Ugh x_X

It's Saturday and I have to work about 8hrs today because work was insane this week. This sucks. Ok Ani okay, be grateful. Breathe.


It's Saturday, I'm in my wonderful airy beautiful apartment in on my balcony in Miami, and have to do a little catch up work so I can have a peaceful and productive work week. Then I can try out some of the new gear I got! Phew. That's better.

Okay, so I budgeted this photo & film gear in so don't judge too harshly, and it's an investment.

I paid $538 for some photography and film gear for my business. I'm also doing a trade with a graphic designer for a logo! She designs a logo for me, and I do a photo shoot for her! I'm SUPER excited!

These are the first baby steps I'm taking towards getting my business to be more profitable and getting out of debt faster. And, just as importantly (or more so!) fueling my creative passions. Oh just thinking about it revs me up! Onward and upward!

When Death = Life

There's nothing like pondering death to make you (and by you I mean me) feel more alive (and by alive I mean willing to live more fully). After all, the whole point of paying off these loans, and making any personal financial goals really, is enabling yourself to live the life you want. And not the life you think you're suppose to want, nor the life someone else wants for you, but the life *you* want to live. And nothing will scare you straight into that life than your own mortality. Period. 

Here are two little gems from the world wide web to help you (again, by you I mean me) do just that:

I. Five things people regret upon their death bed

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."
What's your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?

My biggest regret is not majoring in philosophy in college. But I got a library card to try and get over that one ;)

#1, still working on it. shaking my fists at my student loans - boo! 
#2, check, ha! i am at zero risk of this. 
#3, check, again, laughable. 
#4, check, I'm on these people like white on rice!
#5, check, like you would've believe :)

II. 31 year old Doctor with Terminal Illness' blog


Twinkle twinkle little strapped bank account,
How I wonder about the things you'd be getting,
If you didn't go towards my loans....

Wish I may, wish I might,
The things on my wishlist,
Are about two years in sight....

House = $40,000 down payment 

Here's the view from the condo that I'd be saving up for if I didn't have loans.

Car = $500/month for 3 years. That includes insurance.

Here's the car I'd be leasing if I didn't have loans.

Squirt = $300

The pet jelly fish I'd like to have, and I would name Squirt, if I didn't have loans.'s a rather short list. And really, I don't think I'd actually buy a place. Property is still too much of a commitment/burden it seems, and I would like to put more towards retirement and passive income investments before buying anyway.

I also am going through a boycott of cars phase, and really just want a bike. I feel about biking the way ninja turtle feel about pizza. #throwbackthursday It's really the best way to commute. It's like a live video game. But since I don't commute within the city (just up the east coast - ha!) for work, then no bike...wongt wongt wongt. I'm just sharing cars with my mom and sister til these student loans blow over. I only use a car about once a week, and sharing with mom and sis also gives me the opportunity to give back to the fam a bit. Definite win.

So really, it's just a jelly fish. I even have a name for it - Squirt! How cute is that! Awww. Maybe that'll be my b-day present to myself on the big three-oh. I want a jelly fish :/ #firstworldproblem <<<statements like this are when I know I'm a yuppie.


Hocus pocus, ala kazam, 
Turn this old stuff into something totally fab!

Why hello there little book shelves that don't match my living room. 

Would you mind holding some peppers and tomatoes for me instead of books? 

Gee! Thanks!

Cost = free. Cheers, to my thrifty little magician self! 

June '13 Update: An UnCreative Life is Not Worth Living

I've been working like crazy lately. It's a great job, and I enjoy the work. But it's not enough. I must be creative to feel fulfilled. I must create photographs, film, and writing. Right now, this blog and instagram are my most creative outlets; and are lackluster at best.

I have decided to turn my little debt-pay-off experiment into a film that investigates the aims of education -- both intrinsically and monetarily -- and also document my own experience with paying off my own debt. Stay tuned for more details on that.

Last night I stayed up until 1am. I was more seriously budgeting for the next 2 years. Here's a snapshot of my projection -- in blue (ignore the yellow line - I still have to input a ton of info for that):

In other words, if I pay $1,400 per month, then I should be right on target and be debt free by April of 2015. YEAYYYYY! But that's also assuming my rent doesn't go up, I only spend $50/month on groceries, $100/month on entertainment, and lots of other factors I have to keep tightly budgeted. But it also doesn't account for 2 tax returns nor any extra income over that time. That said, I could pay it off a bit early. But all in all, if I stick to my budget, then I should hit my target.

For those who want a budget template, I used the budget template made by Joe M. at No More Harvard Debt, which can be found here:

But more importantly, yes *more importantly*, is the fact that I need to creatively nourish my life during that time. I need to live a life that is creative, fantastic, engaging, and rich with wonder. The past few years have been just that -- a dynamic escapade of adventures lived in seasons. But I feel like this debt is just kind of halting many of my decisions to continue those adventures because I just want to get rid of it. But it's really just an excuse to not put my work out there for fear of being judged. Bogusness, just bogusness. Get ready world! Ha! :)

During the past 2 months I had the pleasure of meeting/seeing two women (my age!) who live dynamic and rich lives. One is an amazing jazz musician who travels the world singing, and the other is an unapologetic artist and business woman. They are each strong, graceful, vibrant, and creative young woman of color. Can I get a "role models" -- I said, can I get a "role models"!?

Esperanza Spalding

Kat Von D

We have been on this planet for the same amount of time and have very different lives. I have made choices that are different from both of these women. I am proud of the life I have lived. But yet, I see them and am inspired to more freely express my creativity, and thus fully express my truest self -- a process mined with fear and self-doubt. But I believe that I will not live a life worth living until I give myself the courage to be creative, and allow myself (and my work) to be judged.

I leave you with a few things, a quote from Kat Von D...

Word. June update -- getting there quickly and surely...

...and an article you should read...

Thanks for reading!
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