Like everyone else in the universe, I graduated from school owing a monstrous amount of money to an awful lot of people. This was expected, though seeing those numbers in black print was a bit of a shock of cold water. But I wasn’t raised to moan and groan, or to have debts; my parents advised me sternly to clear up that debt as soon as possible, and also to move out of the house as soon as possible and get my own place, because they had big plans for my room.
So, I got a job. It wasn’t the best job in the world but it was a start and it was in my field and they seemed to care that I had a degree, and it didn’t involve a cash register, so I was happy. Until I got my first paychecks and realized my job paid for precisely 80% of my expenses.
So I got a second job. I felt proud, in that moment. I was a go-getter. I was responsible. I was exhausted. I was also frequently late for job #2. I had about twenty minutes to race from my desk to my second employer, and security in the lobby of my building always slowed me down as they inspected my bags before I left – part of the nature of my employer, which I understood, but pretty annoying as I was desperate to not lose my second job, which was my margin of survival.
One day, while standing impatiently while a security guard I had nicknamed Slow Dennis picked through my bag while chatting with co-workers about television programs, I saw one of my coworkers breeze through security in thirty seconds, just holding up a perfectly clear plastic bag as they walked. The guards scrutinized it, nodded, and she was free!
I had one credit card left with some room, and that night I used it wisely on a large clear backpack from The Clear Bag Store.
The next day, I was able to walk from job one to job two. I even stopped for a coffee to carry out. I didn’t have to run, leap over baby carriages and small animals, or mutter curses while waiting for a light to change at a corner. It was heaven. Every day I just pack my lunch and gear into this sturdy plastic bag and I am able to get in and out without any trouble at all, then back out to my night shift. And then I go home and dream the dreamless sleep of the just, knowing I’m that much closer to being debt-free.