You know how when you try to do too many things on an older computer at the same time, it’ll slow to a crawl before dying a painful, blue-screened death? Maybe you were downloading too many movies while playing a game and trying to Twitter your face off when your computer went kaput. Maybe you were trying to watch cute hedgehog videos on YouTube while scrolling through the latest hilarious and oh-so-accurate pop culture reference-laced top ten list on BuzzFeed. I don’t know, I won’t judge you or your internet machine.
My brain is a lot like that. It’ll run on high and immediately crash.
The trouble with being scatterbrained and easily distracted is that I can find ten thousand ways to avoid doing what needs to be done, and then I can find another thousand reasons why it’s okay that I’m procrastinating. Case in point: my taxes.
I haven’t filed them since 2007.
Take that in for a second. The amount of late-filing penalties I’m probably facing is actually terrifying. You guys know my jam — I make coffees for a living. Granted, they’re delicious coffees and it’s harder than it looks, but still. I am the furthest thing from rich in the first world sense. The same thing happened to me when I was 18 and the bank decided it’d be a good idea to give me a credit card with a $500 limit. I spent that faster than you can blink and spent the next several years dodging collection agencies until I had enough cash saved to go pay it off. As far as debts go, I know there are people out there with bigger baggage than mine, but it still makes me sweat and get all bug-eyed when I think about owing money.
In my head, it goes something like this:
The CRA tracks me down (I’ve moved a lot, so I imagine it’s not that easy to find me) and sends two suited goons to my basement apartment. While I’m blogging and eating leftovers, they pound on the door and demand admittance. When I sheepishly open the door, they tackle me, tase me and take me to jail.
It’s a little extreme, I know. But that fear is what propels me to do something about it.
I know someone who’s basically a professional collection agency dodger. She’s been in more debt than I can ever imagine, even going so far as to look into declaring bankruptcy. And like me, she didn’t really have solid knowledge of managing finances to begin with, so in the end we were both screwed. People who have college education funds for their kids and can still manage to pay their bills on time amaze me. I’m just beginning to figure out how to live paycheck to paycheck, and savings are something I can’t begin to fathom. But hiding from it will accomplish nothing.
Just like I managed to finally pay off my credit card, I can pay my outstanding taxes as well. Without performing the human equivalent of blue-screening, without crying or panicking, and without shitting my pajama pants.
I’ve also been busy with lots of other things. I worked on an article for next month’s wait(er) and edited one as well. I’ve furnished my apartment and am proudly writing this from my brand new super-cheap Walmart desk. When my ass cramps from sitting in this chair, I can go sit on my brand new couch. And I’ve been trying to spend time with the people I love, because I often forget that going to see them face-to-face means a lot to me as well as them. Oh, and laundry. Always laundry. Seriously, I don’t understand how I can wear so many things in the run of a week. It’s baffling.
Anyway, I apologize for my lack of presence. Some of it had to do with last week’s fiasco; I needed to step away and really think about the purpose of my blog and the purpose of my stories. It’s supposed to be therapeutic, but it doesn’t really count if I hurt people in the process. I thought about it and have decided to continue writing what I feel, I’ll just leave some names out. That’s how my friend Ben does it.
I feel grounded, I feel centered, and I feel happy. It’s summer, the weather is brutally hot, and I’m alive. These are the things I need to be grateful for. (Although mostly I’m grateful for air conditioning.)
With all that work done, I’m going to go watch The X-Files and eat French toast.
I’ve earned it.