Blogging 101: Be Inspired by the Neighbors

Yesterday we were tasked with posting comments on a few select blogs that we had not ever commented on before. Today, we step things up a notch by publishing a follow up post to elaborate further on either one of those original posts or our response to it.

To that end, I’ve selected The Wild Pomegranate. (What a great name for a blog!). In her post entitled Call of the Wild, Grace writes of her struggles as a single parent. Her hardships are something I was able to relate to. Pregnant and married at eighteen to my first real boyfriend, our ‘wedded bliss’ lasted only two years. Jim didn’t stick around very long after that and while ordered to pay child support, only did so for the first year following our divorce.

Money was always tight. I remember a line from the Dolly Parton movie Best Little Whorehouse in Texas where Dolly spoke of the joys of always carrying a fifty dollar bill in her purse. I could only dream of such a thing. I was fortunate to still have $5 on me come payday or any money left in my checking account, for that matter. Always broke, often overdrawn, downtrodden, alone, depressed and envious of the lifestyle and ‘good life’ that I saw everyone else in my world enjoying – my friends, sisters and co-workers – I often threw caution to the wind and indulged in new clothes, shoes, partying and fun. It was a vicious cycle. Lines of credit extended at favorite shopping haunts and Visa and Master Card were definitely NOT my friends as I increasingly (and repeatedly) maxed them out. Debt begets depression which begets debt and so on and so forth. It is an ugly and gut-churning feeling, lying in bed at night wondering if the check you wrote to pay the light bill will bounce – again – or to open your mailbox to find multiple overdraft statements, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

I finally was able to break free when I decided to quit my job to go to college. Turns out I was smarter than my previous poor judgment and choices would indicate. I did quite well in school. Student loans, grants and numerous scholarships enabled me to finish first my AA degree at a local community college and then my bachelor of science degree at Iowa State University. At first, I only planned to pursue a drafting degree. Early on, however, I realized this wasn’t a good fit for me but math and programming (surprise, surprise – I avoided math courses of any kind in high school) were subjects in which I was quite proficient.

Quitting my job to go to college was the best decision I’ve ever made. Many struggles and hardships led to this choice and because of these and other difficulties I endured in my twenties and early thirties, I have a great appreciation for what I have – and where I am – today.

Assignment: Blogging 101: Be Inspired by the Neighbors

2 Comments

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  1. Oh, thank you so much for sharing your story, and for choosing my post as your inspiration. How wonderful that you went back to school!! How well I remember the Dog Days do Debt. Making a payment on my card meant that I would probably end up using whatever available credit there was for gas or food or something. I also remember the “oh f*** it” moments when, too long constrained by the lack of money, I would “splurge” on something. (Rarely more than a few hundred dollars worth, but it’s all relative,isn’t it?). SO wonderful to read how your tough times are over! Thank you again!

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