Wrong Way To Motivate

A certain post in one of my Facebook groups reminded me of something from high school.

When I was in tenth grade (for the second time due to transferring schools), one of my teachers once mentioned planning to get her master’s degree. In what subject, I forgot, but I suppose I asked her about it. I really don’t remember what I said, but I do remember her answer. She told me she was pursuing it because she wanted to be able to walk into a store for a pair of $600 shoes and say she has the money for them.

I didn’t know what to think of that. To this day, I still don’t. I do now understand her intention with that answer was likely motivating me to take my own schoolwork more seriously, but that came off as an extremely shallow reason. I realize she meant she was trying to financially better herself, but surely, there was a better way to phrase it.

I won’t lie and pretend I don’t like shopping. I do, and in the last few years, clothes have made the list of what I like to shop for (when it’s of my own wishes, not someone else’s). But I don’t think there’s any article of clothing on the planet that looks so appealing, I’d be willing to give $600 for a single quantity of it. Especially not clothing that’s worn on the ground! One “talent” I do have is the tendency to give my shoes a pounding. That $600 would become a waste in 2 to 3 months.

Obviously, these are my values, but I don’t like the idea of materialism being a motivator for education. For starters, education itself is expensive. I think I’d sound very funny if I told someone I spent thousands of dollars to be able to blow thousands of dollars. That sort of reason would likely motivate only someone whose end goal was wealth. My end goal is stability, which is not synonymous with wealthiness. That doesn’t mean I’d complain if I were rich. It means it’s not necessary for me to be happy. For me, when I can say I fully support myself without living paycheck to paycheck, I’ll see myself as successful, regardless of what the number allowing me that privilege is.

For the sake of not coming off as “holier than thou”, I’ll say right now I do not think I’m better than anyone whose end goal is wealth and purchasing multi-hundred dollar clothing. If that teacher’s given reason makes sense to someone else or motivates, great. I’m just not that person. Yes, there are expensive things I do want and sometimes obtain, but those things have many more functional uses than strutting pavement, so I see them as more valuable for my own use.

I’m certainly not above materials. I have a big collection of books, games, DVDs, and dolls, as well as some smaller collectible things like jewelry, boxes, and stuff animals, and I have a $100 phone. Whenever I think about that teacher’s comment, I think about how much $600 could buy besides a single pair of shoes. Perhaps it’s only because she said shoes I found her answer very weird since shoes are meant to be worn outdoors and would naturally ruin over time from use. Maybe she was exaggerating and merely trying to emphasize a point. Maybe she thought that was the goal of all students. Or maybe it was some kind of last resort since I wasn’t an easy student to motivate. I value the job I have now over school, so she wouldn’t be entirely off the mark. Only wrong it’s money I care about most.

I do plan to return to school, but I have my own motivation and finance is only a part of them. The most important parts are somewhat intangible. And one is human.

Favorites of 2016

I keep coming back to this blog and finding I have so little I want to write about.

My life hasn’t really changed in any huge way. There are no news or articles I really want to discuss. There’s nothing nagging my mind or that I’ve been deep in thought about. Same old aggravations, same general routine, and all. I’m not unhappy about that. I simply don’t want to talk about it all the time.

So, I’ll do this. I’ll end my blog posts for 2016 with my favorite things of this year. If I come up with something else to talk about, I’ll post it, but for now, I’m considering this my last post of the year.

  • Movies. This year, I saw Zootopia, The Jungle Book, Storks, and Moana in theaters. Moana was my most favorite because it was an awesome movie and the very first Disney Princess movie I ever got to see in theaters. My least favorite was Storks. It was a cool movie, but it had a very annoying character throughout it that I personally didn’t find funny.
  • My job. This one is probably as obvious as crystal clear glass. I finally got my very first job and was finally making some money of my own. I confess I’ve done the typical thing and spent my money almost as soon as I got it, but only once have I spent all of it. I’ve been much more careful since and I try to never let my bank account fall under $100. This was the first year I was able to buy Christmas presents and that felt great!
  • Travel. I hate traveling, but to be with my boyfriend makes the trips worth it. Since I started working, we’ve gotten together almost weekly instead of monthly like we used to. For me, that’s the best reward of having this job. Of course, being who he is, he’s not letting me pay for everything. One thing I told him long before I got a job was I would never let him go hungry on any night if I could help it. He thought I was kidding, but I meant it. I have to argue with him to get him to take just $10 for food if he needs it. I appreciate he’s so grateful and won’t take advantage of me, but he knows I hate him going hungry. I was also finally able to bring him to my house once. No, my family didn’t meet him, but I was glad I could finally show him my room. My bed is too small for us, though. He was more content on the rug. 😛
  • Pokémon. First off, I loved the year-long giveaway for the 20th anniversary! I got every one! I’ll never use them, but I love collecting, so I’m so glad I didn’t miss out. Meloetta and Manaphy are my favorites. Sun and Moon come after. Although I still have some small gripes, the games have not disappointed me. I think my favorite feature is Poké Pelago. I also question if the games really do cater more to kids. Sure, it seems so on the outside, but the games are really darker than any previous game has ever been. I’m almost willing to bet the creators did that on purpose. Make the games seem too easy at first, only to later shock the players with the real difficulty. And it is hard! Something I’m doing in S&M that I’ve never done in any game I played before is using the X items. It’s either that or all the bosses kill me. Well played, Pokémon Company. Well played.

I’ve been considering trying to get my driver’s license if I keep my job after the seasonal period. I don’t have a car to drive, but I think it’ll be nice to have it my license is all. Then, if and when I do have a car for myself, I’ll have getting the license out of the way.

2015 brought me a wonderful partner and 2016 brought me a great job. I’m hoping 2017 will bring something good as well, although I imagine there’ll be some heartbreak before it comes.

I’m Not Leaving

The last time I made a post like this, it was in December 2013, and I’m not linking it because all but one of those things are completely and wholly untrue now.

Recently, I started thinking about Disney’s upcoming, new Disney Princess, Moana. I plan to see it in theaters with my boyfriend and it will be the very first Disney Princess movie I’ve ever seen in theaters. What crossed my mind was if I’d acted on any of suicidal thoughts I’ve had in the past, that wish wouldn’t be becoming reality.

In truth, I have those thoughts more often than I feel comfortable admitting. I suppose it’s not really bad, but aside from my boyfriend and my best friend, the things I list are usually small. Video game series, television ones, art and stories I’ve created, even this blog. I’m happy to know these things. While I still hold the belief I’d prevent my existence if I could go back in time to do so, since I’m already here, I don’t want to leave.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with my self-worth and value as a member of society. I very much do, as I’m sure I’ve made evident. Even as I type this, those thoughts of if I’ll ever be more of a contributor than a tax burden are going through my head. Every so often, those thoughts do take over and become very powerful, but the upside is it usually passes within about two days. A very mentally painful two days, but two days nonetheless. It’s not enough to make me wish I wasn’t an adult or make me miss my childhood.

This past weekend, I was with my boyfriend and I realized I frequently call his house “home” when we’re together (“Are we going home after this?” “Who’s home?”). In the latter example, it might make sense because I’m asking who’s at his home, but the former example is obviously including myself. He’s fine with it, but that was the first time I caught myself doing that. I do feel at home with him, not only in his house, but in the state and city he lives. Not so much I’d dare venture around it alone, but enough to have no anxiety about ever going out there. If it were possible and I knew for sure I wouldn’t become homesick for the city I live in, I’d stay there for a week if he and his family allowed it.

I don’t have everything I want in life, but I’m happy because I do have what I wanted more than anything as a kid. I wanted to be surrounded by people who love and care about me. The “surrounded” part doesn’t exist in a physical sense, but I feel it’s there. I never cared if it was a huge team of people. Him and my best friend really are enough (although that doesn’t mean I’d be closed to more). I wanted to go on trips like I did as a kid. I go out of town, out of state, to visit him and it’s a lot more fun than the same museum five times in a row. I wanted another place to call home. I found it.

I’ll keep trying, particularly since I can’t do much else, but I’m not completely unhappy with where I’m at now. I understand things do happen slowly. It certainly took a lot of friends to find my best friend, and a lot of bad dates and relationships to reach my boyfriend. It only makes sense it’ll take a lot of missed jobs to finally find one. I still did score an interview, so that’s something. At least, I know I’m worth being considered.

I’m not happy to be alive, meaning I’d still have preferred not existing to begin with, but I am happy to have things and people in my life that make it not so bad.

No Worth In My Future

How ironic this should happen just a week after this post.

I had a new experience today. Being desperate to find a job, I tried my hand a temp agency that was close to me and I’d learned about from a flyer. I went yesterday, but I didn’t have my social security card, so I had to return tomorrow, but I was given the word of being sent to a particular nearby town I knew of to begin working. It sounded too good to be true to me, but as I said, I was desperate, so I agreed. Later, I asked several people if the offer sounded legitimate and everyone I asked agreed it was. So, I was hopeful.

I should’ve listened to my instincts.

I woke at 4:40 am and left my house an hour later to arrive at the agency at 6 AM, as I’d agreed. The worker there took my card and ID, and accepted them. After waiting for about a half hour and a few more people coming, there was a van ready to escort those who’d shown up to the other town to work. I was nervous, but I assumed this was how temp agencies operate. I got in the van with the others and off we went.

This is where I went wrong.

I didn’t have any reason to believe things had changed from what I was told yesterday, so I questioned nothing. However, it took me only a short time to realize that van was not going where I’d been told I’d be sent to. The passenger next to me called the worker at the agency to ask what happened and, apparently, the employer in the first city cancelled the plan to take temps. So, instead, we were going to a much farther town, which I was familiar with, but did not know my way around. I was immediately dismayed.

To top it off, too many temps had been sent, so only the ones who had previous experience with the work needed to be done were allowed to work (how in the world do you attain work experience without ever getting the chance to work?). That meant the rest of us had to be sent home. I went from dismayed to furious. The van that dropped us off was supposed to return, but I don’t know if it ever did because in the end, my family came to pick me up. I felt terrible for all the trouble I’d caused and at the moment, I still do. So much trouble, all out of desperation for work.

That is my first experience with a temp agency and it will be my last.

When I got home, I almost immediately fell asleep, but after I woke up, I laid in bed for several hours, fighting against crying. The urge to drink was extremely strong and I searched through Google for very strong alcohol brands I could hopefully purchase to intoxicate myself tonight. The intention was to get drunk enough to forget today ever happened, but if it killed me, I wouldn’t have exactly been dissatisfied. After all, when I am so incapable of doing what’s supposed to be the simplest responsibility of adulthood – hold a job – what use do I have to society?

I’ve decided to return to solely applying for jobs, but the deep truth is I’ve given up. I have no more hope of finding any employed work. I have no more hope of making something of myself. I have no more hope of being a useful adult. I don’t expect my life to change or to ever be in a position where I’m supporting myself. I wonder if my promise to myself to avoid drugs and alcohol is truly worth it because it seems I have zero to lose. My friends will eventually move on with their lives, my family will not be able to continue supporting me, and I’ll be left behind. There is really nothing at all I have to lose. Of course, I’d need money to obtain alcohol to begin with, so I couldn’t do so much as an addiction correctly.

There is a hole in my heart from this knowledge and I’ll never be able to fill it. I will die with it. I don’t expect to live out of my twenties. But it may be for the better. I have nothing to offer. Why am I still here? Why should I be here?

Another Holiday

Tomorrow, August 1st, is a day known by some people as International Childfree Day. It’s not a day I particularly care for and I often forget it because there seem to be a lot of “special days”, such as National Donut Day, and I simply don’t have any feelings for them. Plus, so many special days, even if they’re not major holidays, make the idea of special days alone not so special anymore.

However, I’m mentioning this day in particular because despite my feelings about the holiday, I do occasionally think about how different, and how much worse, my life would be if I did have children. I’ve spoken before about how I compare my life at this age to my mother’s when she was this age. Let me clarify right now there is no feeling of superiority. I have never felt that. What I have felt since I was a child is motherhood is a route my mother shouldn’t have taken, but time can’t be reversed.

No, I don’t go around, parading happily how I don’t have children. For what? Like most of my thoughts, these tend to come up at night, when I’m lying in bed and not yet asleep. What often comes to mind is what I’d lose or not even have if at some point between the age I became capable of reproducing and now, I’d become a mother. That includes my own sanity and that is not a joke since I’ve been heavily suicidal in the past. In fact, I strongly fear becoming pregnant, and if that were to happen, my immediate thoughts would shift to self-harm before I thought about terminating it. I believe that speaks for itself.

If it’s not my sanity and mental health, it’s the loss of relationships I’d experience. I’ve read when you have children, you learn who your real friends are, but on the other side, I’ve talked to people who did try to keep in contact with friends who became parents and they couldn’t because those friends would stop responding altogether. Obviously, I don’t know exactly how busy a day with a newborn is, but if it’s busy enough to leave no time to take five minutes to send a text message, that sounds less like “not real friends” and more like the friendship simply faltering due to no time to care for it. That happens to any kind of relationship that’s given too little or no attention. It’s why I lost friends when I switched school districts as a child. We couldn’t keep in contact. In short, it’s natural.

Being honest, I have to admit the above is something that scares me. My friends do want to be parents and I absolutely want that for them since it’s what would make them happy, but I do feel sad at knowing it could spell the end of our friendship because they lack time or I do, and I’d feel selfish and like a pest if trying to keep in touch with them only made their days harder.

My relationship with my boyfriend would be non-existent. We wouldn’t know each other, let alone be a couple. This is because he doesn’t want children either, so if I had a child, neither of us would’ve had a chance with each other. Of course, if I’d never met him, I wouldn’t know any different, but since I did, knowing I could’ve missed out on what’s been and continues to be the most loving and one of the healthiest relationships I’ve had in my life saddens me. We did nearly miss each other, but that was due to not checking messages. That was easily amended.

The third top thing I’d lose due to have a child would be my body. Now, before the cries of vanity come, looks are not what I’m referring to. I try to keep myself neat, but I do not have any care for dressing and looking like I just finished a photo shoot. I’m talking about the effects pregnancy and childbirth would have, such as tearing and having to be stitched up, and bleeding continuously for several weeks. And that’s if it goes well. Heaven forbid it goes awfully because at worst, I’m dead. I don’t care if the stitching and bleeding is “not that bad”. Don’t touch me!

On the list of smaller things I’d lose, there’s my collection of things like Disney and Pokemon, and certain outings I’ve been on. Yes, I know it’s possible to still go hiking, to farms, and to amusement parks with children, but it’s also more expensive and requires more planning. When I was invited to the farm, for example, I didn’t even have to think about saying yes. I hadn’t made any other plans, so I could say yes right away. If I’d a child, especially a small child, I definitely would’ve had to make some arrangements, like finding and being able to pay a babysitter for that day, and having someone arrive early or drop my child off early and return home to be picked up. In my eyes, that’s a pain in the behind. Those things probably seem insignificant and I wouldn’t disagree they aren’t the most important things, but they’re small things I enjoy.

While I still have no plans to do anything in particular for International Childfree Day, I will say the day is a nice reminder of a choice I’m happy to have made for my life. No, my life’s not perfect and I’m positive it never will be because perfection doesn’t exist and life enjoys stomping on people at every turn, but to know I have control over, at least, one aspect of my life is assuring and indeed makes me happy.