Tag Archives: money

All Is Not Lost

I’ve been doing a paid internship for the city of Middletown and made decent scratch from it. My last day is friday, august 7. My parents are going to Cape Cod the following day, and I’ve finally got their permission to do my own thing while they’re away. (I’m only 22, after all). So during the two weeks they’re away, I plan to meet up with Anne Marie wherever she might be. I’ll probably wait a week so I can deposit my last paycheck. Also, Peter is coming home around that time for R.A. training (re-training, technically) so I’ll hang out with him for awhile before I go.

Manifesto

I blew it. I spent all my money and can’t afford to go it “alone” this summer. So I’m not going to be on the bus, but I’ll still be following the trip through this site, maybe posting responses.

I still think it’s very important to say what this trip meant to me. What it still means to me. I think there are two reasons I yearned for the journey. First, to see as much as I could of this country. Even just on that superficial level of observation, to see it. There is a lot more on this earth than most of us will ever see first-hand, and so long as I have the chance to explore the depths and heights of it I see no reason not to. Life is short, and we might only do it once, so I believe in learning and experiencing as much of it as we can.

It’s not the same thing to see pictures or hear stories. I went to Ireland for ten days last summer. I’ve seen plenty of videos and photographs of the country, but the moment I saw the mountains for myself I was changed. It was unlike any previous experience. It was literally breathtaking to look out the window of my room in the morning and see the sparkling water of the loch under the bluest sky, or the palpable mist hovering about the grassy mountaintop. You have not seen Ireland until you stand there and look at it.

But perhaps more important to me: I want to find something. Anything uniquely valuable about the experience. I have felt for most of my life that I was missing something, and have made some guesses at how to feel more complete, or simply how to be happier with my life. But for these past few years I have struggled to find a place for myself in the world, or even a place without the world, or alongside it. I don’t expect a road-trip to California and back, even if we covered every inch of the country, would bring an answer to such a monumental question. I would probably find no answers, but many more questions. But I expect, and I think many of us do, that undertaking this journey will teach me something that I can’t even imagine before I see it.

In the poem “Dover Beach,” Matthew Arnold writes:

And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight

For three months of travel, I expect at least one instant of discovery, one minute piece of experience that lends the least bit of light to this darkness. Not that I will understand the world any clearer, but that I will return knowing something new. I will be changed, as changed I was by the Irish mountains.

Eight-Ball Says…

I’m almost out of money, and almost entirely due to stupid spending habits. Really just one habit: spending. Over the past year, Mom gave me over $900, in addition to whatever I had and whatever I earned. She and Dad also supplied me with grocery money and gas money while in school, and continue to do so. And yet I have under $200.

If I want to go on this trip, I need to come by some money. A miracle would be nice. I suppose I could fit a part-time job into my schedule, though most of my free time is in the morning and I’m not very effective before 11 am. eBay has panned out poorly.

Outlook not good. My two most likely options at this time are not going, or making living out of a bus for a summer on a hundred dollars or less yet another of the feats of this journey.

A Fool and His Money

I’m kind of lazy. Well, I’m really lazy sometimes. Ever since I graduated from high school I’ve had a hard time managing my time, so I don’t have a job while I’m in school. I hardly get my schoolwork done as it is, I can’t imagine trying to organize it alongside even part-time working hours. Needless to say, I have no source of income. My parents are more than kind enough that they cover my gas money and general living expenses, so my savings shouldn’t go anywhere, right? I also have a spending problem. I’m a little bit of a shopping addict, mostly as a response to stress or depression. What stress? Who knows. I’m in an almost perpetual state of wanting a vacation, sometimes even while I’m on vacation.

So why is any of this relevant? Because I should be saving money for this trip. I should’ve been saving money for at least a year now, but when I had a decent amount saved up and got some paid film work it seemed like I had money to spare. Wrong. So in late September, my savings almost completely depleted, I turned to the one place I could get help.

eBay.

Since then I’ve sold five CDs, nine DVDs, two Playstation 3 games, three Gamecube games, a computer program, and a Silver Surfer compilation book. This raked in $288.71, but after deducting shipping and fees from both eBay and PayPal, I got a net profit of a little more than $100.

It’s not much but every little bit helps, right? Especially since I’ve still been spending money needlessly. Having an eBay account is a double-edged sword, since while I’m making money by venting my unwanted and unneeded possessions, I’ve also been inducted into a new spending venue.

So I’ve got almost $250, and the trip is less than five months away. Am I boned? How much money will I need for three months anyway?

I’m boned, aren’t I.