Living Within My Means as a Warrior
I believe I was born to be rich. I can tell by the size of my dreams and aspirations. I set goals that scare me and keep me awake at night. I’m talking about being on the front page of Forbes magazine and shaking Oprah Winfrey’s hand kinda dreams. Don’t downplay me.
I love Oprah. As a child, I would run from school so I could catch an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show. I also believe I am qualified to be on the front page of Forbes. To make this happen, I have to put plans and strategies in place, brand right, you know? Put in the work and the money.
But can I really achieve that with my budget? Not on my current earnings. Although I have no plans on giving up on my skydiving wishlist and business ideas, the truth is this is going to be tough. Not that I don’t earn money, but most of it goes back into medications and health care.
I still try to spoil myself once in a while. I mean, I deserve it, and it shouldn’t hurt that much. But it does. Imagine getting sick after spending your last money on a spa treatment. Even though the experience was necessary and well deserved, blah blah blah, guilt is the first thing that will creep in. Why? Because now you don’t have the money you spent on luxury for an unplanned ER visit.
There are times I would start saving for my birthday present, but by the time it gets to my birthday, I’ve used all I saved plus extra borrowed cash (which is now a debt) on an emergency infection treatment.
How money impacts us
Money is essential in all aspects of our lives, and not having it most of the time when you need it the most can be overwhelming to deal with.
- What does it really mean to live within your means?
- Is it having just enough to spend?
- Is it having enough to spend and to spare?
Living within our means
Living within your means as a warrior is nearly impossible in this part of the world. Getting a job to support financial freedom when you live with sickle cell can only be a dream.
- Opportunities Warriors are not given the opportunity to work in an 8-5 environment where employers are willing to understand the drastic changes in their health matters.
- Perception Stigma associated with those with sickle cell also makes it difficult for warriors to be able to be involved in anything entrepreneurial and truly succeed.
Amidst the inconsistent stream of income, fear of coming under the weather unexpectedly, and a plateau of bills, warriors are always in limbo on what to spend on.
- Support from friendsI’ve had a couple of friends help me out in times of a crisis then turn around to use it against me when I can’t help in their time of need. Others I have helped have also abandoned me when I am in dire need. It’s always a sour experience.
- SavingPeople usually advise that I need to save, but what is there to save when one is thinking about what to eat or has been a guest in the ER for over a month and there is a mountain of bills to settle.
With all this said, in as much as a warrior would like to be treated like everyone else, it must be understood that we have special needs that must be considered and weighed against others.
The reality of living with sickle cell
So then, living within my needs as a warrior will always be a struggle if employers don’t consider the new norm of working from home and make it an option for us. Having this option would help reduce the stress of everyday struggles with working 8 straight hours.
Society needs to understand that human nature allows us also to take risks sometimes because there is the urge to live life to the fullest. The cumbersome process of taking medications every day of our lives chokes the fun out of our lives sometimes; therefore, giving us the space to take a breather sometimes is important.
The world is becoming worse for everyone, but much worse for warriors because not only has the pandemic caused a loss of jobs, inflation on items, and the loss of people that could lend a helping hand.
To this end, imagine a warrior with no job or consistent stream of income and no support from family or friends trying to live within nonexistent means.
So before you are quick to reprimand someone for not living within their means and bothering you with their needs, take some time to analyze these few thoughts.
Our means of survival are never enough no matter how much we make because sickle cell always finds a way to interrupt our well-made plans.
Anonymous Poll: Which of these have you experienced as a result of your disease? (choose all that apply)