After posting a stream-of-consciousness essay that in retrospect would likely punish any reader (as in, “I’m not going to get that 15 min of my life back”), suffice it to say it is time to move on. Bigger and better days are (usually) ahead.
Of course, every now and then- okay, every day- one would hope that a few of those bigger and better days actually find their way through the ether and land in the organic world. But most days are a combination of the good and the bad. You know, kind of like those days twice a year when YES! Financial aid has been deposited into my account! and NO! some day I’m going to have a gigantic monthly payment!
While the relief of making ends meet while studying is palpable, there is the view out on the horizon that I’ll have to pay it back. However in my case I don’t believe that I’ll live long enough to see my way to a zero balance. As a member of the north-side-of-AARP demographic (the demographic, not a paying member), this is one debt that is already in my will.
“To my sons, I bequeath my student loan papers. Please send my death certificate to Sallie Mae informing them of my (hopefully timely) demise”, and that will be that.
After I complete the graduate program at ASU my loan repayment will probably commence around November of 2016. 2016!? By then I should be cruising around in that damn flying car they promised me in 1972. But no, my highest hope now is for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. But I digress. I’ll be 58 and a half by then (sigh) and transitioned to yet another career/job/vocation <— I strongly dislike all those words by the way.
After I finally earned my Bachelors in 2013, I decided I wanted to keep going. Indefinitely? Maybe. Am I an extremely late bloomer? Perhaps. Am I simply trying to remain in school full time to avoid that $800 a month loan repayment? I’ve been accused of that but I don’t think so.
I am doing what I love to do and as they say, that’s the main thing. What I do with what I love to do is an entirely different subject, one which I will not punish the reader with now. But back to the e.d.u.c.a.t.i.o.n.d.e.b.t.
Student loans. Most of us have one. They are gorillas on our backs. Most of us know that its easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than to have your student loan debt forgiven, discharged through bankruptcy or dare I say it, actually paid off. There is one sure fire way out though; death. And I will not be denied! Macabre, I realize. But I have also realized (at the sweet old age of 56) that life is a finite trip. One which actually speeds up the older you get. I won’t (can’t) do the math here but trust me on that.
The best remedy then, in my opinion, is not to fret. Just do whatever it is you love to do, taking into consideration of course those priorities and others who depend on you. After all, those activities and responsibilities are part of what you love to do. Right? RIGHT!?
Well if they’re not, then why not? When will they be those activities and responsibilities which you love to do?
I am a baby-boomer. We were raised by the post WWII generation and for the most part we were raised to believe we were invincible. Every year a whole slew of us are finding out that we’re not. In fact, in a lot of ways we suck. After the shouting and screaming protests of the 1960s, we could have have left this world in a lot better shape than we currently have. We’re accountable for much of the world’s conflicts, environmental issues and economic woes. We did make some pretty damn good music however. But that’s just a bunch of Neros fiddling while Rome burns.
I think about all the promise, the hope, the dreams of my generation. I think about what I personally tried to take on and correct. Expectations of being grown-ups. Striving for justice and human rights. I think about failing more than succeeding. I remind myself that this is reality. Progress is slow. I won’t be around to see it to fruition. But I am here now. I love it here. I love maturing into the rhythm of life as I feel it should be lived. Like Jimmy Buffett sang to New Orleans after Katrina… breathe in, breathe out, and move on.
From somewhere hot,