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I was driving to Bloomington, my normal routine every morning my first semester of graduate school. Now I know you’re wondering, “Why drive fifty miles back and forth every day? Why didn’t you move to Bloomington?” This is when the flashback noise would begin and the water effect would take you and I back to January 2012. A month before I had submitted my graduate school application to Indiana University and left my fate to the universe; a week later my boss called me into her office and told me I was being promoted. Of course I accepted, called my mom, had a fancy steak for dinner satisfied by its tenderness and my accomplishment, and I began looking for a new apartment. Life was good, like really good, Jim Jones ‘Ballin’ good–I was able to loosen the belt on my budget a little and moved into a new apartment at the end of February. Relaxing on my brother’s rooftop in Chicago one warm March afternoon my mom called to tell me that my acceptance letter from Indiana University came. Not even a full month into my lease I reached out to the company that owned my building and they told me I’d have to pay off the rest of my lease if I wanted move—the record skips, and I realize that I need to tighten my belt for what was coming.
Fast forward to me at seven o’clock in the morning, driving south down IN-37, the R&B station (WTLC) I listen to begins to crackle as it usually does, and I switch to NPR. At this point in the semester I had been balancing my budget fairly well, but I was making nowhere as much as I was two months prior in the summer. Thankfully my company allowed me to work part-time in the evenings in the call center, so my monthly income went to pay my rent, utilities, car note (who thankfully allowed me an extension on my payment), and car insurance. This day in particular though I began to doubt my decision to come to graduate school, I had pushed my gas tank to the limit and tried to coast as long as I could without pressing my foot on the accelerator and my engine light was on. I finally made it to the gas station and put fifty-dollars of gas in my tank—just the week before I was able to fill up my tank for thirty. I’m a fairly mellow person, quiet, very internal—vocal when necessary, and that day I needed to vent. I called my mom and thankfully she talked me out of leaving school, reminding me of that day that she called to tell me I had gotten into Indiana University. There’s more to the story, but we will save that for another day. Just know whenever I hear ‘C.R.E.A.M’ by the Wu Tang Clan, I take those words to heart, you might even catch me raising my fist, head down, eyes closed, rapping right along with them remembering when money almost outweighed my passion.
courtesy of youtube.com