Several years ago, 2008 to be exact, I was laid off from my job. Two months into my unemployed life, I was in a constant fear that my financial world had ended. I entered a new place called The World of NO: NO more eating out at nice restaurants; NO way of paying for my monthly car note for my nice car; NO good credit history with my mortgage company; NO more private schools for my child; there we so many NO’s in my life that I thought about adding NO as my middle name since I don’t have one.
Even though, I was able to collect unemployment benefits and it did cover the amount of bills I had I was still in constant fear that I was never going to recover. I wanted those “things” back in my life that made me happy. Boy, that was a lie. I allowed those things to validate who I wanted my family, friends, and complete strangers to believe I was: A Strong Single Mom who had it ALL together. Honestly, I was never happy because I was always working and never could enjoy my house, car, or spend enough time with my child.
Now, I look back and realize I was such a fool to myself. None of those people cared THAT much about those things like I did. Once they were taken away, it didn’t devalue my relationship with them. I was still the funny, caring, & driven woman just not with a lot of stuff or “things” to show for. It’s funny how I watch people chase this fictional “American” dream that has caused millions to lose their jobs, homes, and cars only to leave us more in debt. One important lesson I learned from a money-hungry associate who once told me that “you’re going to die owing somebody.” It’s true. Think about it. You’ll still owe the power company or You’ll still owe your buddy the ten bucks you borrowed from last week to buy yourself lunch. Whatever the case, stop for a moment and think about what you are missing in your life that it’s worth going into debt for. Will debt collectors eventually put a lien on your body parts so that you can satisfy your debt owed to their company when you die? Before that happens, I’ve already decided to be cremated so HA-HA to all you debt collectors out there!
Today, my daughter and I live a simple & humble life with no mortgage payment & no car note. We’ve downsized from a two-story, 3 bedroom 2 bath townhouse to a one bedroom apartment. In addition, I opted to return my 2005 black on black, leather interior SUV to the dealership and traded it for my moms paid for 1998 SUV with NO air conditioning (yes, your prayers are needed). I don’t and will not complain because I’m sure someone out there who doesn’t have a car would love to have any car in this heat. It’s a wonderful feeling to go to my mailbox knowing that all there is waiting for me are junk mail and my cell phone bill. I’m no longer stress out pulling out my hair and breaking into convulsions when I see the mail carrier. I will always be thankful to my last employer for taking the time to see that my hard work as one of their thousands of employees who had a hand in helping them make millions of dollars a year & be one of the Top 100 Companies in the U.S. wasn’t worth jack. Thank you for eliminating my position so that all of the executives in my department could continue to receive their monthly bonuses. Thank you for throwing me into the pool of this cruel world without a life jacket, i.e. 401K, no savings. Once I decided to let my home go into foreclosure and return my car to the finance company, I realized that I never needed a life jacket because I didn’t know I was always swimming in shallow water.
See, the “American” dream made me believe that if I get into debt I will have it all while those bloodsuckers who owned the note on my loan was getting wealthier off of its interests. (They probably were able to pay off their debt while I was struggling to get out of mines). Once my home went into foreclosure they made even MORE money because there is an insurance policy on the loan when it goes into foreclosure so when you lose your home, guess what, they make money off of that too. That’s NOT all folks because when they resale your home they get that money too. These are the same people who claim they want to help you save your home. Yeah, right.
I say all this to say that I still don’t have a job and I don’t have any money but I’m happier now than when I did. I can appreciate Life more. As I sit here with my most prized possession, my MAC laptop, I realize that I am rich. Rich with my passion to write and to pursue my dreams without any worries. Are You Rich?
Written By: Max-Laine