So another summer has come and gone.
Shortly it will be just a memory filed away in the depths of my mind where I keep the folders of summers past. Soon the leaves will begin to blanket everything as we start to dig out blankets that were stored away at the start of last spring. Frankly between you and me, I hate the cold weather and all that it brings with it…heavy coats, freezing temperatures, Ice, snow, flu season, and the inevitable holiday pounds. I am typically okay until January 2nd when the holidays have passed and the snowy cold weather no longer adds any magic to winter, which is sticking around like a house guest you can’t get rid of soon enough.
But before I accept the passing of summer, I always like to sit back and reflect on whether or not my summer would be one that I remember fondly. Or, will it be a deeply buried memory only to be drudged up later through some random nightmare that my subconscious forces me to live again.
Though it was a summer full of challenges, I also came to have many things that hopefully will continue to enrich my existence, mainly being my partner in crime, Pauly. As a budding writer and journalist, I believe that truth in journalism begins with me. It does not matter if I am doing a story about some sensitive subject matter, or if I am writing from the heart about my own experiences. However through honesty about my personal life, I hope that maybe someone going through something similar can feel a kinship and hopefully not feel so alone through their struggle.
So with that said, I would like to share with you a little about my summer of 2012.
It was a financially difficult summer for me. Since I was not able to take classes for the summer term due to changes with the Post-9/11 program (which is how I am able to attend school), I found myself in a difficult position. Since I retired from the Air Force in 2009, the provisions that this educational benefit provided made it possible for me to go to school full time without having to work, like so many these days have to do.
I considered myself to be beyond fortunate not having to do so.
But unfortunately, changes to governmental funding with this program meant that I would have to seek employment this year for the months not in school to make ends meet before my benefits kicked back in.
That time would be from June until October.
I had planned the next few years after I retired on being able to finish my education as the program stood. After all, we can always count on the government right?
Sadly, this would be a gross error on my part.
Finishing my degree is without question the most important thing to me. I know that holding a forty hour job can be a difficult road to travel for any full time college student. With that in mind, I also thought what employer would hire me with the knowledge that I would resign after only a few months to finish my degree?
Sure I probably could have been dishonest and not shared that little deal breaker, but I just did not have it in me to do so, let alone dealing with the challenged job market. I was left with little choice but to look for part time jobs that barely paid above minimum wage. It was a dilemma for sure.
I was eventually able to find a job that suited my needs that I actually enjoyed. That’s not to say that everything was perfect. I had to do more budgeting and shuffling around bills than I have ever done in my life.
I had to prioritize my bills into three basic categories; past due, pre shutoff and here comes the repo man.
It was not fun.
In fact at times, it was downright frightening. To make matters worse, I constantly bashed myself for being in the predicament I was in, as my self worth plummeted. At times I felt totally alone in my predicament because I was too embarrassed to talk about the graveness of my situation with anyone. I was living a hell that only I and my bill collectors could be kindred souls with.
Now the school year is back in semester and I can now revert back to my original plan of finishing the first part of my higher education.
Though I am still dealing with my situation right now, I must say that things have crested and I can start to somewhat put things back in line. But my FICO rating…well, let’s just say I ain’t humming the FreeCreditScore.com song.
So why the hell am I sharing this pity party with you?
Not because I searching for any type of sympathy. In fact I realize there are quite possibly a lot of people that my think I was pretty irresponsible for getting myself into this situation. Frankly, to some extent I agree and I make no excuses but just offer a bit of my story, after all this is my reflection. I only seek to share it with you.
Nothing more, nothing less.
So how was your summer?
Feel free to write in and tell me…lets share.