Monday, April 29, 2024

The Truths We Don't Speak

Part of the reason so many live disillusioned lives of depression is found in one society problem that has existed all my life and will probably always exist.  We celebrate fantasies and literally tell and expect people living dark days to keep silent.  We... don't say bad things out loud.  I was never very good at that rule.

The unfortunate result, of course, is that no one can learn from the failures of others, so we keep having to learn them over and over like one of those movies of days on repeat.  I try to make a difference in that area and honestly feel peace only when the truth is spoken.  I thought it would be good to post a few of those truths that are known to those that lived them but kept silent from those about to live them.

1.  You can do everything right and still lose... often that's the case, in fact.   Why?  Well... in part it us because while you're living a code of ethics, others are ... not.  So, you become easy bait and meal for the sharks that would feed on you.  In fact, it is my experience that when you start to object and defend yourself, that is seen as an attack by those only wishing to use you.  But... rather than lamenting all that, why not break free and save yourself.

2.  Religion has been anything but a history of comfort.  The religious get all silent when you mention their dark history... in part because many approve of that past and know it's non pc  to say it.  They don't see anything wrong with the church spending centuries trying to convert otherwise by the sword in the crusades, hanging scientists, burning witches, selling tickets to heaven, expecting women to keep silent in church and submit to men and make babies, and imposing christian morals on everyone that is NOT members of the faith.  Again... we keep the bad things quiet, so we can repeat them again.  And, we definitely don't talk about things like churches harassing LGBTQ members or the sexual assault happening in many church camps or by ministers to altar boys.  I'm not an atheist, but I definitely don't believe in churches from my experience.  I just haven't found one that doesn't turn out to have more sin and problems than the world from whom they... separate and condemn.

3.  Bad things happen, and that's a good thing.  People STILL maintain God will bless those that does good, and they judge those with struggles as sinful.  To be wealthy is to be "blessed" the belief goes.  Problem is that we have literally thousands of years of believers suffering and dying in their faith, and Jesus, himself, said its hard for a rich person to enter heaven... another thing we just don't... say.  But, facing challenges helps us all to grow up and mature, and that's what you need to do, if you're going to actually address your problems and overcome them, yourself.

I have much more I could say, but... some other time.  That's enough for today.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

And... Action

 In The Holiday, you have this exchange..

Abbott : Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.

Iris : You're so right. You're supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god's sake! Arthur, I've been going to a therapist for three years, and she's never explained anything to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.

The last several weeks, I have been taking more personal control over the direction of my life, instead of letting others or circumstances direction it.  As a result, I have peace... like... all the time.  I do believe that I will see a payoff for my efforts... my psychic ability to predict how things go has been ringing off the hook... that's an old phone saying for younger generations.  It just means I feel it coming.... AFTER I began acting to bring it about on my own and stop waiting for God or fate to do it for me.  But, the peace is worth it all by itself.  I began believing I deserved it, and suddenly I feel... worthy.  And it's easy to be patient to get what I deserve.

But.. none of this works have happened if I didn't get fed up and take action.  I've said several times the last months that the multiverse is real insofar as to say that every day our choices dictate the dimension... or version.. of our lives that result from those choices.  So... what tomorrow are your current thoughts and actions writing.  Are you the leading character or hero in your own story?  If not, why the fk not?  Do something about it.  What do you have to lose?

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Snowpiercer Lessons

I've been watching season two of Snowpiercer over the last week.  The show is a great vehicle for an example of human society, especially in our time but in all times.  Why?  Because humans are humans.   I thought I'd go through several lessons we can glean from the show.

People have been trying to own other people for thousands of years.  There is the literal examples of slavery over the centuries, but apart from that we still see examples.  It usually begins with something like... I am paying for things or I own something that provides or I am keeping you safe.  Therefore, the story goes, you owe me.  You can see examples in parents, spouses, bosses, religious dieties, and more.  Authority in their mind is due, and those that refuse to acknowledge it are evil for failing to suck up and praise rhem.  That... is Mr Wilford, played by Sean Bean.  Its not enough for him to seek to control the train... that's just a machine.  He must be worshiped by those within it.

I realized this years ago about the rich and charity.  They love to give to the poor that begs of them, because what is wealth good for if there's no one below you from which they are different...better.  looking down on some makes them feel more prosperous, because hanging in rich circles will inevitably mean others with more to make them feel...poor.  So, they don't give in private... what would be the point of that?  They also can't stand the government helping the poor with their tax dollars instead of donations, because now the poor can't thank them and make them feel superior.

The train on the show is separated by class.  Those in power live well and those in poor cars have to live by the good graces of those in charge. As the leader of hospitality warned one woman, the way to survive Wilford is to become something he wants.  Indeed, the whole state of Florida has sold their soul to dedicate its entire economy on that very fact.  It's an entertainment state, but it's entertaining at a steep price, and the rich doesn't mind paying it, because they know others can't.. and thus they are special... again.

Bur, an important lesson to remember is that there are more of those being used than those using, and after a while they get tired of being used.  After a while, they say why should they get to hoard much and keep others poor... controllable.  After a while, they say freedom and opportunity is worth fighting for.  And, that fire of self respect is power, itself, to change lives and the future.

So, play along.  Do your part to pay for life as you need and rise to make yourself... something they like.  But, don't lose track of the goal.  As you take control of your own life, use it to move towards a better world for others that doesn't have to kiss your ring to have it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024


 I'm going to combine several things from past posts and new thoughts in this post.

Concepts I've mentioned, before:

1.  From the book Dopamine Nation, I did several posts that focused on how we want what feels good over what is functional.  Indeed, there is a meme out there of people lined up for meds, while the space in front of "life change" was empty.

2.  I used to do several posts in which I noted that progress stems from discontent and that it usually is not the path that is pleasing.  Exercise isn't fun.  Eating well isn't as pleasing as pizza and ice cream.  Work isn't as satisfying in the moment as rest.  Following the path of least resistance and ease will lead you to gain weight, be poor, and fall apart.

3.  Years ago, I did a post about faith... not in God, specifically, but to understand faith as a concept.  I said that true faith quals expectation plus determination.  It says that THIS (whatever it is) WILL happen, because even if God doesn't do it, I will.  My recent post about the Wish movie shares this perspective.

I've spent too many years focusing on finding ways to feel happy, when negative things came into my life.  I would, like many others, busy myself with hope and delusions of a life that was grander and more ideal than the one I wanted.  When more bad things came, the distraction got bigger to counter it... more alcohol, more activity, more focus on dreams and waiting for God to "make it so" in my life.

And, as a result things got worse.  Why?  I wasn't making life changes to improve my trajectory.  And, the distractions from pain was also a distraction from change, which I feared.  It wasn't til I started embracing darkness and the reality of my situation that I finally awoke enough to say... I'm discontent... I don't like this... I will change it.

And when that determination and expectation was reborn, I no longer needed my distractions, and one by one I have been reigning them in so that my mind free from focus on self criticism, free from romantic salvation, and free from alcohol could actually be used to assess the good in my current life and craft a path to improvement for myself.

The path ahead isn't the easiest path, but easy destroyed my assets and life potential.  But, once you are awake to what's real, you can't return to the delusion.  I'm awake, and I am making the world in which I will thrive.  And, I'm very happy for that.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Get Real

A long time ago in a neighborhood far, far away in the lives of Generation X kids growing up, we would sometimes say, "Get real," when someone was saying something that was "far out" or unrealistic, when something required a realistic perspective.  We knew how to pretend and have fun, but we also knew when you had to take responsibility to put in the work for what you needed.  That's why it wasn't odd to find kids working at an early age doing one thing or another.  I mowed yards, bailed hay, swept floors, picked okra, and more along with working at my dad's workplaces shingling houses, installing insulation, and more.  My first car was.. my car. I paid for it all on my own.  I worked to study to have high grades and win academic competitions.  I didn't expect anyone else to do it for me, and it would have been slightly insulting to ask them to do it for me.  We were responsible for our own lives outcomes.

It's easy to forget all that.  It's especially easy when you get comfortable in beliefs that others would come to make your life better or should do so.  It gets easy, when you spend too much time focusing on what others aren't giving you, when they hadn't been giving it to you your whole life before meeting them, either.  

Like... before I married my second ex wife, I was on my own.  I rarely dated over those years.  I was busy working my way up career ladders and taking care of my kids on my own, after my first ex had another mental break and my kids were mine 100 percent of the time for years and most of the time after that ex started getting time with them supervised by her parents.  I took time for me at times, but I was focused on building myself up, and I did it.  By the time I met my second ex, I was living in a house I owned, working at a good job, had good money, and was confident and fit, having been running in races, as well.  Then, I got comfortable... my focus wasn't on building myself up and my career but focused on loving someone and making their life great, slowly chipping away at what I had built for myself.  It is good to give to someone if you care for them, but if you don't keep filling your own cup, you can find yourself empty.

You can also get lazy in religion and trusting God to provide for you or blaming him when He does not.  Or, perhaps, you are working so hard to please Him and fearing His displeasure that you lose sight of what you want and learning to prepare for yourself.  Do you have kids?  How often do they say.. hey, I want to learn to cook for myself .. or for that matter do anything for themselves?  You want to care for them, but after a while you're like... you have two legs and hands.  Go do it yourself.  I don't justify God for everything that happens in life, but even if he's there... or isn't there.. you are still responsible for your own life, curses upon it or not.

That's one thing that came out of the last week for me.  After almost all my reserves were tapped and hope was grim... Indeed, even the good that would come in money came from destruction and pains.. it splashed enough cold water on my face to wake me up to the fact that I had allowed myself to be in that point.  I had chosen less paying options than I could have chosen.  I chose focus on an easy life over a successful one.  I paid way too much attention to finding "love" when I needed to find a functional budget.

So, I got real.  I have begun making wise choices.  I bought a car, rather than having another on payments.  I am applying to accounting jobs.  I am spending very little time concerned on what to say or do or appear to get romance, realizing just how much that was dominating my self esteem and daily life.  Instead, I only ask one thing when picking tv or what to post or whatever... what do I want?  Its a much more peaceful life and a steady journey that will end up with me rising, because I have control of the steering wheel to ensure it does.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

A Worthy Moment

 Listening to my playlist this morning, I wanted to put down a thought, before I get started with my day planning and acting on new potentials of future.

I used to say... years ago.. that the value of an attempt was not determined by how successful it would be in the end.  But... life battle scars and pains over the years makes that hard to really feel true.  But, consider our lives in the grand scheme of life.  We live a life, and then we are gone.  For us, it feels like the center of everything, but for most that are alive today, we are nothing, and we will leave a mark that will be erased within years, very likely.  Even if we leave a historical mark, it will be distorted over time and eventually forgotten or found irrelevant.  So... was our lives important and beautiful?  To us... yes.  And, OBJECTIVELY they can be so, as well... even if no one was there to see or record it.  They are still good.

I think this backwards applies, as well.  This is a very hard one for me, and I won't say that I will do a good job feeling it or applying it... but I'll try.  What if you lived a romance with someone or raised kids or worked at a job or whatever.  In those years, there were many moments that were very nice, inspirational, encouraging, or more.  Then, things turned badly and ended badly... or just drifted apart or whatever.  Now, you don't want to think about those years.  I have blogged in the past that part of the process of recovery from a breakup is to forgive yourself for taking the risk and to accept your part in those years was good to bring yourself together.  But, what about the other person's part in it?  Were they good?  At the time, they were.

So, the hard moment is to accept that those moments in time WAS good as much as they were... at the time.  They may not still be possible or even something that you might want, but the value of that moment will remain etched in time... as a worthy moment.

So, that's something I'm going to work on, as well as feeling inspired to do more worthy moments or at least give a worthy attempt.  Whether or not it fails, it will be a good mark in an otherwise bleak canvas.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Wishes that Walk

I've been quiet on the blog and as relates to personal thoughts on social media over the last week.  In part that was because I was dealing with several challenges, especially after my car got hit from behind and made it not legal to drive on the road and likely totalled due to the age of the car and mileage versus the damage.  When that happened, my ability to earn money also came to a screeching halt, as well, with almost nothing in my account, because I had just paid a phone payment right after replacing a tire in the week after paying monthly rent.  

When that happened,  I also had to shift into safety and survival mode in Maslow’s pyramid with all my brain power being dedicated to solutions of that.  I couldn't even get to the doctor to get checked out.  But, after many days of calls and claims, I am covered financially for at least long enough to get something else going.  

I did have random thoughts and feelings about the situation, too, and as the safety issues cleared I focused more time on them... bringing that dark cloud into more focused determination.  Last night, I watched Wish on Disney Plus, and it actually helped me with this focusing.  I'll explain.

In Wish, the king of the land collected everyone's wishes to "protect" them and when he did so, they forgot about them,  leaving it in the hands of the king to decide who's wishes were worthy of granting.  The movie surrounds a girl that learned all this and asked why the wishes that wouldn't be granted by him couldn't be given back to them to try to make happen on their own, but the king didn't want to lose his power over their dreams.  I don't need to give more of the movie... watch it yourself.  But, I give that summary to refer to as I explain my own mentality changes, ahead.

The last years have been a series of life challenges to overcome.  Indeed, the morning they picked up my car to evaluate, I returned to my extended stay room to find the door lock battery dead.  I had to call the after hours number to have them fix it to get back inside.  Now, is this years of being cursed or being judged or what?  I don't know.  I've made it clear that I don't trust a divine power to just... grant my wish.. as in the movie, nor a spell to just make it happen.  It's also become very clear that love is not just going to happen and aid for my needs will fall from the sky.  My whole life has been me providing solutions to my problems, generally.  Some might help with temporary aid, but lasting solutions came from my own sweat and thinking.

So, like the movie, I'm tired of waiting for it to all just happen.  I'm also tired of not having a backup budget for when life... or spiritual entities... throw a tantrum in my direction.  So, I'm dedicating my time and energy to setting up a firm financial foundation and rebuild my life... myself.

Benjamin Franklin said that God helps those that help themselves, which is really saying they will help themselves and God will get the credit.  Regardless, it's about time my wishes took a walk and I provided for myself... and it will happen.  

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Breakup Nation .. Its not just me

As predicted, I missed a few recent thoughts in my last post, so I wanted to go over and expand them

Another recent thought was that looking back logically and analytically I must question if looking for a relationship CAUSED much of my problems and self esteem issues.  Why?  The only reason that I felt less than or like a failure was that I was trying to please someone else that wasn't a good match.  When I stopped worrying about doing that, I felt... happier.. in my life. I also felt like I was failing because I was comparing myself to FICTIONAL impressions of how successful and abundant other relationships are in society.  We like to feel that everyone else has a great relationship, while ours fails.  However, that's statistically not true. statistics say  Some interesting things...

- Approximately 70 percent of straight unmarried relationships break up within the first year.

- Women are twice as likely to initiate a breakup than men.

- Almost 1 in 5 long term relationships end with one partner ghosting another.

- The AVERAGE relationship only lasts just over two years.

- 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.

So, not just some other people share my experience, but it is actually much more common than relationships that actually work.  I read on another page that only 35 percent of marriages make it to 25 years.... 1 in 3.  Or, 2 out of every 3 fail to get there.  So, why should I feel LESS than or a failure to have the same outcome as most other people?  I was just less than THAT person wanted... and being less than they want seems to be very common.

The other thought I had and left out was that I felt that I had to change to become what the one in front of me wanted.  However, the real, logical train of thought SHOULD have gone like this.  I like me.  Happiness comes from doing things you like.  Therefore, I should be more of me.  It doesn't matter if I am not masculine enough for most women or that my objectivity and independence might get in the way of those that seek like minded people.  Of course you should be tactful, but my pursuit of knowledge and objective facts pleases me as I learn.  Therefore, it makes me happy and MORE happy than trying to be something else for someone else that is desiring others to bend to THEIR personality.

Especially as you age, both of these come in to more focus and importance.  There are no kid desires to drive a relationship.  There are less financial needs expected to be met by another.  Both sides already have done the children thing, or they didn't have kids and is not a goal.  Social goals MUST change as you age, and it takes a while for that change to set, but I am beginning to see more and more that it won't look like what I once wanted.  It might be possible... hopefully.. to find someone special or even  more than one friends.. to balance your social connection and care needs, but that will not look like you once had or as generally presented in the media.

So.. that's a few more recent thoughts.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Recent Thoughts

I'm going to try to post about recent thoughts, even though I'm tired from a busy week.  But, if I forget some of it, there might be another post, tomorrow.

My most recent playlist covers some of the feelings and stages, as has some of the other recent ones and some social media shares and such.  It's all helpful, as I have been struggling through feeling stuck in my attempts to set a new destination point or path to get me from my current state to a happy and inspired one.  I have a few guideposts to help... I feel it is important to be within driving distance of family.  I liked some parts of my past life in Oklahoma and recognize that some of the WAYS I sought that happiness doesn't work, so new exploration would be useful.  But, it's also been busy weeks full of financial challenges and more.  That makes it hard to process, but I have a few thoughts from the week to help along that way.  These won't necessarily be in any order.  Like I said... my brain is tired.  Ha.

I saw a meme the other day that said true love isn't rosey for INFJ's but looks like... block, unblock, block, unblock.  Ha.  I don't know if that is JUST INFJs but others, as well.  However, that's a good lead into the first thought.  I used to condemn myself for it taking to long for me to get over my last ex.  But, one thing that I realized is that the ending of true love would not be like... Oh, ok.  It's over, ok.  Let me remove you from my contacts and never think about you, again.  That's how my ex responded.  However, if something can end that easily, I question whether it was real love.  Real love is feeling hurt or betrayed and NOT letting it just go, BECAUSE the love was so deep that it left a big wound.  Even if it makes sense and is not something that someone wants to go back to, the pain remains and the change is disruptive BECAUSE there was true love present.  And, that leads to the next thought... you can truly love someone that didn't or doesn't love you.  So, you need to take more time to test someone or be sure about someone's interest in you BEFORE you get emotionally invested in them.

A related thought... question, really... is my asking myself if being in a relationship or seeking one has EVER led to good or happiness in my life.  The few times that I thought it did was the point of the greatest pains to follow, BECAUSE of my choice to love.  I do still hold out hope for the right one and SHARED love, but as I objectively and logically look at the points of happiness that remained, a relationship wouldn't be one of them.  It may has PROVIDED a few of them, like my children.  But, objectively.... I wasted a lot of time, money, and emotional strain on people that didn't deserve it, didn't return it, and would have been better spent on other things.  I need to put those people behind me and let them face their own judgment consequences of their actions and move on.  They haven't made an effort, so why am I in my memories?  So, I may be shifting to dating without a relationship in mind or non dating social activities, but I am working on that in my mind at present.

Next, I think I have spent too much time focused on finding others or paths that would BRING me joy ... like a gift.  We see this in religion, trying to find favor with God.  Or, we see this in philosophy or magic or such, where we are looking for what type of thinking would best bring us the joy that we want.  I think there is some value in that and will do that from time to time, but I'm coming to realize that if you want a better life, you have to go out there and create it.... not waiting for someone to give it to you or be your solution.  What do you like to do?  Well... that's a pretty simple path to happiness.  Go do it.  So, the path to a happy life seems as simple as identifying what you like and then creating a life where you can do that.  Sometimes, that includes helping others... at least for me.. so a career doing that might be good, but a career where there is checkpoints of personal accomplishment or financial rewards that you can spend on yourself is also valid means to that, as well.  So, I'm working on THAT in my mind, too... but it's a new way of thinking about it.

I also need to be forward focused on the outcomes that I desire and stand firm in my path to get to what works.  Looking back at what is broken is not going to fix anything.  I lead off my playlist with those, because it was important for me to consider the source of my personal doubts and feelings of self esteem, but the playlist progresses to a better mentality that is focused on what I desire, and I plan for future playlists to be more wholly focused on those things.

That's enough for the night.  My brain is tired.  ha.  Hope it helped, though.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

No Surrender

 There have been made ample number of movies about WWII or other war prisoners of war that didn't give their guards the satisfaction of breaking them.  They kept their spirit, even against great odds and certainty of defeat... why?  It was because it wasn't ... defeat.

Someone can overpower you.  They can defame you.  They can deprive you.  They can do all manner of evil against you.  But, until you actually surrender, you are not defeated.  It's like the campaign that was going for a long time that was focused on the semi colon.  Your story is not done.  You are at the point of... "and then" in the story.  It's the part when you make your next move to rise.

Those that oppose you don't want you to rise.  They don't want you to hope.  They don't want you to win.  There is a lot of memes out there that say that your friends list contains several that want you to fail.  I would hope that is not the case with mine.  I tend to remove those that do so, as no real FRIEND wants ill of you.  But, there are definitely those out there that have as a goal for you to fail.  How pitiful is that?  They could want anything in the world, but they desire someone else to fail.  Generally, it is the lowest quality that feel the need to reduce others so they look good by comparison, so pity them.

I'm not saying that your story will be an uneventful rise into prosperity.  That hasn't been my reality.  Usually, it is overcoming one crisis to face another crisis.  I don't claim to be a victim, as ... as far as I can tell... that is the reality of everyone, even those proclaiming providence.  Did you know that the author of Purpose Driven Life had his son die?  And, Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapmain had his child die.  Christian artist Carmen faced death and divorce in those he loved.  It's not all roses to live a struggle free life.  Indeed, contrary to the prosperity gospel, Jesus .. even in the flawed Gospel texts.. reassured his followers that in this life they will have struggle.  And, that was proven to be true.  For hundreds of years, the Foxes Book of Martyrs was printed more than even the Bible, and it told of how all but one of Jesus own followers died brutal deaths.  Whether God was not powerful enough to stop the deaths or didn't desire to do so, the common historical record is that following religion is not a path to blessing but to living just as flawed of an outcome as everyone else.... probably moreso, as many don't have the fight to rise up, feeling it is the "will of God."

But.... here's my thinking.  You exist.  You know what you want and need.  So.. go get it.  Stop waiting around for someone to give it to you, because my experience is that others are pretty much just thinking about what they want for themselves.  I'm sure that some will do that work and gain.  Benjamin Franklin said that God help no one that doesn't help themselves.  And, unfortunately, many will solve their problems and then give credit to those that didn't play a part.  That's sad, as it deprives the victor of their crown.

The greater the challenge, the greater the accomplishment.  I've learned that over and over in my life as I overcame one challenge after another without credit.  But, whether or not others see the victory for what it is, the testimony will stand.  If you refuse to surrender to those trying to hold you prisoner, you will have an eternal record of saying.. this far and no further... and be worthy of whatever future will rise from that seed of conviction, even if it is just knowing the world did not break you.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Blessed to be Poor

I helped someone on the streets, today, and it's not something new to me and most of the time I don't mention that I did it.  However, this one goes to a larger point that is actually helping me process my own issues.  I had just dropped off a delivery in the town of my ex of all places.  As I was leaving the area, an old black woman asked if I could give her a ride over to the cricket store a few miles away.  I agreed and on the way reflected on how hot the day was getting and the fact that she was in a very arrogantly rich town and that very likely she would not get a ride from anyone else.  I mentioned that it was hot to be walking, and she said she walks everywhere, since Firestone took 1300 dollars from her and then her car broke down two days later.  In the few minutes of the ride, she told me about how she had lost her husband and couldn't get to where he was being buried.  As I dropped her off, she asked if I had two dollars, so I gave her the ten that I had in my pocket, even though I didn't really have it in my budget to give... I'll make up for it.

As I drove away, I reflected on the fact that I just happened to be there and would be someone that WOULD help in a town that likely would not.  Indeed, most people that I have met around here have more money than they know what to do with but have not given to a charity in the time that I knew them.  There are exceptions of people and that's part of why they are my friends.  But, it's generally not the wealthy but the poor that help other poor.  I was also thinking of my trans child living with a mom that has repeatedly condemned them for being trans.  I think she sent them to a church camp to fix them one year, as I recall.  But, they have always had me to be their support.  Even yesterday, I wished them a happy trans day of visibility... posted a Tulsa museum post about that day, as well.  So, when my child looks at my profile, they will see one that is welcoming and safe to their choices, even if it leads to personal criticism... like I care about that, anyway.

But... and here is where it is important.  I helped that person while out driving a lower paying job with more than they would have got from the rich.  My child, even though they don't see me, gets more support than they would get at my ex's family or church.  While I'm over here feeling like a failure for not making a lot of money with a stable home, I am living the life that benefits others ... and that's not a failure.  I am still thinking about how my professional life will go and will hopefully have more free money by the end of the year, even if it is from living in a less expensive state.  But... I'm not going to call myself a failure anymore.  I'm a great person with a good heart... not doing that to be "blessed by God" as that woman promised, as I don't believe that happens often.  But, I can be a blessing to others, and that's not a bad life, at all.