today i want to talk about being sad.

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because i’ve been feeling pretty sad, all day yesterday and today.
and i don’t mean i want to start a conversation, i don’t mean let’s activate a movement. when i say i want to talk about being sad, all i mean is i’m sad and i just need to talk about it.

i have dealt with depression. and it sucks, it’s really shitty. my kind of depression i used to have – it was like every moment was bland. every day tasted grey. absolutely nothing mattered, nothing was worth anything. everything i did was just going through the motions.

i had the kind of absolutely indifferent depression, and i remember driving my car home and wondering what it would be like to veer off the junction, what would happen if i continue straight around the bend at 70mph, and i’d drop the thought off maybe a quarter mile further along the highway than where the thought was born. i had the curious kind of depression that wanted to know what it felt like to fall 12 stories, wanted to know if i’d feel anything at all before i’d hit the ground. because it would be fast, right.

it took a lot of therapy to get out of that. and i think because i remember all that, i get very scared when i feel very sad, because maybe i’m scared i’ll turn into that person again.

i am definitely not there right now. this doesn’t feel grey, but it feels like a heavy indigo. it feels like that lead vest they used to put over you for x-rays at the dentist office. heavy and cold and metal and sterile and harsh lights.

i woke up early yesterday and i sat in my apartment trying to down 24 oz of water before my blood donation, but mostly i just sat there. i drank maybe six ounces. i drove to the clinic, taking sips. i parked my car in the front of the clinic and i unbuckled my seatbelt and i sat there and cried.

it was 7:28am on a sunday, and i sat there crying because i didn’t go there out of the goodness of my heart. i didn’t schedule a donation because there are people in need. i made this appointment because it was going to be mother’s day and i had no plans, and this was one way to kill a lot of time without having to feel shitty and be alone. i told myself this was a way to do some good instead of being sad. and i guess i did some good but i sure still felt sad.

and then my best friend’s mom is in the hospital, because she had had a stroke. and she’s like another mother to me, so i go to visit her. and mb it was no good, you know, me already being sad, and then going there and seeing her sick. and honestly okay i think i am mad at my friend for not being better. because it’s mother’s day and his mom’s sick and he’s not rushing to the city to come be with her. and it breaks my heart to see a mother so sad over her son. and it makes me so mad that here’s this wonderful mom, surviving and still here, and here i am with my mom gone, and there he is hiding from his problems rather that appreciating what he has.

i stayed with her until 4:30pm and i then i went to meet my friend moni and her husband for pizza and beer. and it was so good to see them, it had been so long. but by then i was also feeling just so tired. i thought i had plans to see my brother after he was going to get off work around 9. and i was so tired, but really i thought all i wanted was to see him.  like since last week i had it in my head that if i could just at least be with my brother then maybe it would be okay. so i was super tired, and not even sure if i still wanted to hang out with him or not, and by 8:30 he texted to tell me he’d be working late and he’d just go home.

so i slept.

then this morning i woke up and i don’t know what i had planned. i think i had ideas about starting work early, and getting so much done. but i just sat on my couch for an hour and i think i just considered whether i should make coffee, and i didn’t for another 30 or 40 minutes. i opened my laptop like i was going to get to work, but then i took out the trash instead.

i told my boss today that i’m stressed. that having one of my coworkers gone for the past month is finally taking it’s toll on me. and that is true too. we’re close, and i did tell him about my personal life, about my best friend’s mom in the hospital.

i didn’t get a lot of work done today. i’m upset with myself about it.

i spent a lot of time today wondering what i should do to not feel sad anymore. but i don’t really want to do anything. and this is the thing with being sad: i know that i am sad but i don’t know what to do about it. it is so frustrating. i have this feeling like if i get all my work done, i will feel better. but i feel too shitty to get any work done.

vicious cycle thing.

so i’ve been starting my work days early and working late into the night, and still getting less than a full day of effort in. and i feel like.. i don’t know. undeserving of my job? like a waste of time and money? i feel like a cheat, like i’m cheating my employer by not doing my best. but i’m just not my best right now.

anyway. right now, i’m supposedly trying to get work done but i’m not. i’m writing this, obviously. idk i just hope this passes soon enough. i’d like to get back to being myself again.

6 months later.

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Notable things:

I filed my taxes early and got a fat return in February – it went straight to paying stuff down.
I paid off that Mastercard and Visa.
Coachella is all paid up (and is this weekend, exciting!)

That 401k is growing nicely.
I also started putting money into Stash and Acorns – if anyone reading this wants to comment on any of these two services, please feel free.

I applied and got approved for a new credit card yesterday.
They had a 0% balance transfer offer for 14 months.
I didn’t get approved for a line large enough to cover everything I wanted to transfer, but I will take 0% on 70% of my outstanding CC debt, yes please.

It does get very tiring and frustrating to be constantly working and making all this money and not necessarily getting to enjoy it. Every raise, every side project I finish – almost all of it goes right into the debt hole.

But I do get excited projecting paying that debt down. I visualize myself throwing dollar bills into this deep deep hole, and at the bottom of this hole is poor version of myself. And the more money I throw, the hole starts filling up, and getting shallower and shallower until responsible-me can reach down and pull my poor self out.

And then together fiscally-disciplined self and now-the-wiser self throw the last bits of money into the debt hole and pat it down with shovels, and then we build a house on top of it and live happily ever after.

But seriously! Student loans, car loan, personal loan + credit cards – I’m paying almost $1800/month in payments!
Do you know what I could do with $1800/month?!?! So many things!
I could watch Beauty & the Beast in theatres 100 times.
I could get my nails done twice a day.
OMG I COULD HAVE A TV ALREADY. I COULD HAVE LIKE 3 TVS.
Dude, I could just live in a nicer apartment (my rent is super cheap tho, honestly like I’d live here forever except I want a dog eventually).
I COULD TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY, LIKE EVERY MONTH.

All exciting ideas. Stupid and irresponsible but entertaining to think about for a few minutes. Realistically tho, I’d probably put most of it away to actually one day, in the not-too-distant future, put a house over the debt hole.
But for now, I’ll just keep throwing my money in it.

 

401k, baby!

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i love my place of employment.  i think that some of the best decisions i have ever made were made because my employers offered me the choice.

do you want to work with us full-time?
yes.

we’re paying for health coverage, do you want to participate in this plan?
yes.

we’re also offering voluntary life insurance, are you interested?
yes.

we think it’s important for you to invest towards retirement, do you want to make contributions?
YES.

i’m not gonna talk too much about this, i just wanted to say i’m stoked that this money gets taken out of my paycheck so that i never see it. it doesn’t come anywhere near my direct deposit, so i never miss it.  and i can have peace of mind, knowing that i don’t have to keep working until i’m dead.

as of last pay day, i am an INVESTOR.
i have $350 of potential – potential loss, potential gain – but i’ve got time on my side. i think i’m gonna be alright.

but first, coffee.

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last weekend i did a caffeine crawl.
it is exactly what you think it is – like a pub crawl, but COFFEE.

the crawl that i attended is organized by The LAB and hosted by an impressive number of San Diego coffee industry businesses – not just the shops and roasters, but even importers whose names might never see the light of grocery store aisles or cafe track lighting.

importers such as InterAmerican Coffee. they were stop #1 on my route.
located on J Street in downtown san diego, their.. office? space? is BEAUTIFUL.
even packed full of crawlers (as are called those individuals partaking in the crawl), the industrial building with its high ceilings, vintage posters, antique and now strictly-decorative furnishings, and other relics could not be missed.
impeccable interior design taste aside, InterAmerican knows their STUFF and they took their time to inform us on the journey of coffee, from crop to cup, and where and how they fit in.
aside from just shipping the beans, InterAmerican’s team is also well-versed in tasting, and they invited us to attempt to do what their tasters (Q testers) do best.

it’s called “cupping” – taking a sample roast and observing its characteristics: aroma, body, flavors. think of Q testers as the sommeliers of coffee. this process is critical for InterAmerican – who pride themselves on providing only the world’s finest, high-quality, specialty green coffee.

admittedly, to my untrained nose and mouth, i couldn’t pick out the subtleties in any one cup alone. in fact i only felt confident in making comparative observations – “this one tastes brighter,” “this feels more balanced.”

kudos to the talented team at InterAmerican for making great tasting coffee from all around the world accessible to simple folk like me. and special shout out to Dana, who was so engaging I was able to retain what I’ve written here.

there were 5 more stops on our crawl route, and i’ll try to write more about them later.
but for anybody interested, The LAB has been organizing Caffeine Crawls since 2012, and have now organized events, collaborating with businesses in over 15 cities, with over 15 events in 2016 alone.

their next caffeine crawl will happen across Houston in mid-february, then they go to OKC and Tulsa in march. this has been my second hometown crawl, and i would definitely be down to travel to catch them in another city. as a local, i can say it’s a great way to discover places you might never have otherwise stopped in, and as a tourist i can only imagine it’s an easy way to jump into a new city.

if you want to learn more about Caffeine Crawl, stay tuned to their website, catch them on instagram, or follow them on twitter.

you win some, you lose some.

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i know it’s been a while since i’ve actually posted something with substance. is anyone even reading this?

i went to vegas 2 weeks ago. almost on a whim, but really just on a whole lot of desire. i went to vegas and it was fun.

i’m not a gambler. vegas trips for me usually consist of a lot of day drinking, a lot of dancing, a lot of night drinking, and a lot more dancing. i’m in my 20s still – what do you expect?

i’m not a gambler for reasons that i believe should be obvious:

  • i am, for all intents and purposes, BROKE. and broke people have enough issues already without risking what money they DO have
  • i like HAVING money
  • i don’t like NOT having money
  • i definitely don’t like LOSING money

ahh, but when you’re in Rome, you do as the Romans do, amirite?

i GAMBLED on this trip. i put some cash down on a felted table in return for heavy clay chips and i PLAYED them. and you know what? i had FUN. i played a little, i won a little, i played some more, i lost it all.

but it’s OKAY. because when i say i lost it all, i mean i lost the $40 that i went in with, and the $40 that I had come up. So $80 down, but only $40 burned in my wallet. and that was really OKAY.

because when we got to the tables, i really considered it. i considered whether i actually wanted to play, and i asked myself how much do i want it. what amount of money is this form of entertainment worth to me?  and that answer was $40. because i reasoned that i was on a trip, and that $40 was on the very low end of the scale of how much i would spend on any other activity or excursion anyway.

so i lost $40, and it was no big deal. it was considered, calculated, and all-in-all it was an expected outcome.

i gambled again the next day. i’m sure it goes without saying that gambling is more fun when you win. but even with a different outcome, i still went in with the same mindset. i sat down at the table and i thought, how much am i willing to lose, how much is this game, this time spent in this casino, how much is this worth?

i decided it was worth $60. and the investment had great returns.

 

i wonder if i can apply this mindset to every transaction i ever make.
how much am i willing to lose for this iced coffee? how much is this 2 hour movie worth?
i think, maybe i already have.

i caught myself today wanting to buy a 2.2 lb of protein powder, but then i thought, for what? $60 dollars for 25 servings of , essentially, chocolate milk?
it wasn’t worth it.

2 months in, and holiday excuses.

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I feel like I’ve been cheating. But I don’t feel bad about it.

On one hand, I’ve been very good. I’ve been making my 1k towards paying down my consumer debt (or whatever the number is now – it’s been tweaked so many times I think). I updated my numbers in the side bar before starting this post and HEY – I am nearly $4,000 less buried 😀 WHAT? I know, that sounds like bad math. But remember, this is because I factor in student loan and auto loan payments as fixed expenses. 4k is solid progress. I feel good about 4k.

Okay, so let’s get to why I should feel bad (because I don’t actually feel too bad about it) — I’ve used my credit cards. I know, I shouldn’t have. And I know this isn’t a good excuse, but IT’S CHRISTMAS.  And I’m a Giver, and I have a lot of family.
And also, I didn’t even BALL OUT on Christmas. I feel like I kept it very modest. I think all in all, I’ve spent under 1k on Christmas. Does that sound like a lot? Just trust me, I have a LOT of family.

So as of right now, all my cards are once again MAXED. I know. I know – I should feel bad. And actually as I’m typing this out, there is a feeling of guilt settling in.

SO LET ME QUICKLY MOVE ON because dwelling without action solves no problems!

I got my first paycheck at my new pay today (: And fret not, because I had already scheduled my credit card payments and so this morning I Venmo’d my friend some monies for Coachella.
And… well that’s pretty much it. I make more money now, but I don’t plan on ever seeing that money. Not for a while. All that money’s got to go directly towards credit cards and loans.

Fiddled in the spreadsheets today and I am on track to pay off the Mastercard and Coachella in January. By the end of February, Visa2 should be closed out as well.

February’s my birthday month but I think I’m skipping out on making any real plans. I mean, the way I see it I’m still paying off last year’s banger -__- I mean, that’s probably not true but the banger was definitely a notable chunk in all that spending.
I do have a Napa trip in the books. I booked that flight with unused trip credits though so nothing out of pocket as of yet. Of course when the time comes there will be a rental and hotel room and food and wine and wine and wine. So budgeting for that.

With new money, I’m looking at paying about 1600 down every month. I was planning on paying down more, but our company is now offering a 401k plan. No matching ): Instead it’s a profit-sharing plan, which if I’m remembering correctly, means that at the end of the year the company may decide to contribute either a percentage or a dollar amount to employee’s funds. I’m with it. So I’m pooling 12% of my income into that so one day when I’m old and want to retire, I will actually have that option.

In addition to income and savings, I’m dabbling in a little bit of online business. You may have heard of craigslist? I’m looking to sell a handful of things in my apartment. Partly because my apartment is little and my furniture is big. Mostly because I would like to purchase a TV and my couches won’t Tetris together in a seating/viewing configuration that makes sense. ): Good news is I’m confident that I can sell enough to cover 2/3 or more of the TV purchase.

I have some side work coming in  that will be bringing in a one time chunk of change.  But any chunk of change that can be deposited into my bank account is a good chunk of change by me.

 

You may have come to this conclusion already, but it is only now dawning on me that I have passed the point of having anything interesting or noteworthy to share, if I had ever reached that point at all.

So until next time – peace.