! Plus everyone seems incredibly nice.


So while filling out the required paperwork, I had to pick how I would be paid. I decided that, while adding 50% to my savings account would be great, I really had no legitimate reason to not just go ahead, bite the bullet, and deposit the full amount into my savings account to accrue interest and sit there looking fancy until tuition is due. I’ve already had orientation, and I have training in a week, so I’m not sure when actual work begins, but I know it will be less than 24 hours a week…which is good since I already work 4o a week and am taking two 4000-lvl courses at my university. They’re starting me at $9 an hour, so I’m pretty happy about that, because I know the average starting salary for this sort of thing is much lower than that (since minimum wage is $7.25/hr). My goal is a total of $1000 in extra income from this job, with an additional $100 from side-hustle (aka knitting and crocheting), so we’ll see how that pans out.


How is Christmas this close? Whose idea was it?

As of right now I’m trying to figure out what to do for tuition and Christmas, and getting rejected from the position I applied for at Macy’s ( 😦 ) and not hearing back from Sephora ( 😦 ). I’m trying to use my connections at other stores (#nepotism), so we’ll see how that works out. I recently found out that we may be getting Christmas bonuses this year, which could range from 1-2 weeks worth of pay (aka $400-$800) which would be really sweet and would take a lot of the pressure to earn extra money before January off my back.

I’m also a little frustrated with my paycheck, in that I worked 1 hour of overtime, and my paycheck is $50 less than what it is when I didn’t work that hour. So I am a little peeved about that. I’m also a little worried about how much my insurance premiums may go up. We allegedly may get a raise this year, but I really don’t want to cut all of my monies so close…and all I see is my expenses getting higher, so I’m hoping a post-graduate job (#nepotism) will work out.


So I have my big list of stuff I’d like to do for Christmas, although I don’t know if it will actually work out that way.


Right now I’m more concerned with what I’m making:


  • A gingerbread hat for the niece (crochet)
  • A sock monkey for the niece (crochet)
  • A sweater for the niece (knit)
  • A hat for the bf’s dad (knit)
  • A case for bf’s mom’s knitting needles (sew)
  • An elephant hat for my brother’s gf (crochet)
  • A hat for roommate B (knit)
  • A stuffed cat for roommate A’s bf (crochet)
  • A sweater for bf’s dog (knit)
  • Secret things for Korea best friend (secret)
  • Baked stuff for errbody! Errybody = coworkers (baking)

And then everyone else will probably have purchased gifts, pending on $$$. If not, I’ll have to make a few adjustments in my made purchases!

Weekly $ Checkup 11.2

  1. The most I’ve spent this last week was – $77 – Discover Card Payment
  2. Today I am thankful that I’ve figured out what I want to get everyone for Christmas
  3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was holding hands with bf
  4. I will consider this week a success if I find a second job (I’ve already gotten one rejection this week…)
  5. If I had today off I would go to the ENT because I have an earache that won’t go away.

I’ve been moderately sick for a few weeks, but it’s really starting to come to a head lately which has been making me incredibly grumpy and negative. I’ve chosen what I want to knit/crochet for the niece for Christmas (a green sweater with a white clover (they’re very proud of their Irish heritage), a gingerbread man hat, and a sock monkey…and I have a ton of other projects I’m working on! I’m still desperately trying to find a second job…I interviewed at Sephora yesterday and Macy’s yesterday…but was rejected from Macy’s and Target…so cross your fingers for Sephora! Or one of the other ten thousand places I applied! I’m starting to feel panicky; however, we may be getting a Christmas bonus, which would be great 🙂

Plus I found a ton of Christmas cookie recipes to try with my new mixer! Also it’s almost Thanksgiving!!!


This Weekend (aka that time I secretly went to Disney World)

So do y’all remember that time I went to Disney World and was super upfront about doing it? Yeah me either. 😉


bf and myself being touristy

I know what you’re thinking “Hey, don’t you have $14,000 in student loan debt??? Disney is EXPENSIVE!!!” Well, one of my friends began working there as a business analyst, which means perks, so for my birthday, he made magic happen! I had a really fantastic time. At some points it was stressful, but I really wanted to finally take a trip with bf and visit Disney as an adult (without children!). Plus we got to beta test the new Disney bands, which were really convenient and I really love!

Total Savings: $453.75

  • Admission to the park (2-day parkhopper): $258.80 (gift)
  • One night in the resort: $90 (gift)
  • Free night in his aparment: $90 (gift)
  • Splash Mountain Picture Pack: $14.95 (gift)

Total Cost: $120.15

  • Gas per person (4 – we made the 12 hour drive twice): $40
  • Stamped Penny (my favorite souvenier): $0.51
  • Food (trip there/back, Epcot Showcase Festival, dinner in Morocco, lunch at the Coral Reef, & dinner at a sports bar): $75
  • Purse to carry into the park: $5

So it was an incredibly inexpensive trip to Disney World thanks to a dear friend that I was so pleased to see again! 🙂

Thursday: I got off of work at 4:30pm, my roommate got out of class at 6:30pm, and we ended up officially leaving Baton Rouge at 8pm. We drove for a million miles. I didn’t drive the way up and mostly just cuddled with bf.

Epcot Showcase!

Epcot Showcase!

Friday: We arrived around 8:30am to find that my friend had gotten us a huge baker’s dozen of bagels from the glorious Panera bread. We slept all day, then went to the All Star Sports Resort to then take the bus to Epcot. We spent the rest of the night exploring, sampling new foods (Irish seafood & lobster shepherd’s pie, escargot, venison sausage, pickled mushrooms, kimchi, South Korean wine, creme brulee) and then we had Moroccan food at Morocco where they told the people it was my birthday…so free birthday baclava!


Seafood Bastilla at Marrakesh in Epcot!

Saturday: We got up super early (not actually that early) and headed to the Magic Kingdom! We went through the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, rode the Pirates of the Carribean (and got stuck), then I got to meet Chip and Dale, then we rode the Haunted Mansion, and then wandered around Fantasy Land. Then we did the Splash Mountain (yes we did get the digital package) where the guy who checked us out gave me a Dale “nerd” pin because it was my birthday! We then hoofed it to Epcot to have dinner at the Coral Reef, which was pretty, but I wish their menu was bigger! We split up and bf, friend, and I rode the Finding Nemo ride, Mission Space, and went to shop at Italy, England, and tried haggis (pretty good). We went back to the Magic Kingdom to ride Space Mountain, and then split up again to ride the Stitch ride and shoot things with Buzz Lightyear (and rode the People Mover). We left around 8:30 to go get food and watch my university play football at a sports bar (probably the best food I’ve had in a while). We then hung out and went to sleep.


I did something I’m sure

Sunday: We woke up and went to Downtown Disney! They had the Lego store and a ton of other things. bf got lots of goodies for his family and friends. We then drove the eight million hours (12) home.

Fancy magic bands! #betatesting

Fancy magic bands! #betatesting

So all-in-all a really fun, albeit exhausting trip. And don’t y’all feel special – this is the debut of mah face on BoF. #yolo. Or something like that 😉

November 2011 Budget Recap

I think I did as well as can be expected (for someone who didn’t have a budget for November). I feel like November just creeped in and out…and I didn’t even notice it. So here’s my spending (and before you gasp at some of it, keep reading to hear about some reimbursements & mishaps).

So, the spending breakdown:

  • Groceries – $122 – Pretty self-explanatory & within the range of a reasonable grocery budget
  • Drinks/Snacks – $75 – This includes soft drinks purchased for family while I was home, but includes just vending machines, cokes, snacks, etc (higher than I’d like)
  • Restaurants – $133 – I was in Dallas for a week, so it’s primarily a lobster/steak dinner at Red Lobster for a friend’s birthday and countless trips to In&Out Burger – I hate staying in hotels. This one didn’t even have a microwave. this also included a FroYo trip with the bf.
  • Crafts – $22 – new knitting needles & yarn for Christmas projects
  • Shopping – $82 – Trip to Goodwill (“new” purse + cute Beanie Babies + new coffee pot), heater for Cyrano’s tank, domain name, misc. purchases.
  • Gifts – $230 – Present for BF for Christmas :3
  • School – $163 – Fee to apply for internship & tuition payment for next semester.
  • Travel – $714 – Flying to Dallas & back, & flight to Colorado (being reimbursed). $75 flight change fee (not reimbursed) – and boy am I still peeved about that. I read Dallas/Ft. Worth & assumed Dallas/Ft.Worth Airport…nope. Dallas Lovefield. I shoved terminal food into this category as well.
  • Entertainment – $4 – Redbox for date with bf
  • Fees/Withdrawals – $45 – Had apparel to pay for regarding the previously mentioned conference. $42 for fleece jacket & polo + $3 in bank fees for using a different ATM (couldn’t help it).

Total Spending:  $1602

Total Income: $1128

Difference: -$474

I am not pleased with myself regarding that difference, but some of it was things that couldn’t be helped and were not anticipated (the $130 tuition payment & $75 ticket change fee for instance). To be honest, I’m really relieved that it’s that small. I currently have roughly $650 in the bank and $1100ish on my credit card (that would be Plane Ticket ($470) + Ticket Change Fee ($75) + Christmas Present ($230) + Tuition ($130) + Misc./Gifts). $550 of that is going to Discover, and then the goal is to have it back down to $0 by January 1st – I refuse to fall into that pit. I can see from others’ stories that it’s possible to recover and do really well financially later on, but I’m trying to apply what I’m learning 🙂


Weekly Goals 11.27

So it’s been a while since I’ve done a weekly goals post, but with finals coming up, I’ve got some things to accomplish! Also, what I’ve done has really fallen out of line with what I want to accomplish, so time to get back on track!

  1. Have at least 5 no spend days
  2. Start an exercise regime (at which I’ve been failing miserably)
  3. Finish Shortchanged!
  4. Write & study the study guides for all of my classes
  5. Read an HR Leadership article

These may not be very intense goals, but they are mine 😛

Are goals the "key" to my financial success? (hahaha!)

Pic. Source