Yesterday, I went to the gym. That is a start, and starting marks the first victory. Man am I feeling it, but the adventure to the gym created a story all its own.
Before I️ could go to the gym, I️ needed a lock. Across the parking lot from the New York Sports Club stands Wal Mart lording over the rest of the mall. I looked horrible. I️ don’t dress up for the gym, and bring the bare minimum with me. I wore a pair of sweat pants with tennis-shoes. My big winter jacket and fake-fur lined hat made me look a bit more like a navy marshmallow than a human. When I unbuttoned that, my t-shirt was too big and made me look sloppy. Add my lack of shaving and the slight growth of hair on my head, I felt like a mess, but if I had prepped myself for the day I would not have gone.
I needed to buy a lock for the gym. A few months ago, I threw out my backpack and within that backpack was the small lock used at the gym. I realized this right before I actually left and added ‘Wal Mart’ to this gym excursion.
While walking around, I opted to pick up a few more items specifically a better razor to shave my head as well as more toothpaste. I didn’t necessarily need these items yet, but I have gotten in the habit of buying things before I need them so I don’t need to rush to buy said items with a half shaved head or morning breath.
I walked up to the counter and opened my wallet. I did not have my ATM card. After work the previous night, I slid it into my pocket. I stared down at my two credit cards which I have barely kept up with the minimum payments. I just put more money on both of them, but as I looked down at them I knew the payments had yet to clear. They both had twenty-five dollars of credit on them, and I had close to thirty-five dollars worth of items. I felt embarrassed, and would have felt even worse if someone would have had to put my items back.
I paid for it on both cards. This brought me back to my childhood.
I know that a lot of people have the same kind of things happen to them. And we all know poverty sucks. I grew up in a family that did not have a lot of money. Coupons, thrift stores, and tax returns were an important part of growing up. I will say that we never went hungry, but I remember my parents talking about bills that went unpaid or that we were behind on. There were times that we did not have heat because my parent’s couldn’t afford it.
I don’t want to be that person anymore, and it’s in moments like this that reinforce that fact. We strive so hard to better ourselves, but it takes time and effort. It also takes a helluva lot of faith in yourself to stick with what you’re doing. I need to make sure that I stay up on my finances to keep a leg-up on my financial future and keep these embarrassments down to the minimum.