If someone on the street asked me for some change, I could instantly say, “No.”… not because I don’t want to give them any, but because I really don’t have any. I do have 3 dollar bills in my pocket, but that’s extremely rare. I usually buy most things with my debit card (I have instant access to my bank account through my bank’s app on my phone).

What’s the point? Todays prompt: 14. Think about one thing you would like to change about your life, and tell us how you plan to do it. Change joke aside, the biggest thing would be money… or lack thereof. We could all use a little more money in our lives, and to do that (for most of us), that means getting a better job (or possibly a raise if you already like where you’re working).

When I was younger, that meant going to college. I remember going to this ‘meet and greet’ thing in Boise. It was a big meeting room thing at a hotel. There were about 50 or so people there. They provided grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and sodas while they talked about the school and how great it was to live in Phoenix, Arizona. I was already convinced I’d be going. I connected with 3 other people there and we split into roommates… I was on my way to Phoenix. Little did I know, but the day I landed, it was 120 degrees Fahrenheit… it was like walking into an oven set on the highest temperature possible.

I got my Associates degree in less than 2 years and unwittingly set myself up for a lifetime of debt that I’m still carrying. THAT’s the one thing I’d change about my life, if I could. I’ve only used my degree to my advantage one time in my life, and that was to go into the Soils, Surveying, and Drafting program in the Marines when they told me they no longer needed any Arabic linguists and what would I like to do? So they taught me how to be a drafter… again. Other than that, I’ve never done any kind of job where it required any knowledge of mechanical drafting.

I can’t invent a time machine to go back in time and stop myself from going to college and taking out a loan that has bloated to over 3 times the original amount. I can’t go back and convince myself that working for a few years and establishing your work habits and seeing what the corporate world and Real Life™ is like first. I can’t do that… and I wouldn’t want to do that… unless I could be where I’m at right now.

I’ve done many stupid things in my life, and I’m bound to do more. I can only hope that I keep learning lessons from them. That loan is honestly the biggest mistake I’ve ever made… and there doesn’t seem to be any escape from it. I’ve seen the news about the for-profit schools having to forgive loans, but there’s no way I could afford a lawyer to speak for me, and I have no idea where to start… because I’m definitely a victim of a for-profit college that made me promises it in no way fulfilled.

I’m bitter, but pretty content with where my life is at the moment. I don’t make near enough money… I don’t live anywhere near my fiance (and can’t afford to move her out here, either)… I only get to see my kiddo on the weekends (when he’s not visiting family in California and Arizona). But… I’m writing… I have a bunch of friends that are helping me keep on track… I live in a beautiful area of the country. While some could complain about a lot of those, I choose to be content, realizing I could have it much worse.

So, long story short, barring the ability to make a time machine and avoid any kind of consequences for going back in time to prevent myself from going to college and getting a loan, I’m fine. How about you? What would you like to change?

See you tomorrow.