When You’re Still a Beginner

Oct 21, 2023 | Blog Beat

Eighty-six days is too many days to go without reconciling your budget. Cha Cha, how can you be in control of your life if you are not in control of your money?— Maybe that’s why I have been feeling so out of control. 

For the first time in my life, I am making more than I am spending. There is no urgency to track my transactions because I know I have enough. But I could be so much more. If I could just get out of my own way. 


This seems to be a common theme—I could save more. I could write more. I could share more. I could love more. 

It isn’t totally my fault. I was told throughout my childhood and adolescence that I wasn’t smart enough, skinny enough, or special enough. I was told I was nobody, so I should stop trying to be somebody. And you wonder why I can’t seem to believe in myself for more than a week at a time. 


Things are different now. It’s taken about thirty years, but I’ve managed to find a job that values me and a man who understands me. I’ve always told myself, “If only…” Well, Cha Cha, now that you’ve made your bed, are you gonna lie in it or what?

I lie down, uncertain of what to do in this comfortable space.


Earlier today I submitted an application to No Silence No Violence, a nonprofit organization in San Diego with a mission to help women affected by domestic violence. I have no experience volunteering for this type of mission. When they asked for relevant experience I wrote, “I’m a fast learner with excellent communication skills.” I guess my acceptance depends on how badly they need volunteers. I do not know how long I will have to wait for a response. 

I also practiced my Spanish. I am slowly learning the language, expanding my vocabulary a few words at a time. I am trying not to get too overwhelmed with verb conjugations or too deterred when I can’t trill my rr’s. 

My new sewing machine is still in the trunk of my car. I haven’t practiced since my first lesson five days ago. I wonder if I even remember how to thread the bobbin. 

I am a beginner at everything! How is this possible at 38? I feel like I have no substance. I’ve been fighting for so long for people to see me, and now that I have found the light, I feel like I have nothing to show for it. 


My ego has taken me prisoner. I can’t seem to get out of my own way. I can’t seem to truly believe that I am enough to not only be seen but also heard and accepted. If I truly believed I was worthy, would I have such a hard time writing this now? 

I want to die and be reborn, out of the womb a fully functioning adult woman, unscarred by her insecure past

I am not that girl anymore. Does that mean I am not a writer anymore either? Have I moved on from that entire persona? Am I not writing because I am scared to move forward or because I no longer want to write? 


My budget is balanced now. Each transaction categorized and tallied. I am tired and frustrated. But I keep moving forward, trying to understand.

Originally from the east coast, Cha Cha lives in southern California with her fiance (he’s a plumber) and their bob-tailed cat, Copper Soup.

As a woman, Cha Cha spends her time writing, reading (though not as much as she wishes she did), watching Project Runway (way more than she wished she did—especially since the show ended in 2019), trying to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day (otherwise, she won’t leave the house because she works from home), learning how to manage her money, and talking to herself out loud.

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