Turning “I Should Have” into “I Am Going To”

The last time I blogged, it was from a very bad place.

I was overwhelmed with emotion and unable to see from the cloud of despair that hovered over my head. This is never a good time to hit “publish” on a blog post. However, I did and I’m owning all of my thoughts and words.

I have always wanted to blog to be about transparency. I wanted to share an honest picture of how bad debt can affect someone. I have always wanted to show the story of someone who got absolutely no financial education in life and how it has affected every decision I’ve ever made. I have always wanted to share my honest and true feelings about the situation I find myself in without hiding behind empty words.

I’ve always wanted to be honest and truthful about my financial life, even when it wasn’t pretty. Even when it didn’t seem like this princess was going to get her happily ever after.

When I posted about failure last week, I did so knowing that others would think many negative things about me and possibly even state them on my blog. I was prepared for the harsh words and abuse (it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve received it on this blog) but surprisingly enough, I didn’t really get much of it.

What did happen last Thursday was not pretty. I will not share with you what went occurred on the other side of this computer screen. I will say that I spent the day wrapped up in the “I Should Have’s” of my life.

I should have kept my job in 2008 when I left my (then) husband and moved away.

I should have stayed in Columbus instead of moving in with my mom.

I should have been working harder.

I should have listened to what others said and what I knew to be the truth and saved more money.

I should have had a job for the past year subbing like I had originally planned.

I should have been better prepared for this situation.

I should have moved into a cheaper apartment.

The list went on and on and repeated in my  head for hours. When I was in that space, I wasn’t able to think of anything positive. I wasn’t able to see any options.

Don't Quit quote

The smartest thing that I did last Thursday was go to class. I didn’t want to and based on what I saw in the mirror, I wasn’t in any shape to attend but I did. My professor knew the first time she laid eyes on my and during a break pulled me out into the hallway to talk. She is my advisor and the last thing she wants is for me to drop out of school so she was able to give me some advise from an academic standpoint.

What REALLY helped though was the thinking I had while in class. A switch flipped and I was able to think positively for the first time in awhile. I was able to develop a plan that may save me and the boys, as well as help us improve our lives.

I now have a plan and one that I’m working. I’ve turned all those “I Should Have’s” into “I AM Going To!”

I am going to think positive about my car. It is, after all, still running!

I am going to apply to substitute in Columbus Public Schools where the need is the greatest (and my chance for placement is greater!).

I am going to think positively and not let negative thoughts weigh me down any longer!

I am going to keep applying everywhere that I can, eventually someone will call!

I am going to sign a month-to-month lease for my apartment until I have a full time job and then I will be looking for somewhere cheaper to live.

I spoke to my mom over the weekend, she came up to see the boys and I (I had this stupid birthday thing that keeps happening every year. Blah!) and she is going to help me out with whatever I can not manage for November’s rent. She agrees with me that the best course of action right now is to stay in the apartment I’m in. I can’t actually get a new lease because I don’t have a job, nor do I have any money set aside for a deposit. The goal is to move out of this apartment by the first of the year and into a small house (which are renting for less than this apartment. Who knew?) This way I can stay in the area and by moving into a house, I think my son will actually be happier. I know he loves living here and I he does not do well with change but I am going to start reminding him that a move is coming. I’m also going to have him come along when I go see a new place. His anxiety is going to be higher for awhile but after we move in and get settled and I am calmer, his anxiety will decrease. I’m sure of it.

I was told that the Columbus Public School system is desperate for subs and that their pay rate exceeds $100/day. I can probably get work every single day if I’m not picky about where I go to sub. And I am most definitely not picky. This will hopefully start sometime in October. So I will need to probably borrow some money to pay for November’s rent. My mom is aware of this and while she wishes it didn’t have to come to this, she will be there to lend me the money.

I took my car in for an oil change and to get a look at all the fluid levels, to make sure it wasn’t transmission fluid that was causing my transmission to slip. It was fine but I was out of oil. I have always added 2-3 Quarts of oil to it each month due to a leak. BUT the level got too low (even though it had only been one month since I added oil). So the current thinking is that the engine was slipping due to no oil pressure. This happened about a year ago. As long as I keep oil in it, I might be able to keep it going. When January comes around, I’ll have my final student loan refund and with that I’ll have money to buy a new-to-me car when this one dies.

It’s not a perfect plan and there are a few “if’s” that I’m playing with but I’m hopeful. I just can’t let my mind wander into the negative or I become debilitated by the problems.

I’ve also decided that next semester will be my last one until a school district pays for my classes. Hopefully by subbing around the area, in multiple districts, I’ll get my name out there and be able to secure a position for the next school year.

Within a year, this blog could have a totally new feel. One that has me actively saving money and REALLY paying off my debt. Finally!


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10 comments for “Turning “I Should Have” into “I Am Going To”

  1. September 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

    The thing that impresses me most about you Jessica is your persistence to “keep going.” Keep looking at those 4 eyes, Jessica – you’ll find your way!


  2. September 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Love! I do this a a lot. I should have done this instead of go to school. It’s hard to defend getting a degree when people are constantly saying why get a degree look at me I make as much as you do etc. In the end I am glad I got my degree!


  3. September 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    We all feel the way you feel from time to time, and to be perfectly honest, to have those “positive” feelings, sometimes you have to be down in the dumps first, because from there, there is no way out but up. So it looks like you are starting over fresh with your boys and you have control of your future. Money is never an easy thing to deal with even if you have more than some, there is always something to buy and fix. So just look at it from that point of view, it something most people struggle with. But with you having to take care of kids its easily a stressful situation since you want to provide for your children in the best way possible. The best thing to do is take it day by day, and like you said think positively. Your doing well and thank you for being so open and honest on your blog about it.


  4. Mel
    September 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

    THERE’s my girl.
    Mel recently posted..Perspective


  5. 4thFrog
    Twitter: 4thfrog
    September 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

    So glad that you have been able to find a different view point. Best of luck to you.
    4thFrog recently posted..Surrender and grace


  6. September 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I am SO relieved to hear this positive tone! I think we’ve all posted those doldrums posts, and it is good sometimes to get it out there – it can be cathartic. I can’t wait to hear how you do with the subbing!


  7. September 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Good for you! Having a plan in place can make everything so much better. Ignore those “should haves” and focus on your new action plan — good things are coming your way!


  8. November 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Stay positive. It’s easy to let yourself fall into regret and feel overwhelmed, but you have to stay positive for your kids. Think of all the good things happening during a situation and concentrate on them instead.


  9. Jessica N
    Twitter: sunshinelending
    November 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I have to admit your blog got me a bit teary eyed. So many times I have focused on the negative and made my life miserable. After loosing some very important people in my life I realized just how short life really is. It’s important to make yourself stronger than you thought possible and that can be achieved with determination and a purpose. You have the best purpose in the word, your seed. The best way to lead is by example and overcoming all of these obstacles and learning from your mistakes you have already begun to show that there is light beyond any tunnel. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts with us. It takes a whole lot to do that, and let me tell you it’s greatly appreciated!


  10. November 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

    A year down the line and I can tell you did stick to your plan. I guess sometimes we just need a shift of perspectives (from I should have to I am going to) to really get things moving. Instead of regretting and comisserating on our failures, which we can do nothing about anyway, I think its best to learn and craft our success from them. The past is just a shadow, what matters is what we do about it now.
    Inspiring post…still touching lives a year on!


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