Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sorry, did I lose that?

Yeah, it's been a topsy-turvy kinda couple of days. Right after I signed off on the last entry, I made Rod take me all the way down to Point Grey Beach. Once there, in the darkness, with the lights from the ships/boats on the water, and the buildings in West Van, North Van and the West End poking into the night, I broke down.

I've become unnaturally obsessed with money and debt-servicing lately. my brain is constantly working and reworking the numbers to pay off one debt or another, while maintaining a day-to-day standard of living, and the fact is that I don't earn enough money to do this. So I've been thinking of taking a second job. Why have I gone to such lengths? Well, it was clear that the certainty of going back to school was slipping away from me with every penny being wasted on bad debt servicing, and I was desperate not to let that happen. Admittedly, at work, I do spend time playing with my finances, though not at the expense of my work, as work is not particularly strenuous most days.

On that dark beach, with sand in my mules and Rod by my side, I left my guard down and cried for the pathetic situation I was slowly finding myself being pulled into. I'm still committed to school, and I'm still 100% positive that moving when we did was the right thing to do. The fact of the matter is that the window for convincing Rod to take such drastic measures is always caught short, and I saw my chance and took it, otherwise I'd still be in Edmonton, with a fairer financial situation, but miserable and no closer to my dreams and ambitions.

So I wept for the dream of school slipping away. I wept for my employment crisis. I wept for all the valuable opportunities passing me by because we had not the financial resources to pursue them. It was a bitter low, and I needed it to happen.

So on Thursday at work, in between tasks and phone calls, I started to draft a letter to my band's student services division. I am sort of entitled to up to four years of funding to pursue post-secondary education, and to this point throughout my ridiculously complicated student career, I've only used technically 3 years of it. I had no idea if I'd get that fourth year, given that it's been more than 5 years since my last contact with them, but hell, what did I have to lose?

Plenty, as it turned out. I sent the letter to my parents to proof, and then the possible fit hit the shan. It turns out that when a student on funding drops to part time status or flunks out of school, they are required to pay the money back. I flunked out of school and a program, and each time I was on band funding, but I didn't know anything about paying the money back, and no one ever told me. Suddenly mum and dad were in a tizzy because there was the potential that if I even sent the letter, all kinds of debt doom and gloom would befall me. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place: Do I contact student services and accept whatever happens; or do I not and try to find other avenues of funding (realizing of course that I've exhausted student loan possibilities, and it's harder now to get an increase on my student line of credit because my parents are no longer home owners)?

I decided to take my chances with the band. Hell, what's another debt when I'm this far in anyways. Well, I did have some luck on my side after all. Since no one informed me about the paying-back clause, and no one ever pursued me for money, despite knowing where I was, AND I continued on and get my degree without the last year of funding, I was going to be okay. I suppose in the long run, it was money well spent for the band because it was used in the eventual pursuit of my degree. In both cases of my flunking out, I ended up using the credits I did earn towards my degree, so in a roundabout way, it was all legitimately spent. Of course, this is all news from my parents, so I still need to speak to the person in charge myself, but I'm optimistic, and I was thrilled to learn that the band now offers up to 72 months of funding to pursue a Graduate degree! Either way of course, I am researching scholarships and bursaries like a madman, determined one way or another to make school happen next year as planned.

So I needed to go a little bit crazy and lose my mind in order to regain my fight. Sometimes I get a little complacent about things not happening, often because I feel I don't deserve them to. This bizarre cycle of self-torment must reach an apogee for me to decide to fight back and realize that dammit, I do deserve something. I can't explain it all, it's all very scientific or whatever.

So for the first time in over a year now (see She Fell), I am feeling like the old Fancy. The one before the trip down the rabbit's hole. Welcome back get to work.


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