I think exercising twice in less than seven days is a good start, especially when that meme: “I forgot to go to the gym today, that makes 3 years in a row…” could have been created in my honor, ha, ha.

But to back up a wee bit, today was a hard day.  Mondays are paydays for me and as I sat and did my budget and looked to the future, balancing it against the budget I came to the realization that I may have to be homeless for a bit.  Really, truly, live-in-my-car homeless.  I’ve set aside enough money to cover my December and January bills but there isn’t enough left over to rent even a room in someone else’s house, much less get one entirely to myself.

I cried.

I mean, I’m officially homeless right now and living with a friend and after I left my ex almost two years ago I was officially homeless for three months and lived with my sister but not once in my entire life have I ever even had to consider living in my car.

I’m teetering on the edge of terrified and I did a lot of math…  Possibly not a good combo but you do what you gotta do…

The money I got from selling the trailer home I lived in has, for the most part, gone towards bills.  My beauty school bill took over a third of it and then I was stupid last year and co-signed for my younger daughters best friend (and the best friend’s boyfriend) to get brand new phones and attach their phone plan to mine – which they then lost their jobs and then they broke up and stopped paying their bill, and, and…   That Stupid Tax is going to cost me almost $1200.  AND I still have to file – and pay for – last year’s taxes so there’s another $1200 or so that’s spoken for. Ugh!  I’ve been trying to pay down or off any remaining debt I have – like my younger daughter’s Emergency Room visits from when I was still married.  (Those bill were already in my name only since he was never interested in taking her to the hospital when she needed to go and after her concussion she had to go a lot.)  If I could get everything paid off except my car and my cell phone (I need to keep that on payments to keep the special insurance on it that they don’t offer anymore that lets me replace my phone up to three times a year instead of once a year for the same price because I use it for business and can’t be without a phone.  How’s that for a super-long sentence inside another sentence?) then I would have around $700 in monthly bills to pay every month.  Add to that rent and utilities and wi-fi and food and gas and… I’m working full-time and I make what I need to get things covered just fine with a tiny bit extra for fun but I’m planning on going to school full time and hoping to only have to work one day a week!

Panic attack, I’m having a panic attack…

I should qualify for student aid – both grants and student loans – but I’m not at all sure how those work, having never been to college before and my previous beauty school was too new to accept financial aid so I never even tried applying for any.  I’ve started applying for scholarships online so hopefully something will work out there as well but we’ll see…

The more I think about it the more I realize – it’s worth it.  Even if I have to live in my car for a month or two (in the middle of winter in Montana) while my student aid, grants and loans are figured out this change I’m trying to make in my life is worth it.

The panic attack subsides…

I’m committed, I’m going.  I’m going to change my life by going back to school and being closer to my father.

I looked up homeless shelters in the town I’m moving to (where the beauty school is, an hour from my father) and there appears to be just one but it’s good sized and has a program to help people get jobs and their own housing.  Hopefully I will qualify to live there but I’ll talk to them face-to-face when I make my first trip up there after Christmas.

The panic attack is gone but I’m still weepy and emotional, crying at the drop of a hat and hoping my Vietnamese family can’t tell because it was a long, slow day at work and we mostly just sat around playing on our phones.  Seriously NOT helping the whole I-need-to-make-as-much-money-as-possible-in-the-three-weeks-I-have-left thing.

I decided I’d better go to the Y and do some exercise tonight to take my mind off of being homeless… and to help justify the $45 I paid for a month’s membership…

The good news – I lost 3 pounds, yay!  I tried a Zumba class and really liked it.  There were ladies there who were bigger than me and ladies who were less coordinated than I am so I felt comfortable in my little spot, as close to one corner of the back row as I could get.  I also felt like learning Line Dancing might be easier because they move fast!  So now I’m interested in trying to learn Line Dancing – hopefully they still do it in Montana, lol.  At some point during Zumba I realized that I had subconsciously chosen one of the very few spots where I couldn’t see myself in the mirror.  I really hope I can get to a place someday where I like my own body…

Then I went to the private exercise area in the women’s locker room and tried to use the stationary bike but that little tiny seat was sooooo uncomfortable I gave up after just a few minutes and moved over to the rowing machine that had a nice, wide seat to sit on, ha!  I rowed away for about 20 minutes while watching Quantum Leap on my tablet.

I changed into my swimsuit and then spent 10 minutes looking for the key to my lock.  It was on a rubber band that I had around my wrist and all of a sudden it was gone!  I went through my purse, my gym bag, my clothing – and then I checked everything a second time and could not find that key anywhere!  Lo and behold it was in the lock when I finally swung the locker door closed…

I made it to the hot tub – which was not very hot, by the way, and tried to relax in the luke-warm water but it was full of people and since I didn’t know any of them I became nervous, a feeling which only got worse when a good looking, youngish guy with grey in his beard (so maybe he was closer to my age?) climbs into the not-hot tub.  It took me a couple attempts of not staring at him to confirm that he has beautiful, pale blue eyes.  And a neatly trimmed beard.  Did I mention the beard?  I like facial hair…  Keanu Reeves with facial hair?  OMG…  Ahem…  Anyway…  I can see that this guy is also trying not to look at me and we exchange smiles.  Still not trying to stare at each other.  Then something breaks the ice and he introduces himself, we chat a little bit, he mentions he has a wife… Dammit! yet he stays quite friendly and it’s back to feeling awkward again so I look for a clock, excuse myself and leave the hot tub.

Seeing the look on his face as I got out of the tub made me cry again.  My belly is so big!  He went from looking interested to “Whoa!”

It was nice to feel like someone was interested in me after all this time.  It was creepy to know he had a wife and still made me feel that way.  Was there something wrong with him or was I just picking up signals that weren’t there, wishful thinking?  It’s comforting to know I lost some weight and I still have time to lose some more before I move.  It was eye-opening to realize that simply receiving attention freaks me out, I have to get over this… somehow…

I don’t think my life will ever read like the fairy tale I had planned for myself as a child and that’s OK.  There are things I wish I had done and said and believed differently in the past but I can’t change that.  What I can change is the future and once I’ve got this education I’ll be able to do almost anything I want to do in the beauty industry AND I’ll (hopefully) have a closer relationship with my dad, his wife and her children, my brothers and their families and some of my high school friends…

Even if I have to be live-in-my-car homeless for a while… it’s worth it.

 

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