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Peace in the Wait

March 21, 2012

Peace in the Wait…

Recently, I took a drastic pay cut in pursuit of my dreams. I swopped out a cush job as a Statistician at a Medicaid Health Plan for that of a Drug & Alcohol Counselor (read: overworked/hyperstresed/underpaid). As a result, I am back to pinching pennies. But I am noticing that while being less paid has it’s moments of HUGE annoyance, there are times when it’s pretty damn amazing. As many of you know, I grew up in the inner city of New Orleans (Hollygrove…Peach St. to be specific). I am the product of a nurse and a welder (that I’ve never met). My mother’s nursing salary was decent but because it was dispersed over 2 households (our’s and my grandmother’s) it catapulted us into a tax bracket that has caused me to be a master of ‘making a dollar out of 15 cents’. So as my mama always says ‘I got broke down pat, it’s having money that causes me great angst’. So in many ways, I am more comfortable pinching pennies than actually having excess.

What’s your point, Ignant Intellectual?

I don’t know. I promise I had a point when I opened this screen to type!

Anyway, in taking this drastic paycut, my resourceful self has been exhumed. I am forced to find ways to get shyt done with less. This week, Jade (my car) decided to be needy. She killed twice in one day. I was quite annoyed because it seems that anytime I get some extra cash (this time my tax refund), something or someone ‘kills twice in one day’. But I heard my mama’s voice say ‘well Shoni, be grateful that you have the money to get this stuff fixed’. Yeah yeah, Lady. Whatever. It would be nice to have some ‘free cash’ sometimes.

Like I said above, while being less well paid can be annoying, it also has it’s moments of amazing. Because my inner jet-setter has not died simply because I don’t have as much money, I am resolved to finding cheaper ways to get where I wanna get, thus adding bus-setting, train-setter, walk-setter, etc to my resume. For example, whereas before, I would just book a flight out of Philly to wherever, rent a car when i got there and be on my merry way, I am now all about no rentals and busses and trains. Which I have ALWAYS loved. These modes of transportation allow you to see the world in a completely different light as historically railroads are build through parts of cities that some call the ‘armpits of society’ but really are the most beautiful. These modes also FORCE you to SLOW DOWN. Whether you want to or not. This is the blessing. There is something magical in slowing down. There is a grand peace in the wait. Being annoyed for a few seconds but then the calm of knowing ain’t shyt you can do about it coming over you like a ‘rushing mighty wind’. There’s a peace in taking a 16 hour ChinaTown bus ride from NYC to ATL instead of a 2 hour flight out of Philly to ATL. There’s something amazing about the 2 hour bus-to-L-to-trolley ride from Germantown to West Philly instead of the 15 minute car ride. I’m sure those that ‘have’ to use public transportation beg to differ, but while Jade was at the mechanic and I was on SEPTA, i had a commune with life in a way that i never get on the interstate. I’m blessed. I’m better than blessed. There’s not ONE single trip that I haven’t been able to go on altho i make lots less. I might have to exert more energy in getting there but sometimes I need to set my ass down. Sometimes we just need to set our asses down.

Sometimes we need to treasure the moments that life slows us down. Like the moments that we have colds and have to stay home. Like the moments we have to figure it out in a slower more cost-effective way.

There’s a huge peace in the wait. There’s a huge blessing in the pause. I’m just blessed. Feeling full today.

Make it a good one.

—The Ignant Intellectual

March 21, 2012 10:33am

(c) The Ignant Intellectual, 2012

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