“If You Don’t Know, You Can Feel It Somehow”

I am starting a series called “Beaker’s World.” Guess who is Beaker? My husband! He agreed to share with my readers some of his stories, thoughts and opinions. Believe me, he has plenty! Remember how I mentioned once that when Beaker and I met, both of us were really poor? Well, I have omitted the fact that six months before we met, Beaker was unemployed and starving. This is his story…

It was a bad year. My girlfriend of three years dumped me. I lost my job and because I could not handle life at the time, I quit school. When I look back I don’t regret a thing except quitting school. But that is a topic for another day. I wanted to talk about being out of work for eight months with no savings, not a single way to pay bills and absolutely no money to pay for food.

My friends and my family kept me alive and kept me trying in the darkest time in my life. It was hard to get out of bed some days, and to be honest, some days I didn’t. What was the point? I could not afford gas to go and look for a job. I didn’t even have money for the bus. I would try and set up a ride to go get applications at restaurants because waiting tables was what I did for the last ten years.

I could not stand being a server anymore. I had too many bad experiences serving food to people who are mean, cheap, and bitter. I believe a few of them treated me like scum because their parents were taken captive, tortured, and killed by a waiter from a Denny’s or an IHOP. My heart was just not into it anymore, and the managers at the restaurants could see right through my fake enthusiasm and wouldn’t hire me.

The times got worse and worse, and I had to go a couple of days without food. I would drink a lot of water, and I actually tightened my belt as far as it would go. That helped. I thought it was an old wives’ tale, a horror story your parents told you about when they were growing up in the depression, but it really did lessen the hunger pains.

I needed a job and I needed to step up my efforts. I knew I couldn’t work at a restaurant anymore, so I went to a Job Staffing business.  They were able to get me on some catering jobs. Some caterers only need a few extra people for a couple of large jobs. They use these staffing businesses to get additional people to help them with bigger events that they have booked.

At one of these events there was music being played, and a song inspired me. It was U2’s “Beautiful Day.” Near the end of the song the lead singer Bono says: “If you don’t have it, you don’t need it now. If you don’t know, you can feel it somehow.” It struck me really hard. Everything that I thought had meaning in my life was gone. At that point I had nothing but my meager belongings.  Bono was right! I didn’t need all I used to have because there was more out there for me.

I was living a life that I didn’t want to live, and I was on the verge of starting from scratch. I could do anything I wanted, and this was my chance. I didn’t know how I was going to achieve this miraculous rebirth, but I felt that it was right. That night, after the catering job, I just knew that everything was going to be alright. A week later I found a job at a warehouse, and started earning a steady paycheck.

I know what you are saying, “This is a stupid story! Bono from U2 did nothing to change your life.” And you would be right. I didn’t find a job the next week because I heard a song on the radio. That would be a ridiculous story, and I wouldn’t waste your time with that. What changed my life was that at that moment I realized that I wasn’t the only one out there who didn’t know what the hell they were doing in their life. There were other people who were as naive and scared as I was. I was not alone, and it was alright to make mistakes.

I believed I was a failure at love, at a career, at school. And at that point I was, but I knew that I would figure it out eventually, and I shouldn’t give up and feel ashamed.

You are right, Bono did not change my life. But he let me know, and now, I am going to let you know. You are not alone. There are 5 billion people out here, doing just exactly what you are doing. No one has this figured out, and there is absolutely no reason to feel ashamed, scared, or like a failure. Just keep going because you know something better coming. You can feel it.

22 thoughts on ““If You Don’t Know, You Can Feel It Somehow”

  1. retirebyforty

    Beaker, you learned a very important lesson from a that difficult time. You got up and kept working for a better tomorrow. It’s always great to hear about someone picking up the pieces and moving on.
    I love the song Walk On from that album. Bono sang “the only baggage you can bring is all that you can’t leave behind.” Same message.

    1. Beaker

      It was a diffcult time but I got through, and it is definitely made me a better person. Bono’s lyrics are truly inspiring sometimes.

  2. Everyday Tips

    You never know what that one thing is that will turn around your life. You obviously turned your own life along, but Bono made you aware that something needed to be done. You were ready to move forward, and you did it. Can you imagine had you continued on your former path?

    Great job- you should post often so others can learn. (Or, better yet, start your own blog! )

    1. Beaker

      If I had stayed on my former path, I’d be miserable. I am glad I moved on. I don’t want to start my own blog because I would be competing with Aloysa. Haha…

  3. LifeAndMyFinances

    Life has never been a huge struggle for me; nothing like your story anyway. I have a solid job and so does my wife. We are trying to prepare for the unknowns in life so that we’ll never have to go without food or a place to live.

    It’s time to get out of debt and build up our emergency fund! Thanks for the inspiring story.

    1. Beaker

      Be thankful that you never had to go through such hardships. I am envious, and good luck getting out of debt and saving up for emergencies.

  4. Money Reasons

    It’s surprising the little thinks that give us the confidence and courage to change things! It’s not easy, but there is great benefit in doing so!

    Kudos to you Mr. Aloysa… (aka beaker)

  5. Invest It Wisely

    Sometimes when you hit the bottom, it becomes that much easier to spring up and forge a new path, simply because you have nothing to leave behind.

    So, how did you and Aloysa meet?

    1. Beaker

      That’s right. It is easier to start a new journey when you have nothing.

      We met at work. It’s a long story. I might post it later… if she lets me.

  6. Jim

    Hey. Great story. The best thing about being at rock bottom is that it IS the bottom. I’ve never been there financially (I’ve got a very supportive family) but have been there emotionally. When you claw your way back up, its always amazing to look down and see how far you have come.

    1. Beaker

      I agree. It’s almost surreal when you claw your way out and look back at where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.

  7. Ken @Spruce Up Your Finances

    Great story. As the old adage goes, when you hit rock bottom, the only place that you can go is up. Some dark moments can really teach us a lot of lessons in life but the key is being persistent and never giving up. I always try to remind myself that “no matter how bad my situation is, there are always a million people out there who’s willing to trade places with me.”

  8. Andrea

    I have always believed that things happen for a reason in life, and maybe the path that you were headed was not meant to be, so you had to go through losing a job, relationship, and even go without food to figure out what you were truly meant to do.

    The one thing you didn’t do was give up. Because you are here to tell your story so that others who are going through a similar struggle will know that once they figure it out they will be OK.

    1. Beaker

      I absolutely agree. We go through things for a reason. I am just hoping that someone will understand that the story I was tyring to tell was about not giving up. I hope that’s what people get out of it.

  9. Jessica07

    Thank you for sharing your story, Beaker. My husband lost his job two weeks before our wedding, and with me getting a double degree, funds were more than tight. We actually became jealous of our friends that were living paycheck to paycheck, because at least they had food until that next paycheck. We lived on ramon noodles and the generosity of our parents for longer than I’d care to admit. We, too, learned the lesson of how important it is to just keep going. Now we own our own home and even horses. Yet, the lessons we learned about what’s really important in life remain as strong as they ever were. Thanks for sharing; you’re right– people are not alone in this battle of survival.

    1. Beaker

      The lessons learned will always remain with us. I am glad you kept going. I don’t like ramon noodles to this day because I’ve eaten so many. It is hard for me to even look at them. I am sure you feel the same way.

  10. Buck

    Hey Beaker!

    Well written and uplifting story. Thanks for posting. You’re going to give Aloysa a run for her money as who is your home’s best blogger! Look forward to future posts.

  11. Deidre

    Fantastic story! You are right Beaker, when circumstances such as those arise we must shift our perspective in order to see the true value of them. Sometimes it takes awhile to see that value but see it you did.

    When I was young I was in a situation that was very tenuous living without heat in an abandoned house and eating popcorn twice a day because thats all I could afford at the time. I remember the exact moment that my perspective shifted. I now look back and understand that time was one of the most free times of my entire life. Not because I had no responsibility but because I had nothing to lose and no attachment to anything that I was afraid of losing.

    “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”
    Janice Joplin’s “Bobby McGee: did for me what Bono did for you. A changed perspective can change a life.


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