Learning From the Worst Month of My Life
It all started in April. Back then, I was planning to move out of my flat, as I was starting to dislike it. I got plans but obviously, those were dumb.
Then my laptop, which I had been using for more than 3 years, malfunctioned. I cried. I cried not because it got broken, but because I couldn’t afford the cost of the repair. Contrary to what most people think. Just because I own an Apple product doesn’t mean I have lots of money. You see? That’s funny. I know. But I needed to have it repaired anyway so I was left with no choice. Good thing, one of my closest Japanese friends sent me a hundred dollars and another one sent some via PayPal, so I could have it repaired. That would cost me an arm and a leg, and it would take more than a month to get fixed. I almost died. Seriously.
As a result, I couldn’t work. My best friend Greg saved me by letting me use his laptop until I got mine back. I was moved. And then my dear friend, Lara, was also willing to lend me hers. I couldn’t contain my joy because finally, I could get back to my online work and, hopefully, save up for my future plans.
But my struggle didn’t end there. One day, the owner of my flat made a surprise visit. It was a bombshell. It was the day I was praying would never come, as I had not paid the utility bills which piled up. And I was behind my monthly rental. ( Overlooked it for some stupid reasons) I was ashamed, apologized and begged the owner to give me time to raise enough budget. I told him I would just leave and pay my balance when I had enough cash. Evidently, it was a stupid idea. He disagreed.
I didn’t know what to do. I was helpless and broke. Broke AF. When the owner left, I broke down in tears. I cried myself out. I started to look back on yesterday and asked myself what went wrong, how I got in that situation. I was broke and soon to be homeless. Like wtf?!
What the owner wanted me to do was leave and pay all my dues in a short period. Nobody knew about it. But I asked Lara if I could stay at her flat for a while. She didn’t hesitate to say yes. And then I ran to my sister and told her the whole story. All the bloody details. Without a word, she provided me with what I needed. I could now breathe.
I was halfway paying the whole amount.
But it didn’t end there. One night, when my sister was about to go back to our flat, the security personnel at the lobby didn’t want to give her the key. We used to leave the key at reception, as there was only one for both of us. Apparently, the owner confiscated it. That time, I was on a bus from my hometown. I was shocked and sensed that something is not right. She told me that the owner wanted to see me. I then told her to inform them that I was on my way.
Things were real. I couldn’t run away from the result of my actions. I was petrified on the bus. Upset, anxious. I could feel the situation devouring me.
When I finally arrived, the owner and I had a serious discussion which somehow led to a positive result.
Amid the chaos, I learned some lessons that I wanted to share with you.
Savings is very, very important AF
Too many times I questioned myself over and over: Why didn’t I save up? I had been earning more than enough, but where did it all my money go? I spent it all on my travels. I think I overdid it. I used to think that #YOLO is my motto. Sure, that sounds exciting, sounds like adrenaline rush because we’re young and free, but if you live until tomorrow, then you get sick but have no money, what would you do? Especially when you have no one to run to. Your savings will be your only savior no matter what. Save as much as you can. You’ll never know what you might be facing, so it’s better to be prepared than to be sorry.
Never forget the people who were willing to help you
I was afraid and ashamed to let anyone know about my situation. I only slide hints to my sister and to my best friend, but never disclosed the gory details, because I was afraid they would judge me. But the people whom I thought would just let me stand on my own and saved me. From my sister who lent me money to my best friend Greg, close friends Lara and Asha who let me use their laptops. Sometimes, we tend to neglect them when in fact, they’re willing to help us without judging.
Don’t forget those who let you down either
During those thorny times, I got in touch with my ex-boyfriend, ( because that time, we’re almost like a couple and planning to meet in June, finally ) and as far as I can remember, he’s one of the people I got the courage to put first in the picture. I never expected him to help me especially with financial matters, because he was never helpful anyway. But I tried. He told me though that perhaps my family, or my friends could help me. Then I asked myself, if my friends could help me, why couldn’t he? What’s the matter? Then, one friend offered me help, but in the end, I didn’t receive any. I guess she’s good only at words. I resent them. I just realized I should never ever rely on them. We can’t always expect people to support us but don’t hold grudge against them either.
Money is a big issue
When it comes to money, you can never trust anyone. No one will shower you with the bucks you need unless of course, he or she is a generous millionaire. Never open up a topic about money to someone whom you’ve just known for a short while, unless you fully trust them. Sometimes, the blame would still be on you. If you’re not comfortable talking about finances, don’t.
You can’t be independent all the time; you need other people’s hand
My friend and my ex-boyfriend told me that I should be more responsible in all aspects. It’s my life. I am not their responsibility. I swallowed to the nerve. I guess they were right. If I were responsible enough, I wouldn’t end up in a pitiful situation. But hey, nobody can be independent all the time. Can we? We can’t consistently stand on our own. We sometimes need other people to support us and to give us a hand. In life, we can’t always have good times. And relationships will be tested during the hardest times.
Crying is okay, let your tears drown you (for a little while), then get up
A few weeks after Lara lent me her laptop, the laptop went off and was dysfunctional. I called her via Messenger early in the morning to tell her that the laptop wouldn’t work. I had to cancel my lessons for the day. I was crying. I thought I was an unlucky person. I was still broke and I couldn’t afford the cost of the repair of another MacBook. So I cried and cried and screamed inside my room. She told me it would be okay and I shouldn’t worry.
The tears would help you feel better. It’s okay. And start thinking of the possible ways to bounce back. Crying would make you feel better.
When you feel something is off, find a way to get out
Upon struggling to get myself back on track and occasionally sleeping at Lara’s place, I figured that I badly needed to move out of my flat as soon as I could. I didn’t feel good upon coming back to my old flat. I was sad. She told me that her place is open for me. And that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t want to think that staying longer in my flat would make me unhappier, but I wasn’t comfortable either. I should move out and move on.
Learn to know your priorities
You don’t live to just pay your bills. Sayings of people are full of adventures. ( and of course, YOLO) But paying your bills is part of your life, electricity, internet, rental fee and all of those are on the top list. They’re not wants and even though you don’t want them, you can’t get rid of them. Pay them on time for fuck’s sake!
In the end, you can never expect people to meet your expectations. You and only you can get yourself back on track if you have the will. Help yourself and let the pain suck you in for a while. Be more responsible next time. Money is hard to earn and easy to spend, definitely. But if we’re wiser to think of a better tomorrow, you wouldn’t end up in a situation wherein people’s pity is overflowing. That’s not very nice at all.
As of the moment, I haven’t been out of the country and started to live my nomad life. Too many things have changed since then. Good, bad, and unexpected ones. Besides working hard and saving up, I am now working on a new chapter of my life. But that’s for another writing.
On a personal note, I couldn’t be more thankful to my dear friend Lara for saving my ass from that disastrous event of my life. From letting me stay at her flat, letting me take advantage of her stuff and for the unconditional care and company she’s been giving me. She’s truly an amazing woman. And to all the amazing women in my life, my sisters, Amber, my mom, my techie friend Jec, my super girlfriend Asha and my super bff Greg. Kudos and I love you all!