Investing in Yourself
Hello, this is my first publication on Medium so pardon me as I learn the ropes and my way. Lets start with the year 2020. I definitely had a different 2020 vision in mind, one in which consisted of going to a big 10 University and getting a bachelor's degree in Communications. My then boyfriend had gone to this university and loved it. He would tell me stories of all the crazy things that happened in college and how fun/hard it was. He was the one that encouraged me to apply to the University of Minnesota. I applied thinking I was too stupid to get in but, within a week I found out I got in! As a girl who has struggled with school her whole life, a big 10 college never seemed possible.
But, before getting into the nitty gritty of my life of 2020 let’s rewind to the start of it all. The year started off with me living with a horrid roommate that was a control freak, working a part- time job at Crate&Barrel while also going to school at our local community college. I was stressed, depressed and unable to express anything besides anxiety, fear and what felt like defeat. My world felt like this pointless never ending nightmare that kept spiraling out of control with everyday that passed. I would wake up, smoke weed and do what I had to in order to get through the day. Marijuana become this substance that I used to escape the reality that I was living. I felt alone, lost and as though nothing good could come my way. Nothing made sense and I didn’t understand my purpose on this planet. I thought nothing but “why”. Months would pass and nothing felt different besides my boss almost firing me for being high at work, almost failing out of school and constantly asking my parents for money to pay for my maxed out credit card.
A few months before Christmas my dad said he wanted to have dinner and to speak to me about something exciting. I thought maybe this was a gift of a new car or something along the lines of that. He picked me up and we drove down the road to our favorite spot to get dinner and dessert. Yum Bar and Bakery. (if you visit minnesota, I highly suggest going) He sat us down after ordering our food and slipped me a vanilla folder like in James bond. I was very confused but intrigued. But before I opened it my dad spoke “This is a big deal, just remember and no one can know of this”. Well, NOW I gotta know what on EARTH my dad was gifting me. I look down and find a white peice of paper with a lot of numbers. Numbers that were huge and I didn’t understand what they were for. I look up and see my dad laughing and smirking at me. His response “well, Yana Amelia Mallon you are a thousandaire” I ask him “What…?” He had gifted me 60k in investments. My eyes started to fill, my thoughts racing, my heart sank deep in my stomach. I had never knew how much money my parents had. My brother and I grew up with everything we needed and wanted. Christmas was never small and memories were filled with happy ones besides our parents divorce and the endeavors of living life.
I looked up at my dad and just stared at him with a blank face unsure of what to say next. I just sat with the feeling and tried to process it. He started to tell me that this money was because “We are no longer financially supporting you”. BAM! My heart sank, my abandonment issues arose and I was mad. I just had been booted from my parents. I ate my food in silence while listening to my father tell me that this money was not to be spoken about to anyone in our family. He told me that I was to pay for rent, car insurance, my mental health, my dental and everything thats needed in order to live my life.
My father said to me that this gift will give me financial freedom and it’s a gift of a lifetime. In the moment this “gift” wasn’t a gift. This “gift” was a “Hey, you are now completely on your own and will be for the rest of your life”. This was the biggest “fuck you” to me. I chose to take the high road and paid for dessert, a slice of coconut cake. My dad laughed and thanked me for the treat. We left on weird terms and my dad kept saying “Yana, you will be ok and things will be ok”. At the time, this was the last thought on my mind.
A few weeks passed, I told my boyfriend of what happened and he was like “wow, thats amazing”. That still wasn’t my thought process but I was accepting this information more and more everyday that passed. I even felt a little entitled at times but I learned quickly that money really doesn’t make you happy. I was not a millionaire by any means but I had more money then most 21 year olds. I was debt free, living a normal but good life which is a privilege compared to many. As time progressed, I found myself investing more time and money in things that will last, food that was healthier for me and doing things that brought fufillment to my life. One night as I was having dinner with my mom, she said she bought me something to rememeber when I was feeling lost or scared of the next step in my life. It was a bracelet that says “I am a fucking warrior”. I have not taken this bracelet off since I got it. I actually before publishing this article I looked down at it and read aloud “I am a fucking warrior”. As time kept going on I did yoga everyday, started to lift regularly at the gym and focusing on getting myself to a better mental state and physical state. A impenetrable object that no matter what came my way, it wouldn't completely destroy me. I was strong and felt on top of my game.
March 6th 2020 -Pandemic- I heard news of a virus that was spreading wildly across the country. The night that news broke about COVID19 I was at target, it was as though the world was ending. People flooding the food isles, carts everywhere, everyone grabbing huge amounts of toilet paper. I was listening to music and strolling the isles wondering why everyone was freaking out over a germ. Something so small. Well the following week, stores were closed and everyone was at home. Shutdown and locked away in our homes scared to see anyone in fear that this small germ was going to kill us all. I remember my anxiety at a level 10 but found more peace with all the empty streets. So, I took my camera out for a walk and we shot the empty streets of minnsota. As I went to get groceries I felt fear from everyone and everything. It felt horrible, so, I took to yoga and reading about buddhism. I needed a outlet so that I could enjoy life even when everything around me was set ablaze. I took nature walks everyday until restrictions passed and things were somewhat back to “normal”. I finished classses online, got unemployment and just lived for months. I started to play world of warcraft and started to fall back in love with video games. It brought me back to the days when I was 14 and staying up until the next morning jacked on mountain dew and laughing about stupid jokes because of how slap happy I was.
I got into the University of Minnesota and moved into a new apartment in the city. I was completely on my own. I was terrified, excited and anxious because I was so far from my parents and completely on my own in the city. After about 3 weeks of classes I had about 6 assignments due everyday and everything felt overwhelming. I ended up having a major mental health break where I couldn’t think clearly and was panicking about end of the world situations and delusional things. My parents sat me down and said “You don’t have to go to college honey, if right now that doesn’t sound right for you, you can always take another path”. So, I took that advice and started to stream on twitch. I will write about my endevers on twitch and content creating in another post. Let me know if you would like to see more from me! I really enjoy writing my thoughts and creating content. It is now, 4 AM on a Sunday while I write this. I have more to write about and share. Right now, I am moving, going back to school (a smaller school) and working while also persuing my passions. Although the pandemic caused many challenges it also has made me grow in other areas. Taking life at full throttle.
Thank you for reading my first article and I hope to read comments and grow on this platform. It always has felt like a mostly positive community of writers who share their life and knowledge.