Daily Prompt 5/24/2016 | Quarter-Life Crisis

I am closer to 30 than I am to 20, and while I have been for over a year, technically, it is really just starting to hit me now.

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In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt | Phase

I am 26 years 0 months 27 days old.
I am 312 months 27 days old.
I am 1360 weeks 4 days old.
I am 9,524 days old.
I am 228,576 hours old.
I am 13,714,560 minutes old.
I am 822,873,600 seconds old… well, roughly.

I am closer to 30 than I am to 20, and while I have been for over a year, technically, it is really just starting to hit me now. I’m at the age now where, not only have many of my friends graduated with a 4-year degree from college, but some now also have Master’s degrees. Many of my friends have reached their goals as graduates, and go to their dream jobs (or something close to it, at least), and make money, and then go home to their house, that they own, and drink wine, while watching Netflix… or whatever it is functioning adults do. Even if they didn’t go to, or graduate from, college… everyone seems to be doing better than me in life. Everyone. Because of this, I’ve become withdrawn, bitter, and angry. I’m sure people are tired of my whining and complaining, since the advice and tough love that I used to receive from friends and loved ones has been replaced by absolute silence. But just for fun, let’s reach into my mind for a moment.

I have no degree, but still owe my old college money, 7 years later.
I have no job (granted, that’s because I stay home with my son, but before that, it was endless, dead end jobs).
I have no house, and constantly get stuck renting horrible places, because that is all I can afford, because of the previous two things.
I have no car, I don’t even have a license. This makes remedying ANY of the precious three things much more difficult.

I am going nowhere. I am getting older, and my life is going absolutely nowhere. I had such high hopes for myself when I was younger, and everything went wrong. For a long time, I blamed everything falling apart on other people/things. I was in such a hurry to grow up, and prove that I was an adult, that I forgot that I was just a stupid, broke kid. I refused to accept help, or listen to reason, because I wanted people to think I had it all under control. But I didn’t.

I had to drop out of college after one (terrible) year because I could no longer afford it. I thought I had my student loan situation handled, but I didn’t, and it all fell through. My mom gave me a loan to cover my first semester so that I would be able to finish the year, but then I couldn’t pay for my second semester. I still owe both my mom, and the school, money. As I said… it has been 7 years, and thanks to my track record of moving every year, and landing nothing but minimum wage jobs, I haven’t been able to make a dent in that debt. I hadn’t gone to school out of the country, to go to school with my then boyfriend, and get away from my family, I could have gone to the local community college, and probably have graduated. I could have gotten my degree, and maybe saved some money by staying at home, and gotten my own place.

Everything that I have done in my adult life, I’ve done for the wrong reasons. For love, for a guy, for convenience… I never thought of the consequences of any of my actions, and now I am stuck dealing with all of them at once, at a stage in my life when I should have my shit at least somewhat together. I wanted to grow up too fast, and now I’m stuck feeling like a helpless child, unable to move forward with my life because I don’t have any of the means to do so.

I am tired of it. Despite my thirst for even a shred of independence, I am always stuck relying on other people just to survive. To help bring me to work, to help bring me to the store, to help me with money when shit goes wrong, to share my space and help me pay the bills because minimum wage just doesn’t cover it, even in a slum. I’ve had to rely on other people throughout my entire adult life, up to this point, and I am ashamed. I have a son now, and while he depends on me 100%, I still depend on everyone around me. I don’t want him growing up knowing that his mother was useless. That she never finished college, and never had a decent job, and never did anything important with her life. And I want so much more for him, so he does not turn out like me, but how do you instill those values in your child, when you are hardly an example yourself?

I try to live without regrets, but when it comes down to it, I feel like I regret everything. I am torn between wishing I could have done everything differently, and wishing I had done nothing differently, because it would have changed my present 110%. Would my life be better? Would it be worse? Would I even be alive?

I don’t sleep anymore. When I do sleep, I hardly dream. I am always tired, despite doing nothing with my life, and I am always sad. I am sad, and angry, and tired. Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother getting out of bed. Everything feels pointless. And I don’t know what to do about any of it. I am stuck.

Is this what they call a quarter-life crisis? Or is this an existential crisis? Either way, it sucks.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 3/17/2016 | Technology Shelf Life

Why is it that the more money we spend on computers and phones, the faster they become obsolete? It is infuriating, especially since these days you need to have a smart phone, or a tablet, or convenient access to the internet in your possession to even function in society, but not everyone can afford to run out and get these things the second society demands that you have them.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/17/2016 | Shelf

“Technology has the shelf life of a banana.” ~ Unknown

Everything has a shelf life. Everything. Technology, specifically expensive items it seems, such as computers, phones, cameras, etc., seem to have shorter self lives than most. Why is it that the more money we spend on computers and phones, the faster they become obsolete? It is infuriating, especially since these days you need to have a smart phone, or a tablet, or convenient access to the internet in your possession to even function in society, but not everyone can afford to run out and get these things the second society demands that you have them.

Recently, I have been having some problems with my computer. Long story short, it isn’t really my computer. Well, kind of. I guess? It is a 7 year old hand-me-down that I got from a good friend, over 3 years ago, that he gifted to me when my ex threw me out, keeping my computer. Unfortunately, like most things technology, it has quickly become outdated. I have been having a hard time running more than one or two programs at once, even internet browsers, and forget playing any game that isn’t a Flash game, or has very low graphics requirements. The kicker? The drivers on it are so old, that they don’t even make updates for them anymore.

Yesterday, as an anniversary gift, Kyle bought me the game Stardew Valley, which he knew I have been crazy anxious to get my hands on. I quickly installed it, and played it for a majority of the night with no issue. It is unbelievably fun and addicting, which I will write about later on, hopefully! Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning, the game refused to launch, and keeps getting stuck on an “Preparing to launch Stardew Valley…” screen. This has sent me into a downward spiral of updates, forum searches, and failed installations.

Currently, I am installing Windows updates that I have put off for far too long, which I only have myself to blame for. After over an hour of downloading, I am finally installing update 15… out of 114. It has been an hour and 45 minutes total thus far, and since this process is pretty taxing on my computer’s system, I am unable to do much else. A friend of mine offered to send me one of his spare graphics cards, which would be a huge upgrade for me, but who knows how long that could take. I’m hoping that updating Windows helps, and I am able to play the game again.

It worked PERFECTLY last night, you guys. I’m so sad. Ugh.

Kyle get off work at 2:30 today, so hopefully we can get out of the house to take my mind off of this. First world problems, am I right? I really need a new computer, I know that, but they are so flippin’ expensive! Anyone have one they’d like to donate? Haha.

Thanks for reading, friends! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Jan

Daily Prompt 3/16/2016 | Envy

Take some time to appreciate your cards, because while you may not have a Royal Flush, your Full House is still better than that other guy’s hand, which spontaneously combusted, burning both the cards, and his hands, and then he was rushing to the hospital, but he didn’t have insurance because he lives in a crappy country with an even crappier healthcare system, and he were slapped with an outrageous medical bill that he will never be able to pay because he never got to finish school, because he couldn’t afford the high tuition at the community college he attended, and has since been stuck working horrible jobs that pay poverty wages, making it impossible for him to go back to school to finish his education, even though he really, really wants to so that he can have a better life, but now he is horribly in debt, and now people will call him lazy for the rest of his life without knowing a damn thing about his struggles to try and build a better life for himself.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/16/2016 | Envy

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to myself is my somewhat lack of appreciation for the things that I have. Yes, I am aware that this is a huge, obnoxious flaw on my otherwise sterling list of personality traits, but I also feel like we are all guilty of this to some degree, even if we try to say that we aren’t. We live in a society that tells us that our worth is based off of what we look like, and how much stuff we have, and this makes us want more and more, even when we already have all that we need. Everyone does it. Try as I may, I can not seem to change this ugly thing about myself, though I have gotten much better about accepting my life and certain situations in recent years.

I think my envious nature peaked in high school, and plateaued pretty terribly over the next few years. I was jealous of every single person that I met, sometimes over the most ridiculous things. So much so, that I became bitter toward people, even complete strangers, for having things that I did not. And, of course, when you focus all your energy on all of the things that you don’t have, you don’t leave yourself enough energy to love the things you do have, especially when it comes to personal things, such as appearance.

I still have days where I want to curl up into a tiny ball of hatred thanks to my envy of the most trivial, unimportant things, but I’ve got a pretty decent handle on it these days. Growing up, and starting a family, has opened my eyes, and has helped me appreciate many of the things that I do have in my life, both big and small.

I’ve struggled with my weight throughout most of my teenage and adult life, and sometimes, when I see a thin girl wearing something cute that I don’t think I could pull off, I get upset. But then I remind myself that I am aware of my body, and I am working on it, and some day, I could wear that same outfit with confidence. She may have insecurities as well. No one is perfect. Yes, I have a weight problem, but I am otherwise healthy. I have perfect blood pressure, perfect cholesterol, no major back problems, and no underlying medical conditions that attribute to my weight issue that would make it impossible to lose weight. I am healthy, and if I really hate my appearance that much, I do have the power to change it. The only thing stopping me, is me.

I also get jealous over gorgeous hair, flawless skin, full lips, etc… but hey, that is just genetics. And those who don’t have it, either embrace what they were born with, or fake it. And I don’t particularly want to be fake.

The one thing that I have been obnoxiously proud of in my life is my son. My handsome, energetic, brilliant son. My son, who has been sleeping through the night, every night, since he was 4 months old. My son, who is tall and skinny and perfect. My son, who amazes me every day with how advanced he is with his development. My son, who embraces strangers’ children at the park because he loves people and playing. I am so freaking proud of the little human that I created, and I pat myself on the back for being a huge factor in who he is today. I rock.

Moving on…

Money. Everyone wants more money. People who say money doesn’t matter, or money can’t buy happiness, are lying. Have you ever been behind on paying your bills, and have run the risk of having your power and heat shut off in the middle of winter? Have you ever looked in your cabinet, and saw that your baby was almost out of formula, and it would be a solid week before you could afford more? These things cause massive amounts of stress and anxiety on people. I’ve struggled with these things. Luckily, our financial situation has stabilized, and we are so much better off than we were just a year ago. My husband works his butt off so that I can stay home to raise our beautiful son, and we are still able to have full bellies and paid bills, even with only one of of working. We have a crummy apartment, but we aren’t homeless. We don’t have a Mercedes, but we have a reliable car that gets us around safely. We don’t have new, high end furniture, but we have comfy beds where we dream of a better future, a used couch that my son loves to climb on, and everything in our apartment serves it’s purpose.

Being jealous of what other people have is normal, in my opinion. I find myself still feeling it from time to time, most often with my sister-in-law, who is two months younger than me, but she has a house, two cars, and is constantly decorating and redecorating her home in beautiful ways. But I also know that she is in debt. A lot of debt. I have no debt. None at all. I also have a phenomenal credit score, and I don’t even have any credit cards. When she got pregnant at a young age, she lived at home with her mother for a long time with her boyfriend, and did not have to work to pay bills. They were able to just save and save and save. Her now husband has a great job, and was able to support her for several years, and was able to buy her a car, and pay for her to go to school, so that she could get a decent job, and they were able to save up until they could buy a house.

She is still in debt, and complains about it often, yet is constantly buying new furniture, and gets her nails and hair done bi-weekly. Having the prettiest house on Pinterest, and the most sparkly nails at work, are not goals that I want to obtain. I want my son to have a college fund. I don’t feel like the understands the value of money, and how crippling debt can be, because of being handed things, and I guess that is where we vary. Our situations are wildly different, because we had different advantages and disadvantages, which obviously would lead to different outcomes.

I got off on a bit of a tangent, and I’m not quite sure where I was going, so I guess I’ll leave it there. Sorry about that. I guess what I was trying to say was that everyone has a different story, and that green may be my favorite color, but it is not flattering to wear green on your heart. Everyone has been dealt a different set of cards, and that will have a huge impact on the game and how we play it.

Take some time to appreciate your cards, because while you may not have a Royal Flush, your Full House is still better than that other guy’s hand, which spontaneously combusted, burning both the cards, and his hands, and then he was rushing to the hospital, but he didn’t have insurance because he lives in a crappy country with an even crappier healthcare system, and he were slapped with an outrageous medical bill that he will never be able to pay because he never got to finish school, because he couldn’t afford the high tuition at the community college he attended, and doesn’t have anyone who can help him out financially, so he has since been stuck working menial, dead end jobs that pay poverty wages, making it impossible for him to go back to school to finish his education, even though he really, really wants to so that he can have a better life, but now he is horribly in debt, and now people will call him lazy for the rest of his life without knowing a damn thing about his struggles to try and build a better life for himself.

Yeah. You’re probably at least slightly better off than that guy. So appreciate your shit.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/16/2016 | Gizmos and Gadgets

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/16/2016 | World’s Best Widget

You’ve been granted magical engineering skills, but you can only use them to build one gadget or machine. What do you build?”

Robotic. Arms.

I know, I know, robotic arms already exist, and have been used for several years now… but mine wouldn’t necessarily be for people with disabilities. Mine would slip onto your shoulders, with a device resembling football pads, and would be pre-programmed to assist the wearer in completing normal, every day tasks. There would be several different models, each with special programs for specific tasks, such as changing diapers for parents, extra grip for rock climbers, and other sports… things… for sporty people.

It would be completely voice activated, but you can program up to 5 users of any age to use it, as the shoulder pads and arms would be adjustable to fit most sizes. It also comes in 712 different colors and patterns. Yes, you heard me, 712 different colors and patterns. Some people prefer Oxford blue over Prussian blue, ya know? It totally counts as just one gadget, since it is all the same type, right? I think so.

As a stay-at-home mom, who does 100% of the work when it comes to our one-year old son, I know I could definitely use an extra set of hands. Like when I am trying to make dinner, and my son is getting cranky, and is trying to climb up my legs to get me to pick him up, but I really need to focus on the food. I am sure I am not the only parent out there who could use an extra set of arms, am I right?

So, does anyone want to send some funds my way?!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan