“I’d better start living like a poor person”

First semester of computer science down. Definitely glad I quit to do it now.  Studying for Winter exams now. After that, I get to do more IT stuff on 10 year old computers. Which should be fun. They finish in 10 days. I’m finding studying code and computer stuff much easier than CPA. Though I’m not sure if it’s the fact that my health is better, or that the subject is marginally more interesting.  It’s likely both. I’d like to keep going and get work. Living on government money and savings can’t last forever. It’s trailer trash money. I’m officially even poorer than I was while working.

Went for counseling last month about chronic pain and quitting the job. Proved pretty good.  Seems a lot of it stemmed from my mam being nuts, getting abused and how that made everything downstream bad. True mopeility. Mobilising your childhood to get into a nice stable position. It’s made daily life a lot more bearable.  No more ideas about killing myself in traffic while cycling. More optimistic about the future. Less desire to overwork and overtrain to not deal with feelings. I understand a lot about how I went from drinking and drugs, to working hard, then back to being a pillhead this year. All that hard work wasn’t ‘virtuous’ – as I thought. I think it put people off me, and made me miserable and sick. I guess I have a little more slack and emotional ROM after that.

And the woman is going through her finances today with me and realises she overspent during the Christmas sales and is broke. And she realises she overspends every month and is still dependent on her parents and me for money. So now, before she finishes working in March, she still has about €4000 to pay back, and no chance to save. Because she did not save the year she was working full time in jobs that paid more than I’ve ever made, and while she lived at home rent free. So it seems I will be funding us moving in together if she returns to the South of Ireland. Which is another €1000 I have to not spend to fund us. Which puts an engagement back. Which increases the pressure. Which makes her spend more. Which puts us back where we started.

Thing is, we were already relatively poor and insecure. It’s just a matter of extent and timing.

There has to be a way or a point at which things get easier financially. Are we just surviving here on low wage jobs? Are we going to be a lost generation like the one Japan had in the 90s and 00s? Ireland isn’t as bad as Greece or Spain for young people, and there hasn’t been major unrest like some of Europe. But it’s only because we have so much emigration that nothing has kicked off. A good 40% of my friends left the country after graduation. And it seems that Ireland’s governments have had little choice in fiscal policy, so I can’t see any radical changes happening.

Things should be better in light industry at least. Maybe I can stop being poor.


12 thoughts on ““I’d better start living like a poor person”

  1. I just pretend I’m a poor Soviet citizen living in a police state full of unhappy frowning people. I think my pretending is too close to reality, though.

    But yeah, we’re all poor when the credit runs out. 1000 of your euro things is a lot of money.

  2. I don’t really buy the whole “lost generation” BS, not in the West in the 21st century. What are people who actually live in places where there is no money and no opportunities supposed to say?

    Perspectives will improve once you’re out of the low wage job zone and more stable financially. You just quit a career you’d been in for a while and are starting from scratch. It’s only normal for things to be hard for a while.

  3. Ain’t lost generation like “wasted”, more “lost” like: what the hell are we supposed to do?

    There are definitely absolutes: I prefer being poor in Ireland where I get €800 a month from the government, to China, where I got €300 a month working full time. I even prefer being unemployed at €800/month to working full time in Big 4 for €1600/month net of tax.

    We do something similar, Celia. I use this as a reference point for how good we have it. I try dodge most of the trash elements of Ireland by rarely leaving Dublin, never going to shopping malls, and cycling everywhere. If you want to see the shitty side of provincial Russia, watch this short film. If you dub it, it could be anywhere shitty:

  4. This illustrates one big difference between the US and Europe/Asia, and one of the things I find great about ‘Murica personally.

    In the US, people are very critical of their own society and quick to expose/make fun of its ugly parts, i.e. rednecks, hillbillies, thugs / inner city scum, white trash, etc. Urban decay and rural shittiness are frequently (and quite candidly) portrayed in movies and talk shows, on TV, etc. Also Americans are (usually) willing to discuss issues like poverty, crime and the “provincial mentality” in the presence of people from other countries.

    The average citizen of Eastern Europe or China lives in a dismal shithole that makes the Hartford ghetto look like downtown Oslo in comparison. But in my experience they are less likely to talk about societal problems, even get pissed off if you ask. The ugliness rarely makes its way into movies (notable exceptions notwithstanding) or foreign-language papers. Even in Western Europe people are reluctant to enter such conversations, or if they do they blame everything on the immigrants or the government.

      1. Emigrate now for that compound interest on your happiness over the years.

        If you take your base happiness at 100, after 10 years of living in Ireland, you would be just over 21% happier than in the US at the end of the period!

        Invest now!

  5. It wasn’t wrong to think Hartford looked OK in parts?

    It’s the social housing commie block that makes places look depressing. All that 60s-70s modernist grey concrete looks like shit after a few decades in wet European weather. Red brick is better suited, which is why Hartford looks nicer.

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