Thursday, November 28, 2013

You NEED Mistakes

They say hindsight is always 20/20. I couldn't agree more. These past few weeks have been...eye opening to say the least. Now, as I sit in my room, basking over what's left of Thanksgiving, I'd like to offer my bit of thanks. 

This year, I am thankful for the mistakes I've made. The consequences haven't always been favorable, but I have no complaints. It all started about a semester ago, I moved back in with my parents: This was supposed to be an effort to finish out my Senior Year strong. Now, I'm probably going to change majors. I'm not sure when I'll finish, but I will finish. Not quite sure how the tuition is going to get paid; and I am really unclear about the direction I'm supposed to take at this point. Thankfully, I still have time to salvage my current major. Yet in still, I'm thankful for the mistakes. 

Also, the relationship I have with my folks is at a low point. Before, when I was out of the house, I was treated and greeted as an adult. Ever since I moved back home, if its not a curfew, its a chore. If it's not Mom, it's Dad. If it's not cleaned up, it's my fault. Now, don't get me wrong - let's not taint the picture of my parents here. I don't have to pay rent (b/c I'm in school) and I'm pretty much free to do what I long as it's during the day. Come nighttime, if I'm not home before a certain (ever changing curfew) time, Dad scolds me. He's gone so far as to accuse me of being a "$3 whore".  It's now a rarity for more than 5-6 days to go by without a comment to that effect being made. Still, I am thankful for the mistakes. 

Which leads me to my third and final mishap: Bringing my parents into my relationship. I'm newly single. His name shall not be revealed (Starts with a T, and rhymes with Clarence). We had a really, really, really good run. I thought he was the One, as did he. Heck, his family was even on board. Mine, not so much. Mmkay, not at all - to the tune of constantly badgering his name, defaming his reputation, and making inappropriate comments about traits that I later learned were actually struggles within his family. And like a little school girl, I ran my mouth to him each.and.every.time. It took its toll, and we soon split. Up until that point, my God, did my parents have tabs on us! The didn't give us the space to grow, partly because, well, again I live at home. I'm still a child to them. My mother even stated that because I live at home, they don't see me as an adult. That was back in August! Why didn't I move out sooner?

Admittedly, a part of me is still bitter, as I feel that my parents have 'won'. They didn't like him, and often gave me the choice of giving him up, or leaving the house. It got so bad that he didn't even feel comfortable coming anywhere near my house, and flat out refused to. Can't say I blame him. Now, I miss him more than ever, and even pray that one day (soon) we'll be able to reconcile.  But, I'm still thankful.

Why? Well, the good thing about mistakes is that everyone makes them and 9/10 it's your reaction that determines where you end up in life. So, I'm finally, accidentally, doing something to correct my mistakes! See, what had happened was (lol), I started looking up places to rent. Then I began the search for some roommates. I now have 2 confirmed, a possible third, a very plausible and pleasant fourth, and a number 5 with whom I'm meeting next week. It all just started falling into place! With a deadline of January 2014 vast approaching, the hunt is on for a place for the 4 (or 5) of us to live. Let the countdown begin! 

Secondly, I'm learning to seek counsel from people other than my parents. Realizing that I am not fitting the mold I believe they've set for me, their advice tends to be narrow minded and often, just wrong. Now, hey, they're still my folks, and one of the biggest hurdles I've had to get over is learning to form my own opinions while respecting those that inevitably shaped mine. Still, I'm not a little girl anymore, and I think it's really starting to sink in. In short, I like to do big girl things, and I can't do them at home. 

Lastly, I'm going to pray some more about that guy whose name starts with a 'T' and rhymes with Clarence. I don't know if we're meant to reconcile or not; I don't even know if he can stand me right now. But I do know this, I still have feelings for him (for now, at least) and I hate the way we ended. Sadly, it's not my place to reach out, as our last conversation ended with me missing his phone call (because I was asleep) and being greeted with a text that basically said he'd given up. Mind you, I was asleep when he called. All but one time, he called. Now he's given up. Now that I see that in writing, perhaps it's just best to move on...

All in all, I've made some good, bad, and straight up goofy choices lately. And I am thankful for each and every one. It's those same seemingly-naive choices that have catapulted me into taking my independence back. It's those same life changing consequences that'll keep me from ever giving it up freely again. It's the same wisdom that's going to propel me into this next phase of my life, and I don't know about you, but I'm too stinkin' excited!!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 
Give thanks for your family, friends and your mistakes: It takes all three to make YOU a better YOU. :) 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thriftin' at a Retial Cost

The other day, in between classes, I decided to stop on by a neighborhood Goodwill. Hadn't been there in a while; figured it was decent way to kill time, and maybe snatch up a treasure or two. So I walk into store, do a quick walkarond, decide to make a beeline for the purses (#1 purchase in my book - you can never have too many!). The selection wasn't anything to rave about until I saw this....

Friends, feast your eyes on this faux croc, pvc-constructed, Target brand work bag. Mind you Target produces quality items, I've certianly never had a problem. In fact this very same bag sells in store for an affordable $34.98. So, what's it doing in a thrift store for a mere $9 less? The bag is not new, but I'd give it an 8.5/10 - as in the oringinal owner didn't carry this tote very long. That still doesn't justify the price. Remember the bag now sits in a thrift store. This no-name bag, honestly, shouldn't exeed the $10-12 range.  

Sadly, this is becoming an all too familar sight, but thriftstores have been (much like everyone else) rising the cost of merchandise over the past few years. And for those who haven't been paying attention, no the changes haven't been gradual (well, not to me). When I first started thrifting (Mom would take me, I hated it) short sleeve shirts were $2.50, sleeveless ran for $1.99 and long sleeve never topped $4.00. Now, at every Goodwill I visit, shirts, regardless of sleeve length, run for $4.49 or more. Needless to say, thrifting nowadays can easily get out of hand if you don't have a set budget. It's not uncommon for me to drop $50-60 per trip (compared to $25-40 for the same amount of merchandise a few years back). Sure I find amazing deals, but those trips add up. Quick.

Now, I find myself exercising much more scrutiny when selecting which pieces even make it in my basket. Anything that's not absolutely special or a wardrobe staple, at one point would at least see the light of a dressing room; now not so much. Addtionally, I rely on coupons and store specials/discounts like never before! The Savalation Army in my neck of the woods has a great ongoing discount of 25% every Wednesday, regardless of what you get. Again, that adds up. Still, anything that doesn't wow me just doesn't go home with me anymore. 

How are you dealing with the rising costs of thrifting? How do you get around it? Got any tricks up your sleeve?