My Early Retirement Journey- #singlegirllife
Early Retirement Journey My week Summer 2018

Notes on Life | Jul 27, 2018: Doctors Without Borders, Repo Man, Hotel Holiday

Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. In case you’re just joining us, here’s a little bit about me.  I am a single 30-something, openly Christian, hesitantly immigrant-y, human woman. I love watching TV while eating takeout, and I want to retire early. I currently work as a consultant in a tele-health call center making around $40/hr. I started my professional life in 2015 at the ripe ole age of 31 after a few false starts. I spent 2016 paying off about $10,000 worth of credit card debt. I spent 2017 paying off about $20,000 in private student loans; I still have about $300,000 in federal student loans for which I am currently on an income-based repayment plan for the next 25 years, give or take.  I started really getting into savings and investing late 2017 when I stumbled upon the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community.  In 2018, I made the decision to try to save for a sabbatical and maybe if all goes well continue the journey to early retirement.  Along this journey, I give weekly more personal than finance updates just like this one. Come along with me, I urge you!

Monday – Forgot to eat my lunch today. Don’t know if it’s because I’m so pre-occupied or a bit absent-minded. I think grapes give me gas. Is that a thing? Fructose maybe? Had the best creative high over the weekend. I made a comic and I couldn’t stop looking at it. It’s so beautiful!! How sad it must be for professional artists to create something and not experience overnight fame. This must be what it’s like for new parents, they think the human person they made is the best thing ever. All told, it took me about 8 hours to make 6 storyboards but it was well worth it. The high lasted much of Sunday as well.

Another aunt hit me up for a $3k loan. Both flattered that she’d think I was that flush with cash, and quietly unnerved. Hmm. This is actually the second request. I don’t recall how I got out of the ask the last time, but I will try to be casual about it. Is it awful to not want to give people money (if I had some laying about) because you don’t like the way they spend it?

Hmm..I’ve been blaming work for all my aches and pains. Maybe it’s my mattress?

Spent the evening thinking of starting a friend letter writing campaign. I’ve been without a regular cell phone for about a year now and I don’t miss it. I wanted more intentional communication. Even email these days is starting to move into the category of long-form text. In an attempt to reach out to old friends, I might start writing actual letters that need to be sent postal mail. I think the idea is good. A good way to ease back into keeping touch without too much “forever” commitment. Hmm, but do I want my old friends back in my life anyway? Or was I just high on tacos?

Tuesday– So I started an application for Doctors without Borders last night. Don’t be too impressed. I’ve been rejected by Peace Corps (Response) and other volunteer organizations. I just need to jump start my life. There’s got to be more to person-hood than parenthood and spouse-hood. I would at least like to be around more like-minded people. North Carolina is a great place to be in your 20s, a parent, or a home-owner. Argh, you see my dilemma. Perhaps the workplace isn’t the best place to encounter stirring drama and new views on the world, but still…

Was feeling good about the application, even day dreamed a little, until I got to the three page self-assessment of skills. Mine was almost entirely blank. It turns out having a corporate job where I sit on my butt all day will not translate well into field work in under-served countries. Womp, womp. Hmm. No surprises there.

More problems with Aunty MERJ. Same ole, same ole. I advised of something in the past that would have avoided problems in the present. She didn’t listen. Now it’s a problem and I have been named the fixer. I’ve detached a bit. Prob the reason I’m thinking more of moving to far away lands. Can’t wait to go home and eat tacos. For some reason re-fried beans are the most delish thing ever. How did I ever forget about these!

Wednesday – Woke up in searing back pain. Felt like I slept on hot coals. Promptly moved bed to floor with vigor when returned home from work. Disassembled part of bed frame that included curved wooden slats. Thinking of spending night in a hotel for some rest.

Have stand-up desk at work now. Now I have pain in shoulders, back, and legs from standing. Can the single girl get a break!  More thoughts of leaving to include: Peace Corps Response, Doctors Without Borders,  just plain running away, a hotel staycation down the road…

Thursday– Woke up a mess. Slept with mattress on floor. Aunty MERJ’s car was repossessed. And BOA locked me out of her account. Ugh, it’s like the beginning all over again. This is a mess! I’m so out of it. I feel like a zombie.  Too many annoying customer service encounters to list.

Friday – My life feels like it’s slowly imploding. Same with my family…slowly imploding. Still at work and did a few laps during my lunch break. It’s just minor insignificant things that make me crazy. I think if I had more going on in my life these little things would not affect me so much and for so long. I know I don’t want to work anymore, but I’m just not sure what to do next. I mentally toy with taking a long break in 2020 or just waiting 10 years and FIRE’ing for good. This is one of the days when having that shorter term goal would be motivating. I’m in pain, physically and mentally. I’m a zombie.
Aunty MERJ weighs on my mind. She wants me to call her everyday and check up on her, but it seems like every time I call her I’m presented with a new problem to fix. I’m not Olivia Pope (from Scandal). I’m not a fixer! Managing anyone’s finances which are different from your own both in approach and objective has just added an extra stressor that I just don’t want. But then I look at my outfit today, all items purchased by Aunty MERJ for me (granted some with my own money) but still.
I go to bed most nights praying for a new life; the other nights I just lay there awake. It’s a good thing I still buy tickets for the office pool because these are the times when I’d blow a bunch of money on some lottery tickets hoping for a miracle.  I don’t know what I’d do with all that money in actuality but it would cut out my “biggest” sore – my job. My job really isn’t that bad. It’s just kinda mindless and sometimes customers are not nice.  I don’t understand how people do this life thing everyday and then bring new people into all the misery. The world astounds me.
More thoughts of escaping. Thought about just booking a hotel nearby for the weekend to sleep in a comfier bed and turn off the world. But I mean really, what good would that do? If it didn’t help, I’d just be thinking about all the money I blew. Then I was thinking I’d have to go the bank on Saturday to try to unblock my access at stupid Bank of America, so that stopped me. But then last night I had a clear moment where I was like, I’m tired of dealing with this. I’m not in the mood to be frustrated by customer service agents three days in a row.  So I’m saving the Bank of America headache for another day.
Here’s what my hotel escape itinerary did look like:
Friday – leave work; get takeout from yummy Thai place; watch copius amounts of TV; get a good night’s rest
Sat – more takeout + tv + rest
Sun – ugh… go home.

Gee how is there an ugh even in a daydream. Oh well. The work day is over. Time to go home. Praise the Lord!

TV this week: Cybil, Big Brother, Free Rein, Life Sentence
Takeout this week: KFC?,  Salmon and rice from the Korean place

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  1. Your second aunt's request for money sounds frivolous. I don't think there is anything at all wrong with turning it down. You have a huge amount of debt, after all, and 3k is a lot!

  2. I empathize with so much of this and there's not much I can say except, I hope these bloggy hugs I'm sending help a little. 😉
    Dropped by from #TrafficJamWeekend and glad to be following you here, on Twitter and Pinterest. Hope the weekend is good to you and the week ahead holds some peace and lottery winnings. 😉

  3. That sounds like a really rough week MERJ. Have some ((hugs)) from me. You don't have money to spare as you are supporting Aunty MERJ so no to Aunty no.2. You need a break girl, now or definitely in September and it would do you the world of good to be somewhere else NOT a staycation

  4. You're right overall, but she was saying it's to help keep her house. It's been a struggle for her recently with keeping kids in good schools.

  5. Thanks, D. You just made my day and was the encouragement I needed to guest host one more week ;). I'll have to find you on social media and return the support!

  6. I know, Tuppy, I know. But where… and how can I get there in one click! It just feels so indulgent to go somewhere for two reasons… a) what am I really doing so much b) i'll still have to come back to work!

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