The Neglected Books

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Day after day you remained perched on my desk, guilt-tripping me at every glance for not picking you up again.

I still remembered the day I brought you home from the store. There seemed to be an endless amount of potential  that the words on your pages could bring to my life. In fact, I was more than delighted to have sent the little money I had on you, over what could have been a nice evening to the movies or a month’s worth of Netflix subscription. You temporarily deceived me into believing I was perhaps capable of becoming anything beautiful words could form: a writer, dancer, hippie, philosopher, entrepreneur…. there was no way I would’ve passed up the opportunity to know you.

Let it be known I appreciated the knowledge I have extracted from our short-lived time together. But why must you continue to emit non-verbal judgement as I go about my daily activities? As of now, you represent everything I thought you weren’t. You represent my unfinished meals, undone chores, piling schoolwork as I engage with passive entertainment like surfing Youtube and social media networks.

For weeks upon weeks I trudged to work, classes, and meetings with you. You would help me pass time with your many words of wisdom at the doctor’s office while waiting for an appointment. I couldn’t be more grateful but the weight you’ve placed upon  my shoulders while in my backpack has no doubt made me shrink a couple centimeters if not more. I despise you for this.  Shame.

Now I’m beginning to question your value. You’ve hurt my ambitions to achieve greater things in the world of literature.  Admittedly, I should have read you months ago whilst the wonderful summer rays but I procrastinated. Now my OCD is preventing me from neglecting you completely. I am unable to start again with other great written works because of your presence. All I ever really wanted was to maximize the lessons learned from you –not read every word you had to offer.

Believe me, I wanted to learn everything when I caught sight of you. From insight on global economics to math to poetry. I convinced myself you were a worthy investment. Now tell me the honest truth –has anyone ever managed to intake your every word? Do they work? Are they users of public transit that trudge through the cold rain with you on their side? Have they elected to read you over papers they should have read for class instead? Perhaps they took you to more interesting places. Maybe they wrote their first published novel with you by their side, took you travelling and introduced you to everyone at a party. Your thoughtfully composed sentences certainly do deserve more than 15 minutes of fame.

Don’t even get me started on your fictional counterparts! Such tall tales of magical kingdoms, wizards and vampires have had more than enough unwarranted exposure at the bookstore. Sometimes the story even turns into something like a bad pun. A considerable effort to convey a message but the bad punch line leaves a bitter aftertaste. The time I thought I was capable of burrowing through a 10 novel series has come and gone along with a series of unfortunate events.

So, to the books I have neglected on my desk for too long, I can only say I want to be the ambitious ordinary superhero you told me I could be and reach my goals with the wise words you have kindly bestowed on me. Today, I have no choice but to retire you to my shelf along with some other dated folks and visit the bookstore again.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

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10 Signs You’re Under Significant Financial Pressure

  1. You’ve never once considered purchasing warranty. The nice salespeople always suggest that you buy some sort of expensive warranty for your expensive electronic (which you probably shouldn’t be getting in your financial situation anyway) and you can only politely decline. Not that you take amazing care of your iPod/Smartphone/laptop, but you just can’t bring yourself to fork out money that otherwise don’t have leave your ever-so-flat wallet.
  2. Learning that an amount like $30 can be stretched throughout a 2 week period between paychecks. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. Is it ever relaxing living from one payday to the next? I didn’t think so. During these times you learn to channel your inner frugality and avoid activities that require spending of any kind, including but not limited to eating.
  3. Regretting the purchase of lottery tickets. Yes, those lottery and scratch-and-win tickets provide you with a tiny little glimmer of hope but you soon realize, after week after week of disappointment, that you might as well have just thrown your money away. Now wouldn’t it have been great if you had thought that one through and purchased a meal instead of starving yourself?!?!!! It just goes to show the power of having hope –so keep that going (just lay off the lottery tickets).
  4. When something you need goes on sale, you buy it. In fact, you buy it EXTREME COUPONING style. Sales feel like a once in a lifetime experience when you’re broke. If you miss it you won’t be using that product for awhile. This is sort of like when you’re so hungry you can’t help but gorge yourself at the end of the day despite knowing you don’t need all of the food.
  5. Reconsidering your scheduled days off at work because you need the money from extra shifts. At times you’re actually super relieved to have a day off once every so often to take a break and just breathe… but as soon as you hear your boss mention an extra shift you instantly feel the obligation to comply. Pressure from your boss? Nope. Pressure from being broke? Totally.
  6. Always going for the personalized hairstyle. By this, I mean you probably cut your own hair at times to dodge a visit to the hairstylist. Long story short –the haircut isn’t worth the price and you sure as heck can’t afford it. Not to say you won’t regret the fact that you chopped all your hair off by accident and gave yourself a bad perm. Forgive yourself already, it’ll grow back.
  7. Sometimes thinking that even student pricing is too much. Aside from the usual children/seniors admission to events you probably have the most affordable admission to events at one point but the price still kept you from going. At some point you may have pre-planned the excuse of not having your cash or your bank card readily available to pay for access. What a bummer.
  8. Hording napkins from fast food restaurants. What more can I say?
  9. Who needs a hotel for roadtrips anyway? Just sleep in the car. They say to collect all the nice soaps and shampoos when you’re staying at a hotel and save but… can you really afford to stay at a hotel in this sort of financial situation? You take a look at your bank account balance and wonder why you ever thought the entire trip would make a good idea.
  10. Daily meals of instant noodles. Funny how you thought you would be leaving this kind of lifestyle behind after you graduate from post-secondary and land your dream job, huh? Little did you know that you were neglecting the debt from student loans and had miscalculated the chances of you actually landing a job, let alone the big dream.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

Turning 20

Turning 20, in this day and age, I suppose… can be considered more or less a monumental sign. While the 19th birthday introduced many to an already known world of legally drinking, smoking and two years away from Vegas –20 is a more welcoming number. Maybe even the ‘Quarter-Life Crisis‘ if you will. Despite what might appear to be the beginning of a hectic school year, there are still a good number of things on the list to do.

Among other things, I could be hitting up a club (because apparently this is a popular pastime nowadays) and be suffocated by a mixture of Victoria Secret perfumes and Axe sprays while sweating up a storm next to a friend that is more-or-less well intentioned for “trying to show me a good time”. Maybe I will even receive that same perfume I caught a scent of at the club as a gift and realize that thanks to the big end-of-summer sale, every other person I walk by is wearing it too. None of the above seems to be quite appealing and regardless of what I end up spending my day doing, it is always assumed that there will be people present. After all, isn’t it the presence of other people in your life that make it that much more worthwhile? I suppose to make any birthday appear to be a monumental sign in one’s life, there must be the significant people around to legitimize it.

I learned that happiness is better shared –like passing around a plate of cookies. Despite the stress that fast diminishing cookies present in a group setting versus when alone, sometimes nothing is more overwhelming than pressure to be loud when greeting everyone during the occasion. The younger version of us will recall loud, screaming friends running around at birthday parties. As we age, some of us derive more value from the quiet introspection of our days. Although there is certainly nothing wrong with spending special days and celebrations with the people you love.

There will be no doubt that on my 20th birthday I will consider what the next few years will look like. Right now, I can picture sitting alone in front of a laptop screen while the rest of the world is fast asleep or more times where I will end up embracing the qualities of a hermit and decide to stay at home rather than move out of the house to meet people (Logic: Pajamas > People). I will look outside to the yard and question the idea of sitting outside upon damp furniture after endless days of rain in Vancouver.

Right now, I will personally admit to myself that it was rather illogical of me to have spent so much of my time in the past considering the stages of my life that has yet to happen. It is rather liberating to think without the social structure. As the evening is wearing on and my teenage years coming to an end, I might think about where I’ll be after graduating from a business school at the age of 21. I can only imagine that given the same circumstances, I would be in the exact same place with or without my degree. Besides the couple extra dollars –how would I be making use of that piece of fancy paper in a $100 dollar frame? When I consider the reactions of my peers also living in this ‘jobless generation’, I imagine many of them will consider the pursuit of yet another degree in graduate school to be a time stall (which to be fair, could be the case). Maybe one day I’ll tell them I’d also like to travel the world and wake up to a new country every 6 months where I can play a part in improving their local education system. Nothing is wrong with trying to figure out what a happy future may mean. The hours will still slip away like water in my palms but the skies will be clear like they are tonight.

A midst all the pondering of people that are no longer in my life, the favourite necklace that was lost on a walk and amazing work experiences, I want to think about today. In fact, I will. I will have thoughts about today and my future choices: Family, close friends, my major(s), job applications, getting over my chocolate addiction, cats and even the creaky furniture I have yet to attend to. After that, I might consider this entire process to be unoriginal. It isn’t like no one else has done this before their birthday prior to me. Of the 365 potentially beautiful days of my year, I, like the rest of you, have and will in the next 365 grow as a person and move to various stages of my life. And as much as I like to collect cat things, there is nothing more amazing than adding to your very own collection of what I call pint-sized epiphanies on a daily basis. For some, all the pint-sized epiphanies are fit together like puzzle pieces before they leave the familiar behind or before they go to sleep. For me, this is before my birthday.

Funny to think but this year I won’t be spending my 20th birthday alone. With all this talk about turning 20 and having chosen to designate my time to writing this, I’ve been able to spend it with all of you. I hope your pint-sized epiphanies will come together as mine have tonight.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

— itsfruitcakeweather.