November 2010 Life Update

When there’s over a month of absence from my blog, it means one or more of a number of things: 1) I am dead, in a coma, or incarcerated, 2) one of the ranks of the League of Evil Exes got into my account and changed my password, 3) I am way too busy to update as regularly as I would like to.

After seeing over five different post drafts and that it’s almost the end of November, I decided to let you all know that I’m still alive (which is unfortunate for the philistines). Alive, yes, surviving, yes, but not living as well as I would like to.

Amongst minor accomplishments, I finally finished the GRE test, after taking it twice. I did well in my practice tests, then bombed the real thing the first time in October, so I had to take it again this month and got an above average score in general, but just below the average for the program I am applying to.

Now my focus is on finding as much work as possible to pay bills and make ends meet, plus closing off all debts–I’m down to just two more debts which are my student loans and a small amount to one of the members of the League of Evil Exes. I do pay off all my debts and any of my loaners can verify this, because it’s one of my goals to neither be in debt or have anyone in debt to me, since debts really screw up relationships with people.

Funny thing is, my new temporary job is working retail at American Eagle at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Assuming I get the maximum 32 hours of work a week at $9/hour after taxes, I still don’t earn enough to pay all bills and minimum monthly payment for student loans, on top of money for food. Add the silly cost of taking that GRE exam and the price of paying for applications to graduate school, and you’re looking at my financial situation.

This is my first experience in working retail. I believe everyone should have work experience in retail and food service; this gives us the insight and appreciation for those who are employed in these industries and for whatever blessings we have. Nobody is a robot or a servant, and though the emphasis is service, I make sure my approach isn’t contrived, while striving to be professional.

Unfortunately, I just caught a cold. Add to the fact for over 2 weeks I have not had any restful sleep, I am not in the best physical condition I could be in, regardless of me being in the gym almost every day.

It’s been a long year, and as hard as this new struggle to survive and stay alive is, I still believe that this is ultimately a better place and phase than when I was back east at the end of spring and first half of summer, nearly dying in Pittsburgh and New York.

Yeah, my evil exes are annoying, especially the capricious one who is demanding her money back immediately which I am trying to raise money to pay back. Right now, I want to earn more money so I can save up for a motorcycle, and I live in a roach-infested apartment building with no curtains or shower curtains, refrigerator, or aircon, but I’m alive and nobody is manipulating me or stealing my money, and I’m not supporting anyone. That much I can be thankful for.

Wow, that last paragraph was all about money. Does this indicate how much of a strain life is right now? I’m laughing at myself now because it’s still nothing in comparison to digging everywhere for loose change back east just so that I could afford the dollar menu in fast food restaurants.

Life is good, and hell is other people. But at least I have friends who really care, and they know I’m not the same Johnny who had an apartment in L.A. and Manila, money to waste, and an easygoing lifestyle. Now I’m struggling, but still working my way up, and they have gone out of their way to throw in whatever support they can like hooking me up with work, a couch to crash, and a couple financial donations.

My cousin Nick came in early November and he is probably one of the best friends I can ask for now, knowing I’m not in the best phase but still being supportive and helping out as much as he can. With that, he came here and we went around Big Sur and Monterey, for a little roadtrip that he was generous enough to front for food and lodging before the GRE. Pics are available on my flickr:

I love you Nick. Thanks for being there for me.

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