I’ve been trying to live by a philosphy I learned and had to live by constantly while I was on the road. One day a at a time. You’d think it would be rather simple and easy but I find I’m constantly fighting shoulds and coulds of my life. Life on the road is difficult. Many people associate travel with a vacation and they’d be shocked at how different the two can be. And yet with all hardships the road brings, I find myself feeling intimidated by surviving the “real world” with the harshness of paying bills, affording health and dental insurance, buying groceries and rent. Being on the road in a cheaper country than the US can be a lot less expensive. I paid an average of $350 a month for a bed in Africa. I’d be lucky to find a cardboard box on the street in SF for this price. So far, I haven’t quite had to fully emerge myself into the game of the “real world” as I temporarily seek refuge at my parents place. Its nice. Its small. Its comfortable. For now.
I know the day awaits me when I’ll be ready to have my own place, roommates, and all but I’m not looking forward to having to work just enough to cover my base and then twice as much to be able to live and enjoy a few good things in life. If I’m really lucky, I’ll make enough to throw a few dollars or fifties into the piggy bank.
And yet with all the chaos that is engulfing our economy I try to find an explanation of how everything makes sense. The further I ponder, the more confused I am. From my brief knowledge of our current affairs, greedy individuals thrived on making greedy decisions ultimately, sending a bank bankrupt (Wamu) and Wall St, well, the same. The government is trying to bailout top officials greedy mistakes at the expense of taxpayers money and so far is being denied. This seem logical. Why should we pay for stupidity. Their are documents from greedy well positioned individuals who saw the demise and hoped they’d make their profit before the ground fell out beneath them.
But something needs to be done. It’s really hard for me to fathom all the consequences from this madness, repercussions, job security, unemployment, retirement plans, the elderly, people already on the brink of poverty- the dam has broken and I think everything is about to be inundated. Not good.
Then I wonder, depdending on what decisions are made, how safe is my money in an online savings account FDIC insured? So far, all is ok. But can my entire savings go from a nice sum to simple just numbers on paper. Virtually, my money in the bank is just numbers on a statement and it’s not until I retreive it, that it truly is cash in hand. So far, I’m not feeling the effects of this economic crash but if money can quickly change overnight, I will. Then what would all of my hard work been for? I’m happy to have such a nice cushion to cover me as I wait out and take my time to look for a job. It’s comforting. However, if it mysteriously became worthless, I’d be wondering why I was so darn careful with my money. Why I didn’t spend more of it while on the road, or heck, why I’m not still on the road…
This whole fiasco seems to drive home the mantra of enjoying the moment and living one day at a time. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. So why are you fretting over a job that may not be there tomorrow when you could be enjoying your life today?
Of course, this is all a little easier said than done especially coming from a soon to be quarter of a century old woman who isn’t responsible for anyone else’s life but her own. My responsibilities are minimal compared to a families. Yet in America we seem to have lost focus on what truly is important. Work seems to be what people live for, trying to win a rat race without a finish line.
So take a moment and think about what’s really important to you and ask yourself, if you’re doing enough of what you love or spending enough time with the people you love. In the end, experience and memories will make it all worth while.