More Money, More Problems

Humble Pie | Burnham Market, Norfolk.

I spent a couple of hours lamenting over my unfortunate fate of being declared at fault for the car accident. To say that I was stressed out is the very least—I was absolutely devastated because my sister and my eye witness both believe that it was not my fault either. But after consulting with multiple lawyers, they apologetically said that there was not much that they could do for me and it really is a sad moment when you realize that your hope in humanity and justice has hit a new low. I felt hopeless and helpless; I cried about how disappointingly unfair life has been to me and my family throughout my almost twenty-one years on Earth. Painful memories began to swallow me and once again I uttered these words to myself: “anything is better than this.”

But how completely ignorant I was. Within the same day I snapped out of feeling sorry for my little ol’ self. My Logos grabbed my Pathos up from the floor by its suspenders and gave it a good old-fashioned wake-up slap on the face. As I thought about every negative event that has happened in my life, I realized how much goodness came out of each. Of course, it is never easy to see the silver lining when the storm comes rolling in and washes away everything that you’ve worked hard for, but after the whole fiasco, the rainbow is plain to see.

All in all, these struggles have humbled my family and me, and will continue to humble me throughout the days of my sweet life. I firmly believe that the lesson that God wants to teach me after this accident is to stop spending money before I lose my sense of self by becoming a materialistic person—someone that I’ve always been proud of not being. I will admit that I have spent more than I ever have in 2014, and I owe it all to my jobs. It was nice to be able to pay for all my bills, school, gas, and still have leftover money to spoil myself, my family, and my dearest friends. My lifestyle in 2014 was very different from what it was in 2009 when spending five dollars a week was already excessive, and even more different from 2002 when I would look in the crevices of grocery store check-outs and sidewalk gutters to collect change for my little cigar box makeshift-bank, which accumulated to five dollars and something cents in a year—it was quite a thrill. However, this past year, eating out was affordable, monthly retail therapy was possible, and God forbid the amount of money I lost every time I walked out of a Target. Having a car meant more adventures, and most of the time, adventures meant spending, and I laughed at the old days of when I would ride the bus, having to wake up at 5 every morning in high school just to make it in time. Ha, never again, I’d say.

Well, look at me now. It’s 2015 and I’m eating my words. I don’t even think I have enough money saved up to pay for the other person’s car damages, let alone mine. I literally cannot spend any more money on food, gas, and clothes. Just thinking about how I’m going to pay for laundry next semester makes me queasy. I won’t be able to send any gifts to my friends on their birthdays, and what a year for this to happen… their 21st. And there goes my lobster (I told myself I’m going to try lobster for the first time on my birthday this year), my Vegas/Chicago trips with Dabbie, and catching up with everybody before I go back to HNU. I’m going to have to revert to my middle school way of life.

But you know what? It’s okay. I am completely at peace with the whole concept of frugality because that is how I grew up. We really did make our way from the very bottom rung of the ladder. I learned to save from a very young age and to appreciate the things in life that do not have price tags. If they are true to me, then my friends will understand my absence and my lack of presents. It’s kind of comical, because the whole time that I was saving up money in the bank, I would constantly wonder what it was for. Some kind of emergency? A down payment for my first, own car? Backpacking? And I think God answered my question—it was all for this accident, which humbled me and taught me to appreciate being alive. It’s as if He shook me, handed me a mirror and said, “Look here: who are you and what are you becoming? This isn’t who you are. You’ve had your fun, but it’s time to be yourself again.” Life was so much better back then when things were simple and I didn’t have to worry about so many monetary responsibilities. Now, I can open my eyes again and see the priceless moments that I missed out on when I was blinded by social standards. There really isn’t anything to complain about, aside from being a coward behind the wheel once more, and that won’t be a problem if I do move to San Francisco because of the vast public transportation system that support the flux of people in the city.

…Which brings me back to my aspirations in life and my future goals. Ten years from now, I see myself with my life together—not wealthy, but not necessarily struggling paycheck-to-paycheck, with beauty all around me in the forms of people and ambiance. I picture myself finally being “home;” it didn’t hit me until now that perhaps my ultimate personal goal is to find what home is for myself. The possibilities are exciting. But on top of it all, I see myself smiling, like I’ve got a song in my heart… and I know it’s because I’ll finally be a true woman of God by then, with someone who inspires me to constantly seek a closer relationship with Him. It’s all too wonderful envisioning the good life ahead of me.

I am very thankful to have the cognitive ability to turn a misfortune into a positive experience. Every single day of my life, God gives me a little slice of humble pie and says, “Try this, my own recipe… it’ll be good for you.”

“God gives his toughest battles to His strongest soldiers.”

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