It's Friday and I ain't got shit to do.
Well... no, that's not true. A friend is throwing a party tonight because she's leaving town to pursue bigger and better things. And while I know it'd be good to get out and go, I'm debating. I'm debating this whole weekend.
What do you do when you have little cash? Do you stay home and watch TV and read? This is highly tempting, especially since I am house-sitting for Steph and Ryan. (They have quite the lovely flat screen TV - it's huge!). Part of me doesn't want to be a hermit. The idea of being a hermit this whole weekend actually bums me out. But maybe, maybe I should be a little more practical.
Here it is, the 16th of the month. My first check for Freshi Films won't come until the end of the month. I only have about $40 in the bank, I need to put gas in the car, and I need to make this cash last. I'm holding out that I will raise the money for rent, (I did it last month, didn't I?), but what if I don't? What if all I have leftover for this month is $240? That would mean that I didn't go buy gas, it would mean I didn't travel anywhere unless absolutely necessary. It means that I would take myself out of a social atmosphere that I do know I need to exist. Every little bit counts right now - the mileage of my car is huge, especially as I have a quarter of a tank left. Going across town to visit a friend when I have no money to spend may not be wise. Granted, if I had the cash, I'd go in a heartbeat. I can't carpool, I'm out of everyone's way. Would she be heartbroken that I didn't go? Not necessarily. I know she'd be bummed, but I also know I wouldn't break her heart.
Much of the weekend is like this. There are events that would be fun to go to, (workday for the Ark, a movie screening at Freshi, the first night of 3 shows at The Hothouse, Monica's birthday, and a hike with Genie, followed by another show of improv on Sunday). This is a full weekend of fun. None of it costs a lot. But by the time I finish driving back and forth between the Valley and the Westside, by the time I finish paying for shows - I'd be broke until I get paid next, at the end of the month.
Money is not easy. I've decided that it's not what I need to be happy, as witnessed by last month, getting horribly sick and depressed working an eight hour day. I can't rely on my friends to always come and rescue me, (as they heroically did last month), I can't hope that money will come out of the woodworks and I'll be able to pay my rent and then some. I think I need to be practical.
I've been reading a wonderful book, (recommended by my fantastic friend Darin), called "Mindset," by Carol S. Dweck. This book talks abouthow one can approach the challenges in life - whether it be about intelligence, relationships, business, etc. The Fixed Mindset basically sees a limit to what it can learn. If it doesn't get a problem right away, doesn't figure out how it works, it gives up and thinks very little of Itself. The Growth Mindset sees a challenge as a chance to grow, it looks forward to the challenge, it knows that failing just means you're learning, and you have to work harder, and it welcomes working harder. So I think the thing to do here is email my friend my apologies. And then, knowing that the lack of money is what has gotten me here, take this opportunity to earn more and challenge myself by working on the massage business. Because it's all I have left to do.
As for the rest of the weekend, I'm still debating. I think I might not go out to The Valley, or spend the gas to go out and bond with people at Freshi since it's not mandatory. I won't go to The Ark and help out for the same reasons. Now, the next debate is Monica and her birthday. She's my roomie. I think I need to go, I think I have to go. I don't want to hurt her or disappoint her.
These are the hard things in Life. Do I look back on this night and reflect, "Coulda, shoulda, woulda?" Will I be satisfied with my choice? Probably not. Hell, I might even go later, you never know. But I think it's best to rein myself in and not act on a whim. I'm going to tell myself this will get better, because it has to. I knew that when this year started, there would be challenges along the way. I still know it, and I know I have to get through them so I can make this year truly great.
In the great words of Jennifer Warren, "Onwards and Sideways!"