Thought Catalog


“Honestly, y’all can keep your change. I just need a smile today. Can someone please just give me a smile?” Through my music, my stream of consciousness inner monologue, and the sounds of the city, my heart breaks. Removing both earbuds this time, I turn on my heel to see him sitting on his bucket, smiling out with open arms, simply asking for the return of human compassion.

So far, it’s been almost five years since I relocated. I have a bachelor’s degree, student loan debt (but less than most people), and live with my wife and her unemployed mother in a 100-year-old house that is in constant need of repairs. Here are the things that my wife and I have thought about while we still struggle to make ends meet after we had both been flush.