I love the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. I actually kind of like the idea of being able to take one day and live it over and over again until I get it right. On the other hand, it would be incredibly frustrating and killing myself 17 different ways would be an interesting way to spend the time until I learned the lesson I needed to learn.
Now I took a little break, and while I have been following the goings on in the world, nothing has changed. Congress went on vacation instead of dealing with student loan interest rates which lands me further below the poverty line that I was already straddling. Republicans in Texas and Ohio have gone uterus crazy. There are still no jobs. The religious right is still freaking out about who I would like to spend my life with, and Corey Booker is still one of the most awesome politicians in a LONG time.
So basically, same shit different day.
I don’t know what I can do about it though. I really want to actually DO something other than just write about things. I am seriously considering taking a trip to D.C. and planting myself on the Capitol building steps with a cardboard sign that says, “I have nothing better to do than sit here, because you guys have systematically taken any chance I had at success away from me.” They really have. I had several job opportunities before the sequester kicked in, which were ALL cancelled. So then, how am I supposed to make my student loan payment – especially now that the interest rates have DOUBLED? I couldn’t afford the payment before. Now it looks as though default is imminent; and that makes ME the bad guy. Even if I took a min. wage job, it would still not pay me enough monthly to make even one payment on my student loans, let alone all the other bills I have. Every day it is more of the same, and every day solutions seem farther and farther away.
So what to take from all this? Am I being subjected to a kind of Groundhog day phenomenon? Am I just reliving each day just waiting for me to make the right decision to move forward? That is quite honestly how it feels. Every day right now feels the same. The things our government are doing, either positive or negative (or simple non-action), seems to have serious implications for my own life. Something though needs to change. Somehow I must find a way to change how all of this affects me instead of just letting things happen, but I really don’t know what that action is at this point. I feel like I am some weird holding pattern that locks me in a serious financial downward spiral.
Now I really do try to maintain a positive attitude about things. I try to convince myself that if I want something bad enough, I will make it happen – and I am really the only one who can. No one is going to just drop my dream job on my lap – there is something I am missing. I also try to maintain gratefulness. Even though I am broke, I have a home, food to eat, and my little family here. I am quite happy considering. While I want to enjoy this happiness, the financial burden is like a giant black cloud following me around reminding me that even though I can still smile in the rain, I am soaking wet and really all I need is an umbrella.
When I read about all the CEO’s and Congressional millionaires, I can’t help but think to myself about the actual dollar amount I would need in order for a do-over. I’ve settled on $100, 000. With that, I could pay all of my debt, and all of Steph’s and we could afford to move somewhere with better job opportunities for both of us. Now to me 100k might as well be a million. Then I think about all these people just hoarding money and jobs, and I get a little angry. To them, my needs wouldn’t even come close to the interest they earn in a month. Then I think about all the people out there like me, who for 100k or less, could completely start over. There is enough money in our country to pull every single American out of debt, out of poverty, out of homelessness and joblessness, and out of hunger. One problem though, all that cash belongs to a few people who have no interest in rebuilding the middle class or ending poverty. They say that rich people don’t stay rich by giving away all their money, but at this point, they could give away some of it – still be stinking rich, and bring our country out of the toilet, which would result in them making even MORE money.
I guess I am a little jealous. My priorities are so different from theirs. I can at least take some solace in knowing that I am a much more generous and giving person than them. If I won the lottery tomorrow I would be broke by the weekend because there is so much I would do with the money that has nothing to do with me. Focusing on the pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow won’t get me anywhere though. The problem is that I don’t know what at this point will get me anywhere. It’s frustrating to say the least, and it opens the door for wishful thinking which sometimes I think is more paralyzing than reality.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, my little brain starts going in bad directions when I get frustrated. I start thinking things like, “Jail wouldn’t be so bad” and I start plotting bank robberies. I wouldn’t really ever do that, because I do have a healthy fear of prison, and I also really enjoy being a good citizen even if I am broke – but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it. In my head, I have planned several “perfect crimes” that would solve all my money woes. Which then tells me that I have been watching WAY too many crime shows and I just need to get off my ass and do something (legal).
So I am thinking maybe a life in politics might be a new direction. Maybe, I will run for office. I don’t know which one yet. Stephanie really wants to be Mayor of Philadelphia and she could totally beat Mayor Nutter (he’s useless). For me though, I am thinking Congress. I want to write bills that make sense. I want to learn under people like Elizabeth Warren, Wendy Davis, and Corey Booker who genuinely want to bring America back into balance. I want to rebuild the middle class, and I want to eradicate poverty in our country. We really could do it if we elected the right people. I think enough Americans are tired of being marginalized that even with the lying, cheating, idiots we could win our country back in the next two elections. That is a long time to wait though. 2014 isn’t close enough, and by 2016 these asshats can completely destroy our nation while we wait for the next election cycle. Groundhog day.
So I am done waiting, but I don’t yet know what action I need to take. Today I resume my job search – I took a break just to reset a little. I am going to look for work in D.C. somewhere in politics. Maybe I can get a job somewhere that I can learn the ins and outs of campaigns so when I do run, I know what needs to be done and how to do it. Maybe Elizabeth Warren needs a new secretary…
So I guess having a different agenda is doing something different. Before I was looking for work just to pay the bills. Now I am looking for work in a place where I can change not just my life, but the lives of others. That is more my nature anyway. Nothing will change unless I do – and maybe that is the lesson that has been so elusive.