Let’s talk a little bit about debt.
Debt sucks. It feels a whole lot like being in prison, except there are no bars and you are completely (mostly) in control of how much you are in for and how long it takes you to dig yourself out of it. I mean there are limitations to that statement – emergencies can send you spiraling thousands into the hole with no other choice. And if you don’t make a lot of money it can take a freaking long-ass time to dig yourself back out of it. And then there are student loans which no one really wants, but everyone seems to have to have.
Anyway, I have a lot of it. Debt, that is. Student loans and revolving debt.
I had it (some) when I lived here before. Student loans, mostly, though I’d had some credit card debt early on that I’d gotten paid off.
Toward the end of my Florida Tenure Part I, I started racking up more… life-saving missions, moving expenses, etc. I did a lot of things the wrong way. What I SHOULD have done, in hindsight (which is always 20/20) is waited until I had a job offer in Kentucky before I packed up my entire life and moved back up north. That probably would have been good in two ways: First, I’d imagine I’d have come to my senses once winter came and they were sitting in the snow and I was down here in the warmth. Second, if I did decide I was really that insane, I’d have had sustainable income to have gotten a place of my own, and not have racked up so much debt by paying basic living expenses on high-interest credit cards.
Buuut… sometimes I am not smart. It’s rare, but it happens. And I went anyway. I ended up freezing that winter and it took eight months to get a job. I did not have to pay rent for much of that, but I did still have expenses to pay (cell phone, car insurance, food, winter clothes, etc.). Further, I did not think that it would take eight months to find something. I did not take into consideration that Louisville doesn’t have the market that Tampa has for someone who does what I used to do. And Louisville is cliquish… you have to know the right people to get hired to do meaningful work for the most part… I had the skills and the resume, but I did not have the connections. Or the family background.
So I was screwed… in many ways.
But I digress… coulda, woulda, shoulda doesn’t get you anywhere. Moving on…
At this point, it is what it is.
When I decided to move back to Florida, I did so for a couple of reasons: I hate cold weather. The job market is better for me. I simply make more.
Both of those benefits have largely panned out. I make more. Way more. And it’s been warmer here than it’s been in Kentucky, though lately it’s been very frigid (for Florida), and it snowed in the northern part, so some might argue that I didn’t go far enough south.
That said, there’s still all this debt. And it’s frustrating. Because while I bring in massively more than I used to when I lived here before, I see less of it because it all (at least for now) goes into paying off the banks. And I get kind of anxious… not because I think I’m going to lose my job, but knowing that if I did, I’m really on the precipice of being completely and totally screwed because the monthly payments I’m bound to make are way more than I’d afford on an “average” salary. Things are tenuous.
Now, on the up-side, I have a roommate. A fiancé (he gets pissed if I call him a roommate, but when it comes to rent-sharing, that’s what he is). He pays half the rent. I take what he gives me and I roll it into my debt.
I’ve started doing promos again – because they pay well, I can take them when I have time to take them, and I can roll that money into the debt too. Tax refund money will also be put there. I mean, in reality, paying this off shouldn’t take longer than a couple of years to accomplish, if I work steadily at it.
It’s a great plan… it really is… and it works (when he’s able to afford it – moving to Florida did not do for him (financially) what it did for me). But it’s still going to take a very long time.
I’m trying to be patient with myself, and to not beat myself up too much over the past. The choices were what they were. I’m sure I would have done things differently if I’d known how things would end up, but the point is, I didn’t.
And we can’t know, can we? Not really… we take a path, we walk down the path, sometimes it’s the wrong path, but at that point (unless we’re really lucky) there’s no turning around and choosing a different path. And even if we do, we still have the baggage from the wrong path that we started on.
I believe in the Law of Attraction. It works for me. It has for many, many years, and it’s how I’ve gotten much of what I have. I have to believe that, like everything else, this will all work out as well. Somehow. I’ll pay this off, I’ll have the things I want (a house, a new car… nothing extravagant… just something to get me out of apartment living, and my Beetle), and I’ll be able to stop working so damn hard.