Stuck In The Middle

So I finally found a place to live that I love. It’s a duplex that is literally a minute away from my job in a very nice neaighborhood. An A-rated school is two blocks away and it has a BACKYARD- YAY! I can just imagine my boys running and playing. That is really what got me to say ‘I’ll take it!’

There are two uh, concerns. One- my cousins live 3 blocks away. Two-the price.

Concern one. My cousins are these wild chicks that you would want on your side in case of a fight. But they are also chicks who don’t have cars, hence there is an extreme case of GIMME A RIDE on the horizon. My problem is I don’t know how to say no. I’ve been like this forever. Heck, when I was younger I’ve even had sex with guys that I wasn’t really interested in, just because I didn’t want to say ‘No, leave me alone’. I’m always trying to please people.

But I REALLY need to learn to put my foot down. I’m not a taxi. Man, I just want to help people. And I remember when I didn’t have a car so I try to be helpful but there’s a limit that is crossed sometimes and this will be my test to stand up for myself. Lord, gimme strength.

Concern two- the main concern. Now, I’ve seen places that are considerably less that made me want to throw up. Going away to college and virtually living in palaces definately raises your standard of living. So if I wanted to live in a dump, I could pay a lot less but dammit, I want to be happy when I go home so dammit, I’ll pay the damn money, even though it pisses me off.

I’m earning an income that literally puts me in the middle. Now I can understand why people shack up. Now I see how the people in the projects can have nice furniture and nice cars, the poor people get all the financial breaks. And I know, because I used to be one of them.

When I first started looking for a place I was all ready to go get myself some brand new subsidized housing! I was excited. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths with a washer and dryer INSIDE the unit for a little over $700 a month is Miami is ridiculously excellent! In a brand new building with a gated entry and a pool. Wow.

I took my pay stubs and all my info to the leasing office only to be told my income was too high. Too high? Listen lady, I have two kids and their dad doesn’t help us with any of our bills. This would be PERFECT for us. No deal.

My “friends” encouraged me to lie. To rig up someone else’s pay stubs so that I can get approved. I must admit, the idea sounded good at first, but damn, I have this overly active CONSCIOUS that won’t allow me to lie. It’s so bad that I’ll literally get SICK and can’t sleep if I feel like I am doing something wrong. (sidenote~What’s wrong to me may not be wrong to you.) Yeah, I suck. After giving it some thought and fighting with myself, I gave up. I just couldn’t do it. I don’t see how people can do wrong intentionally. Just thinking about it had me feeling like a thief for days.

Then I started to think about one of my cousins, who lives so nicely in her subsidized housing. She gets food stamps and her man lives with her so she actually is getting a break on rent due to her low income while she really has TWO incomes coming in. No wonder she can rock Louis Vuitton and I can’t.

I make too much for subsidized housing. I make too little to really afford the place that I am moving into. It’ll be tight, but I can swing it, if I tighten up on my eating out and never need a new car. Damn…

But this tight season of my life is only the beginning. I really believe that this new beginning for me will teach me a few life lessons- on dealing with family, on money management and on perseverance. I also want to see what effect making positive choices will have in my life. How much more will I be blessed because I’m not cheating the system? Will I be blessed at all? Does doing the right thing ever count?

Well, even if I never see a reward, at least I’ll be able to sleep peacefully at night, in my own place, with my sons- FINALLY. Starting over never felt so good.

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