Monday, March 30, 2015


I’ll ask the question that you may be thinking: Why did she title this one $122.62?

Last week, I went to my leasing office of my apartment complex to pay my rent with a check since they don’t have it set up to pay online anymore.  I asked them the total of my water bill so I could write the correct total on the check.  Well, the leasing laws with the state of Georgia are entirely different from what I initially thought of them to be.  All in all, if you are not going to renew your lease, give a written notice 60 days before your lease is supposed to end.  I did not know this information.  So I gave 60 days’ notice to vacate in February.  My lease was supposed to be terminated on March 4.  Of course there was a fee and it now cost me approximately $400 more than I budgeted for housing than I expected.  I literally almost cried as I wrote that check and handed it to the staff there.  I must say that it was a lesson learned. 

At work, I finished a project for another person to be told that I wasn’t the project manager for that project.  I also wrote a 25 page report that was reduced to 12 by my boss saying that the information I included wasn’t “necessary” for the audience of the report.  I just continued to bite my tongue about it and then realized that the report was no longer my report at all and he had completely rewritten everything I worked so hard on.  I didn’t want to dwell on these feelings but it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you don’t feel like you’re moving fast enough to see it.

Also this week, I went to visit a woman I consider a grandmother before going to bible study every week like I always do.  When I was leaving, I contemplating whether even going to bible study when my mother called begging me to come and eat some chili at church.  So I can’t say no to that.  I get to church and it’s just so happen that the guy I sit next to knows someone who is currently attending Saint James.  He sent him a text for him to call me.  He claimed that there were some things that I should know before going to school there.  What those things are, I may never know because I never got that call.  But who knows?!

As if I couldn’t get any more clouds of doubt in my head, I checked the mail and received my electricity bill.  I opened it swiftly because I was anxious to see if that was in its normal range.  The bill was for $122.62.  I just cried and cried.  I was starting to have doubts about leaving especially after the week I had and the amount of money that people were all of a sudden thinking that I was made of.  My boyfriend came over that night and told me that I was going to school because that was my plan.  I immediately dried my eyes and said thank you.  I think that was all I needed to snap out of my funk that I had. 

Overall, you can’t let things happening around you and other people’s opinions determine your fate on how things are supposed to go.  In other words:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

-John 1:5, ESV

Monday, March 23, 2015

Arrangements I made Before the BIG Adventure Or Arrangements I made to save money Part 2

The only arrangements that I made for leaving the United States couldn’t just be monetarily, right?  Of course not.  So other than saving money, what else did I do to prepare?

Well, I read a lot of forums (ValueMD) and discovered that people finance their medical education overseas by going to school online for various programs but the most mentioned was MBA.  I did more research and discovered that Walden University has a partnership with Saint James and takes 20% of tuition fees if I use their school.  Somehow they also talked me into taking classes in June!  I will mention that I am very easily persuaded so it took them little effort to do this.

So I took classes to see how I could balance a job and online schooling as well to kind of give me the feel for how it would be at the island.  It was tough.  My motivation to do the work was sometimes very low although I did do it.  Also, the classes themselves were pretty easy I must say just time consuming at times.  I started off in the Certificate of Clinical Research Program because it was in the health field.  I hated it.  As I went through the introductory course, I realized very fast that it was not the field for me.  It may be for someone else but it really made no sense for me to take those courses.

After the first class, I started the Certificate of Applied Project Management.  I picked this degree because it would help me with work (even though I plan on quitting) and it also filled my desire to learn to lead.  I wouldn’t say that I am a natural born leader but I could always use training to help me be better than I am.  Plus it would help me with a project that I am working on at work that I probably won’t be able to complete.  I think the main reason that caught my eye would be that it would help me in meeting my goal of having my first semester paid for.  And I will say that it helped in getting about half of it being that I had a lot of hiccups.

But of course, what else did I get to prepare for school?  I bought a host of things including a new laptop, suitcase, and I started “watching” items on eBay to buy as the time gets closer.  I also found many sites to watch the plane ticket prices so I could choose the cheapest tickets possible.  So far, it looks like Spirit may be winning that race by a couple hundred dollars although you have to pay for checked and carry-on bags.  The only catch is having to leave earlier than expected.

Leaving earlier than expected would allow me to have some “vacation” before school starts but I will be leaving my friends and family sooner than later.  Sometime back in August, I met a wonderful man that is standing behind me for this decision but I am leaving him in a city with a lot of very thirsty women.  On one hand, I know I need to make myself happy but on the other I want to make sure that they are keeping their claws off of him.  But after 6 months, I have no doubts that nothing can come between us. 

My other worries are my family.  My family is not the greatest ever but what family is?  This year, I have seen my younger sister more than I have in my entire life.  She is 14 and could really use a good influence in her life.  I am really disappointed that I can’t be that person for her but I am sure that if I keep praying, she will be okay.  I also have my brothers.  I have one in Raleigh, NC and he is still trying to figure himself out.  Then I have one here in Atlanta, GA that is trying to be the best father he knows how.  I applaud him of his efforts because he is one of the best fathers I know.  My older brother doesn’t worry me as much anymore because I know he has found the “one” as long as he doesn’t mess it up.  Then I have my parents.  They moved from our hometown of Micro to the big city of Atlanta, GA last year for my mom to find a job and she is still searching.  Without me, I don’t know if they can stand on their own but we’ll just have to see.

Overall, I have made a decision to leave and better myself.  Sometimes we have to leave our comfort zone and go into unknown territory.  Or it’s better said as:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

-Joshua 1:9, ESV

Monday, March 16, 2015

Arrangements I made Before the BIG Adventure Or Arrangements I made to save money Part 1

So to pick up where I left off, I made a goal to save enough money to finance one semester of school.  According to the school website, it is $7,750 per semester at the Anguilla campus where I want to attend.  So this would be the first instance in my life where I needed a budget.

My family is not good with money which meant I needed to become my own expert.  So of course I used Google to educate myself on methods of making a budget.  I do remember from researching that a site suggested we should stop making budgets on napkins and notepads.  This idea is not feasible because one would be very likely to only look over it once and then later throw it away.  They suggested using something that you can read over periodically.  And I will mention that I was a notepad budgeter.

So, I made a spreadsheet.  Using the spreadsheet allowed me to predict my balance if I followed it correctly and as planned.  I inputted all the average amounts of my bills and spending habits and it calculated the balance of all my accounts.  I will be honest in saying that a lot of the time; I didn’t save as much as I could because I deserved to have little fun.  Right?

First thing I did after starting my budget was……..

MOVE!  I had an apartment that was 16 miles from my job.  To individuals that live in a city, that is far away opposed to those who live out in the country who wouldn’t think it was far at all.  Before moving to Atlanta, GA for my job, I lived in a town called Micro so I think you can picture the difference.  Plus you can see how I ended up living where I did.  So after looking over my bank statements and realizing I spent over $250 a month on gas alone, it really added to the thought of moving closer to work.  And when I found a place closer to work, it was 1.6 miles to work.

During the time of my budget, I saved up to $650 a month while having some hiccups here and there including car repairs, my job changing the pay schedule and a promotion.  My parents had some hiccups in the finances and I helped them out quite a bit including having to input them into my budget.  I started realizing in February that I would have to start learning to say the word no if I wanted to have enough money to go to school.

Overall, I am pleased at the arrangements over things I did to make school happen for me.  I think that this experience taught me better money management for when I will theoretically not have any money.  Inspiration for today:

If you plan and work hard,
    you will have plenty;
    if you get in a hurry,
    you will end up poor.

-Proverbs 21:5, CEV

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Life Before Deciding the BIG Adventure

Hello All!  I am currently at work sitting in my office once again because my boss will not give me anything to do.  It is really annoying because I feel like I paid for an education and I'm not using my investment.  But I'm sure I will fill you in soon about that later.  So let's get to the real deal here.

Hello again!  My name is Ariel and I am currently 25 years old.  I am currently a Chemical Technician III for a very large corporation in research and development and I have no children which includes humans and animals.  I decided over a year ago that my plan for life does not include my job.  Or it was divine intervention.  Or just extreme dislike for my current boss.  Either way, the idea came to mind that I didn't want to work in this field.

This all started after a meeting my company had back in February 2014, where they decided it was a good idea to group people in a way they had never done before.  Why not just move people together because it appears that they do the same type of work, right?  Well, I had a plan with my old boss for how I was going to progress in my work but I got moved into a group with the boss that I had as a temporary employee.  My boss doesn't talk and just constantly looks mad.  Honestly, I think he looks a little like Squidward from SpongeBob but that's just my opinion.  Needless to say, I knew that if I continued under his leadership that I would not be happy in the long run.

Well, it just so happen that I was listening to the radio on the way home and I hear a commercial on the radio for Ross University School of Medicine.  They were holding an open house somewhere in Atlanta and it said to log on their site for more information.  So being that this was my first dream, I sped home to Google it!  I noticed that it was in the Caribbean and I also noticed the price.  Everyone I know, knows that I am very cheap.  If there is a way to get something of the same quality for a cheaper price, that is normally the route that I tend to take.  So also shown on Google for Caribbean medical schools was Saint James School of Medicine.  The catch line here was "Affordable, top Caribbean medical school. No MCAT needed." That was all I needed to check it out.  And just so happen that they were also holding an open house event in Atlanta on the 20th which I thought was a treat right before my 24th birthday.

I attended the open house event at the hotel downtown and it seemed like everything I ever wanted.  I have always been afraid of large schools which is why my undergrad was as small as it was.  I was always fearful that medical school was going to be just as large but that idea changed when I learned of Saint James.  So of course, later I filled out the application, had a phone interview and was accepted in March 2014.  Yes, less than a week later, I had to also submit a $1000 deposit.  But then I had to develop a plan on how I wanted to finance my education and how I was to attend.  Then I decided that it would be best to begin attendance in Summer of 2015.  It would give me time to save up enough money for the first semester of school without having to rely on student loans.

I would like to say that this plan was orchestrated by God but I have no proof of that other than everything has worked out in my favor.  I don't know what this path has for me, but I do know that it could only lead to great things.  To end this post, I would like to end it with this:

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.
-Isaiah 42:16, ESV