Weekly Ketchup 42 - Money/Talks

It was my birthday this past week. I wanted to have this Broadway-themed Halloween costume party where me and my friends would dress up as characters from Broadway shows and sing songs from the musicals. I had a venue in mind already but, obviously, that didn't happen because, well, money and that I didn't have enough of it. I was hoping to score another gig a month ago, which I obviously didn't get as well, otherwise this would be a totally different blog altogether. The thing is: I have been saving money since the year started, which has been great, but I'm also not making enough from my day job and I'm not scoring enough moonlighting work to splurge on a birthday party. A big consideration is that I am also leaving soon.

When I was younger, say 15 years ago, I thought that I'd be financially okay by this age. That I'd have all the money in the world to splurge on my hobbies and interests and that I wouldn't ever go hungry. To be fair, those expectations were met, except that I also imagined I'd be living in an apartment and paying rent but that didn't happen either because the reality is that I can't have my cake and eat it too.

I honestly don't know how to be wise or smart with money or even how to make them other than to work, be productive, and create something I can be proud of in the future. For me, that's always been in stories - whether in photos, in videos, or in words. Yes, even in ads and design & layout. I've been offered to change careers into something more lucrative (*ahem*BPOs*ahem*) or engage in different schemes of multi-level marketing, which, more than anything, offers "financial stability" but I just didn't see the value in any of it other than the money. I've also been offered long-term investments with the already little money I make but that would mean giving up on theater, movies, books, and everything else that I enjoy.

Money today just makes me happy but money in the future would just make me less miserable, which are two totally different things. This mentality of mine scares the living shit out of me because, as much as it makes perfect sense, it's also not practical or sustainable. I realize that the solution to all of this is to move to a bigger, higher paying  company, which I'm not willing to do as I've already discussed here, or get promoted, which my current company isn't willing to do. And now I'm back to square one: Spend less and make more money elsewhere. Seriously, if I had been born incredibly good-looking, I'd whore myself out to the highest bidder. Yeah, I'm that kind of person.

Yesterday's new haircut plus today's new frame.
I thought I looked hella good until people said I look more like Olaf.
I just can't win!
Yet, despite unmet expectations, I can't really complain. I always say I'm still better off than a great number of people, I've always managed to stave off emergencies despite my limited means, and what I currently make is really more than enough - if only I wasn't me. But I am who I am and, as was evidenced to me this birthday week despite the absence of a big party, people like me well enough, which is something I wouldn't have been able to say 15 years ago so I still win in life!

Which brings me to my next thought.

I'm not really sure what I enjoy the most about engaging in conversations or interactions in general: That they let me get to know another person or that I get to know more about myself. This entire ramble about money was borne out of a conversation I had with geek friend Paul over pad thai and pho yesterday after checking out Uniqlo (another thing that was borne out of a particularly interesting conversation over Facebook). I already knew that he fared a little better than me in the salary department (though he does pay bills and rent that I don't), but he is also incredibly prepared. The word "mutual fund" figured into the conversation. There's just something so adult about it that's just not me and I find it fascinating.

Me at Uniqlo before Paul arrived. Didn't much care for it.
Another conversation that got me thinking about my status in the universe is one I had hours after that with geek friends Denice and TJ at Uno Morato about, well, porn. I'd like to think that I'm well-versed in the perverse but apparently porn and porn stars are something that people talk openly about now - as if they're regular summer blockbusters. Denice and TJ bandied names and words with the crowd at Uno Morato and I was like, "WTF?" I have never felt more like a prude my entire life. To be fair, I have seen my share of porn and I find it disgusting. I don't understand how disproportionate body parts and bad production can be titilating. Short Bus, though.

Checked out the Saturday morning cartoons thon.
I arrived really late though.
I suppose this shouldn't really be any surprising given last week's revelation (do they go hand-in-hand?), which my teammates (Nabs, Marge, Kai, and - for the first time - Nina) at last Tuesday's Relik Trivia Night (where I ended up celebrating my birthday) pulled me aside to talk further about. Questions like "Do I fancy anybody at the bar?", "What's my type?", and other questions but I was fumbling for answers! It was so awkward! I felt like I was improvising a role that people were forcing me to play and I was talking out of my body (to be fair, I was also a bit sloshed)!

From Jovan's Facebook. WE WON!!!
My reaction to these scenarios obviously speaks volumes about me more than the other party. Like I've already established, I relish my oddities because I'd be boring without them. It's the adaptive nature of evolution at work, I guess. With no looks or money smarts to bank on, I'd need talent and an ebullient personality to survive. One, I can work on (and have been working on); the other, I either have or don't - and nature has at least given me that.

Now if only I can make money off of my neuroses. Hmmm.
Maybe a sitcom or webshow about me and my equally eccentric dog?

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