I pull my car over and pull out my wallet.
Ok, I have $22 dollars to carry me for the next two weeks. Hm. If you put $12 in the tank, that might take you ’til the end of the week, then you will have $10 leftover for an emergency and a couple of coffee’s at Jo’s.
As I pump my Versa with $12 worth of unleaded gas, I ponder, then grapple with, then finally realize that I actually have only $22 to carry me for the next two weeks. I start laughing out loud, then stop my left hand from throwing the gas nozzle on the ground.
What the fuck did you do?! How could you leave yourself with $22 for two weeks!?
Picking up and moving with little money to begin with is not a good idea. However, when I’ve made up my mind to do something, I gotta do it. So here I find myself in Austin, moneyless, searching for something. I guess I must like to challenge myself! What’s more fun that putting yourself in place you’ve never been before with $22 in your pocket!? Huh? HUH??
And this is when the question, “Lauren, are you maybe slightly stupid?” comes up. I call my mother. “Ma? Do you think maybe my IQ is a lot lower than we think, cause I don’t know how I ended up putting myself in this situation?”
“What situation?” She asks.
I tell her the story of how broke I am and she sighs.
“Yes, I think I may have raised a dumb child.” She says.
Nah, she didn’t say that. But she might as well have. Instead I hear the long pause of disappointed parent silence, then, “Well, what are you going to do?”
“What am I going to do?” has been the question of the year.
Taking time to clear your head, working on writing, and general shifting down a gear does not bode well with your finances. Especially when you have a car, school loans, and some credit card bills you wracked up when you first moved to L.A. and were lonely and decided eating out just to be around people was a better idea then sitting home alone, drinking.
Oh, I’ve worked. It’s not like I stopped working. I just decided to leave my career where I made a decent income and opted to struggle working by the hour.
I try to keep reminding myself that this will be good for my creativity, that this will teach a lesson. I will learn to live outside of my comfort zone, teach myself how to budget, and be able to write about actual struggle. I’m writing about it now. See? And you know what? IT FUCKING SUCKS!