A Bitch Called Hope

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There’s this song by Blood for Blood (if you haven’t heard them and don’t like hardcore, don’t waste your time. ¬†You’ll want to stab yourself in the ears.) called “A Bitch Called Hope”. ¬†I used to relate to that song a lot, hell even now, more than 8 years later. ¬†Hope is a hard thing to hold onto sometimes, but one thing I’ve realized through all of these years? ¬†I need to have hope. ¬†I need hope to thrive, to survive, and to strive for more. ¬†With out hope I get nowhere… as I proved for a couple years as a teenager.

At the same time though, when you hope and pray for something, especially when you’ve worked your ass off for it, and whatever it is falls through? ¬†It’s devastating. ¬†Sometimes hope can almost destroy you in the end, and knowing that is what makes it so hard. ¬†Hope is a bitch, a cold-hearted bitch, and that stupid bitch will screw you over if you give it the chance. ¬†So sometimes I’m wary of hope.

I’ve always lived by the motto: Hope for the best, expect the worst and work your fucking ass off in the meantime. ¬†I think that whole line of thought is what has gotten me labeled as a pessimist more than a handful of times, but you know what? ¬†It works for me. ¬†It keeps my ass in gear, my mind working, and helps me prepare for the worst in any¬†scenario. ¬†It allows me to continue to bust ass for something I want, but kind prepare for if things don’t work out as planned. ¬†Almost mutes the devastation if it comes my way.

There has been so much going on in the past few years, quite honestly a lot of it got me down for a while there. ¬†In the not to recent past I had almost¬†given up hope that things would get better. ¬†I saw nothing in my dead end jobs, nothing good coming out of being a single mother working sometimes upwards of 16 hour days. ¬†I lost the motivation to love my life and improve what I didn’t love. ¬†I did the basics for my daughter, made her life as perfect as I could, but as for everything else? ¬†I shut down. ¬†In all reality, that helpless feeling I had as I watched my life circle the drain broke me. ¬†It did, it broke me far worse than the abusive marriage I was in, my self-caused train wreck teen years, anything. ¬†That hope that I had clung to for so many years just¬†disappeared.

When things were getting to be damned near unbearable, I finally caught a break. ¬†I was offered a job, and then immediately offered my current job. ¬†Then, like a brick through a bay window, that hope was back. ¬†I knew that if I kept busting ass, life would get better. ¬†You know what? ¬†It most definitely has. ¬†It’s never ending hard work, but it’s worth it. ¬†Last Spring/late winter, one year ago, I was sitting at this kitchen table trying to figure out how to afford my gas bill. ¬†I was barely making enough to afford food, much less my bills and medical treatments. ¬†I was sitting at this table, praying for a hand up, a break, something. ¬†I was headfirst into a bottle a lot of those nights, because at that point I didn’t even want to cope. ¬†I just wanted peace.

Now? ¬†Things are much better. ¬†Not perfect, but enough to make me happy. ¬†I’m still at a wonderful job, I’m in a wonderful relationship, and I’m working on my relationships with my family and a few old friends. ¬†I realized that I need to keep busting my ass and fix my life, and since I was given that sliver of hope, it’s been a fight to keep it ever since. ¬†It’s nice to be able to look back and reflect, the contrast between last year and this one…. it just proves that it was worth it all. ¬†That things DO get better if you work for it, and having that little bit of hope just pushes you along.

Hope is still a bitch though, but hope is here to stay.

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-Insert insulting title here- -pants. not needed in society-

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Pardon me as I burn.¬† Actually no.¬† Pardon me if I sound a tad bit skitzo in this blog.¬† My brain is jumping all over the place this morning.¬† So.¬† This may or may not make sense.¬† Just like pants.¬† Because pants should always be optional.¬† Like at Walmart.¬† Shirt and Shoes required… so doesn’t say anything about pants.

Code 4!

So first up on the plate.¬† My work.¬† For 3 weeks I had the perfect schedule.¬† Monday-Friday.¬† It was enough to scrape by on my bills.¬† Barely.¬† But I was grateful to have my job, even more so that I love it.¬† I reallly do love my job.¬† Seriously.¬† I get to bartend for the 55+ crowd.¬† They’re awesome.¬† My co-workers are awesome.¬† My boss is awesome.¬† I’m not even lying.¬† The only thing that made it rough was that I have to drive 45 minutes to work and make minimum wage.¬† On Tuesdays and Fridays I have to pay a babysitter.¬† Those days, between gas and the sitter’s fee, I pay $5 to go to work (before taxes).¬† I don’t even want to know now that gas has gone up again and figuring in the taxes… no.¬† But still.¬† I was grateful.

Then my hours got cut.¬† Last week I had Tues-Fri.¬† This week?¬† I was scheduled for Tues and Wednesday.¬† That’s it.¬† So for yesterday, I would’ve paid to go to work.¬† I would’ve only made a profit today.¬† So for the first time I actually sat back and thought about it.¬† I’ve never liked the idea of quitting a job with out another one lined up.¬† I know I spend money to go to work, but I’m still working!¬† I just can’t wrap my head around quitting a job… just to be unemployed.¬†¬† But it finally happened (for the 3rd time, after the 2nd, I did say I would quit) my hours got cut again, and I don’t think that I can work it financially.¬† So yesterday as I looked outside at the snow storm, I actually thought about it.

Do I really want to drag my daughter out in the snow storm to drop her off at the sitters, pay my sitter, then drive 45 minutes (if not longer thanks to traffic) in a snow storm, to work for 3 hours at minimum wage just to drive back through the snow get my daughter and go home.¬† All to make no money, but to pay out.¬† This has irritated me for a while, and I finally decided no.¬† It’s not worth it.¬† I can’t afford to go to work.¬† I called in.¬† I felt bad.¬† But I just can’t do it.¬† So I’m scheduled for tonight, serving, so like 4-8:30.¬† That’s it for the week.¬† I’m expecting to get written up when I go to work for calling in, but I am going to go in, and look at the schedule for next week.¬† If it’s not at least 4 days, I’m going to quit.¬† In reality, I think even if I get Mon-Fridays back, I should quit.¬† Working Mon-Fri on a bi-week pay schedule… my paychecks are still only $230.¬† That’s $460 a month.

I just hate this though.¬† I don’t want to quit something I love.¬† I really don’t, but at this point, I could make that money selling my knitted shit and shoveling driveways.¬† I don’t know.¬† Ugh.

 

Foodstamps. Welfare. Do I have to beat you over the head?

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Food Stamps and Welfare are there to help people out during rough financial times.¬† Simple as that.¬† Yes there are people who abuse the system, but it’s a lot less common than you think.¬† I know I used think badly driving past the welfare office and seeing the nice cars in the parking lot or women using food stamps while they are carrying a coach purse.¬† I was closed minded.¬† If you actually give some one a break and listen to them, chances are you might explain away all of those things.

I follow a blogger who just started to receive food stamps.  She drives a (nearly) brand new Lincoln.  Her clothes are name brand, nothing but the best.  Her children have nice clothes, new toys and a video game system.  She lives in a 2 story, 5 bedroom home.

She used to make $210,000 a year.

Then she was laid off.

Now she can’t find work.

She has sold some of her possessions to feed her children.  Auctioned off a good deal of her name brand name things.  It finally came down to applying for food stamps.

She has all of these nice things because she EARNED them.¬† She was (and will be again) very successful business woman.¬† She fell on hard times.¬† She’s not abusing the system she has paid into.

My point being is that times are hard.¬† Some one who makes a good amount of money one year, might be laid off tomorrow.¬† Don’t judge a book by the cover.

 

 

I really hate hearing these stories from my friends.¬† It makes me want to punch someone’s grandma in the throat.