Guys, do you know how expensive it is to be an adult? I thought I knew, but clearly I don’t. Last year, I lived in an apartment where utilities were included. All I had to worry about was rent and overages. This year, my place has separate utilities. It’s super nice, don’t get me wrong, but the companies are really trying to watch me tear my hair out, I swear.
My power company is literally the most confusing thing on earth because the first bill I got from them was apparently the security deposit. Then after I paid that and showed them a second copy of my lease agreement–mind you, this is almost three months into my lease–they proceeded to send me three months of bills at once and expected payment within two weeks. I feel bad for the customer service lady who answered my call because I went from roaring and fuming anger to sobbing my eyes out in a matter of minutes.
The Internet service providers have had me jumping through flaming hoops. They convinced me to sign up for cable, but the cable package they sold me had seven channels of which three were Spanish. I don’t speak a lick of Spanish. I’m a Latin student. After cancelling the cable, my Internet bill actually went up. Where is the logic?! I’ve got it down to the lowest offered Internet speed (which is still fast enough for Netflix, thank goodness) but it’s still almost $40 a month.
And then there’s my weird water company. It’s apparently in a county almost forty miles away from my house. (But just down the road, like a mile and a half, to my best friends’ house, they have Statesboro water. Again, where is the logic?!) If you’ve ever been to south Georgia, you know how weird the water tastes. It’s got a lot of chlorine and sulfur. In fact, it has so much sulfur that my dog and I are actually sick from it. Thank goodness for Britta filters. I’m probably getting one for the sink too. I just feel bad for the guinea pigs and the fish because I can only filter their water so much. (Thank goodness fish has a water filter in his tank!)
You know what else is expensive? Groceries. Specifically meat. I eat a lot of lean chicken because some of the medications I’m on drain me of my energy, so I need the protein to function. I can only tolerate so many eggs. And occasionally, like once every two weeks, I treat myself to something with ground beef. Vegetables are super expensive. And as we travel into winter, my local farmers market will not be an option for a few months.
My saving grace on expenses is my discount at the pet store. I get 20% off base, so that covers the guinea pig food and hay and fish stuff. Remy’s dog food is a special deal at 40% off, which is so helpful because it’s usually $68 a bag. And Remy is 70 pounds, so that 26 pounds of grain free goodness does not last him long.
I love my trainer down here. Courtney is so wonderful and kind. And all the girls at the barn are so friendly. I get to play with chickens and pigs and wiener dogs. And I get to ride some horses that are helpful teachers and have taught me so much in a handful of rides. But even still, one lesson a week seems to be out of my budget. I hate that. And Courtney offers me the chance to work off lessons, but it makes me feel guilty. I don’t feel like my work is good enough for the kindness she is extending me for a good workout and a good dose of vitamin H(orse). Even still, I don’t often find the time/energy. I go to class or work all day. Especially with the time change, that does not leave a lot of daylight for me to work in. It’s not fair of me to take time away from Courtney that she could be spending with her family. It’s not fair to the horse, either. Shadows get longer. Invisible monsters get scarier. And frankly it can get unfair to me because I find that the thinner I spread myself, the more stressed I get. Ah the joys of mental disability.
For those of you who have the time to ride all the time or have a horse of your own, please don’t take it for granted. The statement that sticks to me the most is from an article I cannot seem to find. (I believe) it was Rich Fellers who was praising Reed Kessler. He said something along the lines of, “if you want to ride at that level, you have to want it more than anything else.” Well, sir, let me tell you that there are plenty of riders that want that kind of skill or that kind of good fortune or simply those opportunities more than anything in the world. The fact is that not all of us have grown up in white collar households with tens of thousands to spare on the cost of competing and owning a horse. Not all of us grew up in barns where we could be working students to a trainer with incredibly talented horses that could take us to A and AA shows. And most importantly, a lot of us had to grow up with the sad fact that sometimes we just have to be realistic. Those Big Name Riders and Big Name Trainers earn those reputations in early childhood. And if you start late in the game, you’ve already lost that chance. Horseback riding is a great passion that many of us share, but competing a horse is a chance that few of us get. And the more I look into my future, the less chance I see of that happening for me.
I’m a writing and linguistics major on a creative writing track with a minor in psychology. To do anything with my major, at least anything decently supportive, I’m going to have to go to graduate school. Don’t mistake what I am saying; I love reading and writing and learning. Psychology is fascinating. And I’ve expanded my craft in so many directions in just my first semester of my major. I love every second of what I’m learning. I’m excited to see what these institutions on my horizon have to offer me in life and writing lessons. But the thought of paying for it is making me sick. And the dream of horse ownership, even leasing and competing a horse, grows farther away the closer I get to graduating.