Saturday, January 8, 2011

On Why I can't get my shit together

Many older people keep asking me why I don't have a better job. And if I plan on living with my mother forever. And they often say I wasted my time in college since I have nothing to show for it.

I have often questioned myself. Why can't I get my shit together? Get a better job? Live in an apartment with my girlfriend? Leave my moms house once and for all.

The answer came to me a few days ago. I was at home, and mom asked me to look for apartments online. I knew she had planned to move out of here. There were problems with the landlord, and the rent was "too high". I put too high in quotations because the truth is, this apartment is a steal for 1600. It is adequately priced. The problem is, my mother doesn't make enough money to live here.

But what if we lived somewhere we could afford? What would that look like? It would most likely be a far more dangerous neighborhood, in a small apartment, with no parking. She doesn't understand that if she is looking for a place for 1200, then compromises need to be made.

But the answer to my problems are simple when I look at her. I can't get my situation stable, because at the foundation, my situation is unstable. I don't where where I am going to be living 6 months from now. And if we do move, we might move again 1 year later... I should have never packed my things after college.

In the last 6 years, from the time I started college to now, I have lived on Castle Hill in the Bronx, in a house in Florida with my aunt, in the projects in soundview, and here in Claysons Point. 6 years, 4 "permanent" addresses. And people ask ME why I don't have a good and stable job.

How can I even go to college? The application date for this fall was February. I am not even trying to apply. I mean, why even bother going to college, if I have to worry about moving into a new apartment every year. There will be no time to study, if I am constantly packing and unpacking all of my belongings.

Maybe I am looking for a scapegoat. A reason for my current situation. I am not happy where I am right now. I know I don't have my shit together. But how am I supposed to learn to drive, while looking for a good job, while looking for a place to live, since my mother seems to distraught to do so, because my grandmother recently died. She was crying today because Monday is going to be the 1 month anniversary of the loss of my grandmother. So she sent me to look for apartments for us. I found one, and we went to see it today. In the end, she says it was too small. In the end, I say she will not find what she is looking for, for the price tag she is looking at.

And so maybe we deserve to be in a bad neighborhood. In a big nameless building with roaches crawling in, and mice escaping the winter cold. We deserve it, because no matter how much we work, we are poor.

And I only say we are poor because most of the problems I have revolve around money. It is why we can't stay in this apartment, and why we need to move, and why mom can't settle on a place to move into. It is why I am not in NYU, or CUNY, or some other school. It is why I don't have a licence. Because I don't even have the money to go out and pay for classes for someone else to teach me how to drive. And so I say I am poor. Even though mom says we are lower middle class, because she makes 30 k, she is lying. I know poor when I see it. Poor is getting white bread at the store because the nutritional grain bread, and wheat bread is too expensive.

Poor is only buying canned food that won't spoil instead of fruits because you can be sure it will eventually be used for food, while fruits might go bad. I know poor. I know how to live poor. And maybe the change I need to make is acting like I am poorer than I am. Perhaps even 10 dollar orchids should be too expensive for me. Perhaps I should live like even the unhealthiest McDonalds is too much to buy, because I have food at home. Maybe the only price I should look at is free. Maybe that would give me the opportunity to save some money and get out of here.


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