Student Loans

It’s that time of year again. Time to beg for a reprieve. Time to face the mountain of crushing debt.

If you are chained to a massive student loan debt, you understand where I’m coming from.

If it weren’t for Habitat for Humanity, I would never own a house. That’s how rank the stench is that emanates from my financial pores, and the holier-than-thou banks won’t even touch me.

The reasons I finally went back to school at age 32 are myriad, centering around an accidental pregnancy with a man who was not raised to be a father or a human, and stemming back to all the years that people commented on my wasted potential. Topped off with an old promise to my family. And nostalgia about the good old days of textbooks, class discussions and just having an excuse to study something, which I love.

But I wasn’t cultivating my potential. I was lining someone’s pockets.

Well, promising to line their pockets, anyway.

I know, I know. “You promised.” “You didn’t have to.” “You can’t back out of your obligations.” Blah, blah, blah.

The way I saw life in November of 2001 (and sure, let’s blame some of the unclear thinking on the trauma of 9/11, just to take any bit of the weight off me), I had three choices:

  1. Abortion. (If all the in-your-face wealthy “Pro-lifers”each threw $5 in a pot to congratulate me for my decision not to off my fetus, I’d be out of the hole and then some.)
  2. Have the baby and go back to work, leaving an infant to be cared for by strangers at a daycare (No offense to anyone who chooses this path, I’m simply sharing my emotional response. And I would do just about any extreme thing before I could leave my baby for 40+ hours a week. Some people have an unnatural fear of snakes, I have an unnatural fear of being separated from my baby.)
  3. Go back to school and only be away from my baby for maybe six hours a week while I was at class. (I managed to make arrangements for her to be cared for by close friends and family during the short times we were apart.)

I chose door number three. Got a Bachelor’s degree, only to discover they are the new high school diploma. “Well, of course you have one of THOSE. What is your master’s in?”

And now they want me to start paying back $430 per month. When I’m currently making $400.

I know, I know, it’s my own damn fault. You don’t have to keep reminding me.

Even if my degree isn’t worth a dime, the time I spent with my baby is certainly worth $43,000. Worth a helluva lot more than that, actually, so I guess I’m getting a pretty good deal.

An artist since the beginning

These blue eyes are worth more than all the money in the world

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2 responses to “Student Loans

  1. The only thing here that didn’t make sense to me was comparing fear of snakes with fear of leaving your precious little one with strangers for 40+ hours per week. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who tells you to put your baby in day care when you don’t want to is a snake.

    • 😀 Good one, Linda! Thanks for your comment.

      I guess as a single mother living in poverty, I knew I was going to have to do something that generated income, that I couldn’t be a homemaker (which is what I truly felt called to do, but couldn’t find a competent co-conspirator on that plan.)

      When I have an infant and I entertain the idea of going off to a full-time job, a feeling of sheer panic overwhelms me. All my mother bear reflexes fire off at once and I want to tear something to pieces. So my alternative was to borrow a bunch of money that I had no hope of ever paying back. I suppose my sense of responsibility toward a faceless federal student loan program is not as great as my sense of duty toward the infant in my arms.

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