Before anything with this virus happened anywhere, I lived an uneventful life. Since October, I’ve limited going out and other social activities. My main goal was to save money. I filed for bankruptcy. Worked many jobs. I had seven W-2s when I filed my taxes for 2019. I haven’t seen some friends in months. Other friends don’t want to see me. Despite several jobs, I had to watch my money and buy cheaper food. Ramen. Rice. Spaghetti. I managed. I knew my financial situation would improve at the end of March. That’s when I’ll finish paying my attorney fees for the bankruptcy.
Then the pandemic happened. I lost income because a couple of my jobs are in entertainment. They canceled the events. I also work part-time in a coffee shop. A national chain that I won’t mention here. They have cut back operating hours. All my coworkers and myself are losing hours. With the cut in income, my shopping essentials are more important. But the grocery store is out of all the things I often buy. Everyone else panic bought all the cheap stuff. I have to spend more than I usually do, but I can still manage.
To add insult to injury, everything in Tucson closes around 6pm or 8pm except the grocery store. And everything in grab and go only. I can’t go anywhere to get out of the house. Not even to read a book. I understand why. I’m not complaining about the reason behind these decisions. I’m only documenting my experience. Sometimes getting away from the house, a change of scenery, is comforting. My options were always coffee shops and libraries. I don’t have any friends I spend time with anymore. I don’t spend time with anyone. Now I’m not allowed to sit in any coffee shops and the city closed the libraries.
When all this is over, everyone will go back to their normal routine. I’ll sit in coffee shops again and buy the food I always buy. Otherwise, my routine will remain the same. Others may look back on these weeks as something exciting. That time they had to focus on survival. I’ve only known survival. I don’t know what normal life feels like. I imagine things will pick up for me by the end of the year. There is a gloom of uncertainty hovering over the future. I’ve only known survival and I know I’ll survive this. Don’t forget what it felt like to lose everything you took for granted. Stay safe readers.
I won’t have a New Year’s Resolution this coming year. I won’t because I’m already doing things to better myself. The last couple years haven’t been easy for me. Much of that was my own fault. Many things had to happen in order for me to notice. I felt I had hit rock bottom in early October 2019. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that low. Had I lost my job on top of everything else that happened, I’m not sure what I would have done. I almost lost everything in my life. My whole world went topsy-turvy.
Long story short, I was too negative for too long. It had built up over these last two years. I didn’t notice until it was too late. I lost motivation. I lost confidence in myself. I lost friendships. Since early October, I’ve been changing how I look at and talk to myself. It’s working. But I still have a long journey ahead. I filed for bankruptcy. My court date is in January. I had a couple student loans in default. I’ve gotten one out of default and the other is on its way out of default. Bankruptcy doesn’t affect student loans.
I’m being nicer to those close to me. Some chose not to be a part of my life because of the negativity. I hope the Universe brings them back into my life during the new year. I’m also being nicer to myself. I thought I was doing enough before to combat the negativity. But I feel short of the mark. I had to increase my efforts tenfold to see a difference. I’ve spent a lot of time alone. I can’t afford to go out to most things. Some things are too far for bus rides or I can’t afford the money for bus fare. I’m keeping an eye out for things to do so I can meet new people.
I relied on those close to me too much. I’m sure this is why they pushed me away. I’m doing more to keep myself occupied when I don’t have money for other activities. I’ve been using my camera more. I enjoy taking pictures. I’m reading and writing more. I’m doing as much as I can with what I have. Every night before bed, I write down three good things that happened to me that day and why they were important to me. This is the biggest thing that’s helped. I’ve done this every day for almost three months.
My journey has only begun. I have so far to go and no idea how long it will take. But I keep moving forward. I’m hunting for the good in things. I’m staying positive. I’m not allowing my thoughts to consume me. I’m getting by. I’m surviving. I’m not making a New Year’s Resolution because I’ve already made a resolution for life. And since I’ve already started, I have no fear of giving up. I’ve done this too long now to quit. While you all start something new and eventually stop, I’ll continue what I started. I’ll continue because I like myself. I love myself. And I deserve good things.
So, I messed up last week. I scheduled my Fiction Friday post for last Friday along with my Flashback Friday post. Fiction Friday should have been today. I’ve had a weird couple of months, and I’ve been extra busy. A mistake was bound to happen at some point. Despite this mishap, I’m looking towards the future. I have many things in the works, and I’d like to share some of those with you all.
This past Tuesday, I released a new book. I didn’t advertise this much. It was more of a personal achievement. The book is called Mushaburui: A Mental Health Journey. This is nonfiction and autobiographical. I spent two years writing for a couple of blogs along with my personal blog. These are personal stories of things I was thinking and feeling at the time. I decided to publish them all together. I may write more and publish those as well. I wanted to see how far I’ve come. This will help push me to continue moving forward.
I still have a long way to go on this journey and writing has helped. I also have another collection of poetry releasing in January titled Cats, Coffee, Catharsis. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle. I have more details about this as we get closer to the release date. I’m also using some poems from past collections for a show I’m putting on in January. As part of the Tucson Fringe Festival, my show “Men Are Garbage” will feature poems from the collection of the same name. This is also helping me on my mental health journey as many of the poems are about personal experiences.
The show is on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 7:30 at Studio ONE. Get more details and tickets from the Tucson Fringe Festival’s Online Store. I’m both nervous and excited about this as I’ve never read my poetry for that long with no one else on stage. It will be an interesting experience.
The new year has a lot in store for me. I hope it does for all of you too. I hope you all enjoy the remainder of the year. Stay safe out there.