Friday, July 27, 2007

Clarification

Just thought I might give a little clarity on a previous post (How did I get to this point?). I gave a little info on my school background not to state how bright I was, because in no way am I claiming to be a genius, but rather because to the simple eye it seemed that initially I was destined to be a successful doctor or lawyer when I was younger. It's funny how you take things for granted thinking you have it all figured out, but most often in life you will go through many tests and challenges, sometimes taking many different roads. In the end you may end up where you want to be but sometimes you walk the path you need to be on and not the one you thought you would be on. I am not saying that you can't have dreams and goals, you may just achieve them in ways differently than how you expected. I believe that the Most High, our all-knowing Creator does not give us burdens that we cannot handle, and although I have always been taught that, it took a little more growing up for me to finally understand it. When I was younger whenever something did not go my way, I would get really upset or depressed about it, but recently in the last few years I try to approach set-backs differently. I try to understand how I can learn from the situation; how does it make me stronger? I also try to remember those who have less than what I have, and I try to remind myself that after hardship, will eventually come ease...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My name is....and I'm an ebayaholic

I made another sale on Ebay yesterday! I actually starting using my ebay account a few weeks ago and after 2 successful auctions I am hooked. I had my ebay account for a while but I never sold anything, mostly because I could never afford a decent digital camera, and most auctions without pictures do not do too well. So a little while back I made a sacrifice and brought a digital camera. I have a particular thing in mind that I want to sell, but in the mean time I decided to get rid of somethings that I already had. I sold one of my collections of a Japanese comic book series, and I wanted at minimum USD$30.00. When the auction was over I made over two and a half times that amount. Then next I sold another series, and I was able to get my asking price on that series. Most people become hooked on the bidding and buying aspects of the auction, I am hooked on selling. It's the thrill of writing a winning synopsis of your product and watching as the bidding is slow and then at the last minute the competiton gets fierce and people are trying to beat the clock and their opponent and get the winning bid in at the last minute. Afterwards I get to find out how much I've made :) While I haven't made thousands yet, I am going to try and continue to sell. I may not become the next big eBay star, but maybe I can make a little spare change along the way just another avenue to take during my journey.....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How did I get to this point?

Just finished another fun-filled overnight shift at my temporary dead-end job at Wally World where we were even more overworked then usual, and as I came home exhausted I couldn't help but ponder HOW DID I END UP HERE??? During my childhood people always thought I would become very successful. In grade school I was valedictorian and was voted most likely to succeed. I had the opportunity to go to gifted after school programs and was even invited to attend a gifted junior high. Circumstances however, landed me a brief stint in a private little charter junior high that some people that my parents knew were running. After that it was decided that I would be home schooled (this was before homeschooling had gained any real popularity) for the remainder of my time. My homeschooling life was not as structured as it should have been, although now I must say many parents who choose to home school now, are much more diligent about it now then back then. After a while I decided that I wanted to start my college life early and I begged my mom to let me get special permission to get a waiver from the school board to take the G.E.D. test a year early so that I could start college later that fall. Everything went as planned I passed the test, and was enrolled in a community college. I also started a job at the campus library and everything seemed to be working out. One day I decided though that I could not live with the 200 dollar a month stipend that my work-study job was providing and I decided to look for another job. I found one working at a fabric shop, which was ok with me because I loved sewing and design. I found however that the more I worked the less eligible I became for financial aid, until one day I was no longer eligible for Pell Grants! I couldn't believe it the government thought I was making too much money with my mere $6.00 an hour. My only choice now was solely loans, and because I had taken out a couple of student loans earlier, I decided I did not want any further debt. This was over the course of a few years where I changed majors and schools and had accumulated some other debt. Now I was stuck, and I made the decision to sit out of school until I could afford to save up and go back. Only problem was that job that I had started back when I was a freshman and had been loyal to for many years, was still paying me horribly. I had some bosses who blocked me from being promoted, one boss didn't like me personally, but knew I was an excellent worker, so she had no reason to fire me. The next boss knew I was a good worker and when another manager from a sister store offered to promote me to his management team, my boss told him that I was not interested because I was in school. I was not suppose to hear this conversation, however I was not sure if I had actually heard right so I never confronted her about it; I found out the truth from the other manager later as he was leaving the company. I was upset for awhile. Eventually though I worked my way up to Assistant Manager at my store. I was my bosses right-hand. But I was very unhappy because the pay was still bad and we were so overworked and underpaid, I still could not afford to go back to school, I wasn't doing what I wanted to do, and I felt like my job was not making a significant impact on others. I felt as though not only did it not benefit me, but I was not in a position to help anyone else. I eventually started working 2 jobs; one full-time, one part-time and I still had trouble making ends meet. Then I started working at Wally World fulltime overnight and was working fulltime during the day as Assistant Manager at my other job. Still was not enough to cover bills and things, I thought to myself this is ridiculous! I applied at the USPS and after a couple of months was hired as a casual worker. I was making the most money (still not a fortune or anything) that I had been making in my life. I was a carrier and it was hard work, also I was still working overnights at Wally World because I wanted to have something to fall back on in case things did not work out at the Post Office (and they did not), in addition I had quit my day job and my boss was not too happy about that. The Post Office lasted for a couple of months, but just like any place politics are always involved. I was sent to another station because another carrier at another station had personal issues with her immediate supervisor, so they decided to switch us around;good for her; bad for me. It was considered the slum station in the area, it was out of distance for me, and the supervisor there was a little more hardcore. It was then that I decided that I could not keep being a doormat for employers. I never had time to myself; working two full-time jobs and I was not still getting ahead financially. I decided to leave the USPS. I must state though that I was a casual worker though, and not what they refer to as a career employee, so basically we were doing the same work for less starting pay and no benefits, so it had its drawbacks. However everyone thought I was crazy for leaving. I just think that now I have to take a stand and make sacrifices now so that I might have a chance of getting ahead. Once I attended a business seminar a friend had invited me to, and the speaker said something that I cannot forget, he asked, "why are you working to make someone else dreams come true, why aren't you working to make your dreams come true? When you are working for someone else you are working hard to make more money for them and make their dreams come true." Of course he was trying to sell the product but even still it was a very profound comment. I thought how obvious but yet I never paid attention to that fact. There are some companies that compensate their employees well for making them money and some people are actually happy with working for someone else, but the companies I have dealt with so far have not compensated me well. That is why I am trying to think of and do everything possible to earn legitimate lawful income for myself that can give me financial freedom...., *This was another long post future posts will hopefully be shorter and sweet. This was just to provide a little background info.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

First Step

Today I finally decided to start a blog. I have always thought blogs were a bit risky; having people who don't know you reading about your personal thoughts, was somewhat discomforting to me. Also I believed that people who had blogs were attention-seeking individuals, but I have now come to believe that blogging can be a rewarding experience for many. Being able to open up about certain things without hesitation can be liberating. I can convey my thoughts without interruption, and then invite others to understand a little about who I really am. Maybe I might even move someone with my words maybe they are going through a similar experience, but do not feel like anyone understands what they are going through, and therefore can find comfort in my words. Actually blogging is something that I should have been interested in earlier, considering I have liked reading and writing since the second grade; poetry, prose, and journal keeping etc. I am by no means am I a professional, I write for my own self-expression. However, that is not the only reason I have decided to start blogging...I have come to a point of self realization in my life where I am no longer a teenager, but I have not yet reached middle age either; by all accounts I am still young; even still I understand that my time on this earth is short. Life rushes by and one day you look back and sometimes you have regrets. For me I wake up each day and know that I am getting older and not younger and although I am still in my twenties there are many things that I thought I would have accomplished by now. I feel like I am in the same state that I have always been. I think by blogging this will keep me motivated to move forward; having a visual archived account of my progress and my goals hopefully will force me to stay on track. The name of my blog is My Journey. Originally I wanted to name my blog Rags to Riches because part of my focus right now is to gain more financial freedom for myself but most importantly to benefit my family and those who need more help than me. As fate would have it that name was already taken and after thinking about it, it doesn't actually embody what I am trying to relay anyway. I do not have any desire to be as rich as Oprah or Bill Gates, I would just like to be debt free, be able to afford my own home, be able to help others to help themselves, not wonder how I will be able to afford basic necessities. If I ever became as rich as someone like Bill Gates I pray that I would have the strength and fortitude to act responsibly; not let the money control me; give freely to those in serious need, and not become too extravagant. It is more important to me to have a comfortable living but not too over-the-top, after all I can not take all my worldly luxuries with me when I am gone. I think when you are poor you feel like you are suffocating especially when you have others to think about like your family. You have to settle for mediocre low-paying jobs with a boss who may treat you with disrespect, just so you can put some food on the table and for some you may be drowning in uncontrolled debt. It is a very paralyzing situation to be in, and you feel like you have to settle for choices that just barely keep you afloat, but never let you progress and build a nest egg. However I do not believe that money brings instant and assured happiness. Happiness cannot be brought, if you are not living your life in a good way no matter how much money you have you will not be truly happy. On the other hand I do not believe that money is completely evil either. The world that we live in right now requires money, and if you can have just enough of it to keep you from being stressed about the necessities that you can not manage to afford, then that is fine in my book too.... So to summarize this blog will try to tell a little about my personal journey. It is not flashy or racy; just simple. I will try to give posts about my successes and my failures as I work towards having financial freedom. I also will sprinkle in other miscellaneous things here and there, as it a journal. I cannot promise to post here everyday as my life is not spent on the computer, but I will try to maintain it often enough. I will try in the next few posts to give a little bit more info regarding my background. I do not expect this blog to be popular and reach millions or anything like that. It is not for everyone; some may not like it or relate to it but that is fine with me, as long as one person can enjoy or benefit from it. Hopefully it will also serve as a bit of a chronicle of a time in my life that someday if I have children, they will be able to know some of the things I went through or experienced; somewhat of a history if you will---My Story