I want to share my story for those of you going through the same situation as me and remind you to: stop, breathe and appreciate the little things. In this blog I will share a few personal things with you. I’m going to be candid because you never know what story I share that just may help someone in the same situation. Let me begin by saying that just because I use to be an Adult Film Star (30 years ago) and I’m now a Flight Attendant, doesn’t mean I’m rich. It’s not like I don’t know how to manage my money but I’ve never really had the chance to manage it all because of either health issues or…. hmm, I guess because of health issues.
This year had started out tough for me physically, mentally and financially way before Covid-19. With the very little income I have coming in I had managed to rob Peter to pay Paul and finagle with all my creditors until now. I know I’ve preached about this all before in prior blogs but there is a silver lining here. I have learned that as far as bills, they are just that and I can’t control everything. That I need to just take things one day at a time and try to stay positive and not get overwhelmed. Because as I say, which is a saying I use to not like… everything happens for a reason. Well, last week I came across some unexpected money that will last me two months to pay my bills. I was really surprised but reminded myself to appreciate the little things.
As I said before, this whole year has been frustrating for me because I am use to carrying my own finances. But I had learned years ago that it was okay to put aside my ego and ask for financial help. That when you need to ask for help it doesn’t mean you’re co-dependent or less independent. It just means you can put aside your ego and ask for the help you need. A majority of my life I always held my own and I was the one who would help others in financial need. My mentality was that as long as my bills were paid and I had a little extra to live comfortably then I was willing to help others in need. I’m not going to go into detail with every situation but I would like to share two of them with you.
The first one was when I was on the road as a feature dancer at gentlemen’s clubs. I can’t remember the place and vaguely remember the state, however, I think it might have been in the Midwest. I recall while I was in between shows at this club there was this bartender I would chat with. She just nonchalantly told me her current financial situation she was in. Her story was that she was a single mother raising two kids and was trying to save up to get them bunkbeds. She had mentioned that a few times her cash drawer at work was coming up short, she didn’t know why but the manager was deducting her pay for the shortage amount. This caused her frustration not only because she didn’t know why her cash drawer was coming up short but the fact that management kept deducting her pay for the missing money. Which then made it harder for her to save money to get her kids bunkbeds. As she was telling me her story I was numb to hearing about her cash drawer short and more focused on her trying to save up to get her kids bunkbeds. I mean, how much does it really cost to get bunkbeds in the 90’s? I thought to myself, I just got my son a bunkbed where the bottom of it was a couch that folded down into a bed and it cost me $500. But simple bunkbeds can’t be more than $200? Now this was the time when feature dancing was a six day week gig at a club. So I had a lot of time around this girl to get to know her.
I believe half way into the week at this club I went to the manager and told him I needed to talk to him. We went into his office and I told him about the conversation with that bartender. He confirmed with me about her drawer shortage but it didn’t matter to me, I felt the need to help her. I then asked the manager if I could get an advance pay and he agreed. The last day I was at that club I went up to her bar and handed her an envelope with some cash in it. Now I’m not sure if she was just playing me but I felt that I just need to do my part. If I was being played than oh well, it’s just money but if she really needed it for her kids bunkbeds then that would be great. I had the money to give, it didn’t hurt my financial situation and I felt good about giving her $200 in hopes that she was truly going to use it for her kids new bed. At the end of the day and in my heart, I believed her story and felt good about my actions.
Another time I felt they need to help someone was actually with my dad. I was living in South Carolina for about 6 months when he had a stroke and I didn’t think twice and picked up and moved home to Chicago to help him. That summer when I lived there I made his two car garage into a studio apartment. I went out with my step-mother and bought not just myself a bedroom set but her and my dad one as well. Then because I had a jacuzzi in my bathtub, it kept shorting out the circuit breaker in the main house so I paid to have a new circuit board put in. There were other things I spent money on as well: I gave my brother Joseph $3,000 to get his truck window fix along with buying some plumbing tools so my dad could work him. Also at that time I told my step-mother that if she saw some bills missing that I took them and I paid them. Then my step-mother and dad came to me and asked for $5,000 to buy the house they were renting. Truth be known, my dad would never ask me for money, he had too much pride. It was my step-mother who had no problem asking. All in all, I think I had given him (them) around $20,000 that summer. But you know what, it didn’t matter because I had the money and he was my father who I would do anything for. The hidden secret that I had never told him while he was alive was that the $20k was for me to try and get custody of my son back. But once again, no regrets and appreciating the little things is the key here.
Now to bring you back to the beginning of this story. Yes it’s been a rough and crazy year for me and I’m sure you’ve heard me repeat this plenty of times on prior blog posts. But I do know there are so many others out there struggling as well, especially since this Covid-19 started. For me I was getting so caught up in life issues that I forgot to stop, take a deep breath and appreciate what I do have: a roof over my head, food in my tummy and lucky to have been able to get my creditors to work with me. Times like these can be frustrating, overwhelming and even make you wonder what’s the point of living. But let me tell you this, there is a point of living, things happen for a reason but the good news is this….they don’t last forever and it can always be worse. So no matter what my situation may be at the moment, I’m learning to take it one day at a time, appreciate what I have and be grateful for not being in a more worse situation. So today I want to remind you to try and appreciate the little things. WE’VE GOT THIS!