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Today I am feeling completely overwhelmed with my own life, which is no one's fault other than my own. So instead of getting ready for work, I am going to sit here and drink coffee and watch the glorious sunrise and write. There is so much going on I don't know where to begin. I was fine with it all two days ago and today I am doubting everything. For that I am going to blame lack of sleep. Nollie woke me up at 2:00, Clayton had to get up for work at 3:00, Nollie woke me up again and puked on the carpet, the kitten crawled in bed to snuggle and in my late night stupor I was convinced I'd crushed her and she was dead tangled up in the blankets, not so, and then she joined on the waking Beth up bandwagon and played on me for awhile. You get the picture. Coffee. Sunrise. Computer. Breathe.

My parents have been here all week despite that fact that I told them numerous times not to come because it's pretty much the worst possible time in the world for a visit. And I suppose I fucked up by bringing them into discussions of a new house and a wedding because that's what's on my mind and all I can think about. I'm not sure why but even as an adult I worry about their approval. I want them to see me as successful. I want them to be proud. I'm afraid they view me as a fuck up because they only get to see little bits of my life when they are here and I don't think they understand it. Hell, it's my life and I hardly understand it. I suppose as much as I say I'm happy and successful, part of me is still insecure and wants some verification from time to time that I am doing the right thing.

I think the hardest part is my financial situation. I'm couldn't tell you if they judge it because they never say anything bad, but I judge me. I hate that I'm poor. I work hard. I have multiple jobs, including a "career" job, and my own business, and I live paycheck to paycheck. I like my lifestyle, I like where I live, I like my relationship, I like my pets, I even like my jobs, but I could never afford the lifestyle I grew up with. It's not just that I can't afford it now, it's that with the track I'm on, it's not foreseeable in the future either. I can't afford new clothes, I'll never buy a car that isn't used, I'm doing good with groceries, but I have to budget my gas and if I run out I seriously think about bussing to work. If something out of routine happens it takes extra hours of work and lots of scrimping and savings to get by. A broken down car, a vet bill, or an illness could throw off my finances for months or more. There's no security blanket, there's no savings. If I lost my job tomorrow and didn't start a new one in a week I would be down at the food bank. I am not proud of these things. They cause me anxiety, but for some reason, not enough to abandon ship. I feel like I'm on a good path and a steady course and grew up with the notion that if you work hard and are honest and kind that good things will come your way and everything will work out and rainbows and butterflies and magic and other such nonsense. The fact of the matter is that sometimes bad things happen to good people and sometimes you can work your whole life and not get ahead and sometimes lazy ignorant people become rich and famous for doing nothing of note and will get some absurd reality show made after their pathetic life and perpetuate the idea that it's ok to live a lifestyle like them and you'll be fine and good things will come your way too. Ugh, I could go on and on but this is not a good train of thought to be on. This is why I have started Beyond Backpacking, this is why I'm involved with Herbalife. I will get ahead, and it will be the direct result of my own hard work and my own business and I will be my own boss and run my own company and care about my job and primarily work from home or outdoors and spend more time with Clayton and my furry little loves who are desperately trying to get my attention as I type.

I am stressed about the wedding. I was super excited about the possibility of a wedding. I had little girl fantasy dreams and started a Pinterest board and if I close my eyes and try hard enough I can envision that 100% of the people I invited show up and we sit around and eat cake which I can just about taste now. I have emailed and researched my dream venues and discovered that even with a small group (my large family and short list of friends still constitutes a small group) and have found their minimum pricing to be roughly half of my annual salary and more than I paid for my new car, in fact more than I pay on my mortgage for a year, and I can't wrap my budget oriented brain around this number. Even if I could come up with the money it's so hard for me to justify spending it on this. It seems excessive. It seems wasteful. It makes me question if I want to have a wedding at all. I'm one of these stubborn people that doesn't compromise and doesn't settle and if I can't have what I want I might just say fuck it, I don't need it, and abandon ship entirely like it's an all or nothing proposal. We'll see. Friends and family are working on convincing me there are ways to do for less and I can have some sort of compromising ordeal. We'll see. Also my parents keep saying they will help pay for it, but won't give me any idea whatsoever of what that means in terms of a dollar amount. If I don't know what the budget it I can't exactly make any sorts of plans. My mom must have said 100 times I need to pick a date so I can tell the family. Well no shit. Half the venues are booked. The date is that date the venue I can afford is available. If I don't have a budget I don't know what venues I can afford. If I don't know what venues I can afford, I don't know what dates are available. No date. Fuck. Someone tell me what to do here. It's not like I don't want to pick a date, but it's contingent on other things that are out of my control. Oh, and really the most important thing is that I want the people I invite to show up. I am self conscious and have this fear that no one will care enough to come and in the end I will be sad and friendless. Maybe this is absurd, maybe not. I feel like I've gotten burned a lot in life by caring perhaps too much about people who clearly don't care that much about me. I'm afraid that getting married will also sever some ties to others. Like I said, for better or worse, I've got this all or nothing mentality, and if friends or family don't come, I might just say fuck it, guess I don't need you in my life. Not the best attitude to have I know, but maybe for the best in the end, sadly. And all those positive thinkers in my life will say don't worry, everyone will come, I'm sure they had a legitimate reason not to come if they don't, and just focus on the people who love you and who are here. Whatever. We'll see. At this rate there may not be a wedding, but ask me tomorrow when I'm in a better mood, and I'll tell you all about the fabulous and cheap alternative plan I came up with last week where we have a huge house party catered by Chipolte and a make your own margarita station and the whole thing costs less than $2000.

This will be at my new house of course. The one that the mortgage guy this week essentially told me I can't have. I know you shouldn't get your hopes up about a property before you have your finances lined up, but I never expected him to say that roughly a third of our combined income doesn't count for various reasons. I didn't expect that I wouldn't even qualify to buy the home I'm currently in even though I have a much higher paying job than I did when I bought it years ago. I knew the lending market had changed, yet the optimist in me didn't expect to be screwed by it. So my budget is now about $50,000 less than I was initially told, which means there's little if anything in the area that's remotely affordable. My mom of course keeps asking what if you want to have kids. I think what she's really saying is shouldn't you move out of the mountains if you want to have kids, it's expensive here, you can't afford a house here, there's no town and no school here, she doesn't fucking get it. The whole point of the house hunt is to be able to raise a family. To not live with kids in a 500 square foot condo on a busy road with no yard. The point is to have a house in the mountains with a yard and not be in the city around that toxic environment (that's what I think of city life if you didn't already know, it's toxic). We will grow our own healthy food, and have chickens, and the kids will be able to play outdoors unattended as long as there's a dog or two around to warn us of a lion or bear in the yard and everyone can be wild and free and protected from the pitfalls of the materialistic society that I was raised in that I'm struggling as an adult to break free from. Again, with my parents, who want me to live in a nice house, which I can't afford. We looked at some property and afterwards they comment on the house that was dumpy. Well the house that was dumpy is what I can afford. The house that was off the grid and had an outhouse and no indoor plumbing, that's the house I can afford. And I'm not opposed to these ideas. Not because I'm accepting of my financial situation so much as I'm rejecting materialistic society and willing to put in hard work to have a nice home. I'm ok with gutting an remodeling a house. It's the line of work I'm in, it's exciting, you can make it exactly how you want it, I know loads of contractors, and Clayton has loads of skills. I'm ok with having to dig and install a septic and using an outhouse for a year if it saves me $50,000. We've been talking about buying land to build on and living there in a camper for a few years until there's a completed well, septic, and house. To buy something that already has a house and a well on 5 acres where all you need is a septic and to build a bathroom sounds like a great start. Instead of looking at an off the grid cabin and what is lacking, to me I think of the lot and all the steps that have already been taken towards having a house with all the bells and whistles on it. If there is a house to sleep in with solar installed and a wood stove and potable water, that's a huge and exciting start towards building my dream house. So we'll see. Nothing can happen until my condo sells, which we'll work on harder once I'm back from New Zealand. Even if I can't buy right away, I still want to sell. I've wanted to get rid of this condo for years. I've been stuck with it for far too long. Again, my parents say they would help with a down payment because I expressed that this is clearly more important than a wedding to me. Also if we buy a house the wedding would be at the house, that's pretty much a given. But again, there was no discussion of what this translates to in terms of a dollar amount so I have no clue what my budget is. Do I have an extra $100, $1000, $10000?? No idea. So I guess I keep going on the basis of what the mortgage guy told me based on our own income and any help from my parents is a bonus.

And on top of all that, as if any one of those things isn't enough to worry about, I am leaving for New Zealand alone in 4 days, which is super exciting, but I feel I haven't had time to sit and look at my plans and I haven't packed a single thing and although I'm mostly ready, I need a day uninterrupted to tie up loose ends here. I need to pay my bills before I go, I need to do laundry, I don't have a hotel to stay in when my plane lands yet, etc. etc. blah blah. It will all work out. I keep telling myself that. The mortgage guy reminded me that that's not the smartest attitude to have. It's not that I think everything will just fall into place and work out on its own, that's an understatement. It will all work out, and I mean all of it, the wedding, the house, the vacation, the kids, everything, but not on its own, it works out because I care about it, they are my dreams, and I will bust my ass every day to ensure that I achieve them.

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