Tuesday, May 20, 2014


There is a pretty big thunderstorm happening right now. I can hear the rain coming down hard, see the lightening between the blinds and hear the thunder. It's quiet in the house. The lights were flickering so I have the candles lit and it's just me sitting here on my couch thinking.

My adult life has been very disappointing. I'm 36, single, in a job that I dislike to my core and I'm $200,000+ in debt. I never imagined a life of struggle. I never imagined this would be my story.

I struggle. I've been struggling since I went out on my own at 25. 11 years of really hard work, struggle and absolute disappointment. It's hard sometimes to look in the mirror and not see myself as a disappointment. To not feel like a disappointment. I had it made. I come from a great family, I got a full ride scholarship to one of the best universities in the country, I'm super smart and I'm beautiful on the inside and on the outside. Nobody would ever know my struggle. I have a smile that will light up the entire room and it's my mask. It hides my pain.

The relationship struggles amplify the other struggles. I've taken care of the men in my life in the ways they needed, financially and otherwise and I've been hurt badly mentally, emotionally and even physically.

I read all the time. I read in "The Fault in Our Stars" this line that rang true...."That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt".  Indeed it does. I didn't go to work today. I spent part of my day opening about 2 months of mail. There had to be a notice somewhere about my student loan payment increasing as it did this month to the tune of about $150. As it stood, I had about $1,200 in free cash flow each month after bills are paid but I've been trying to put an extra $400/month towards debt. So that left $800 and just $400 every two weeks for groceries, toiletries, household items, miscellaneous bills/expenses, tithing, clothing, medicine, etc. It doesn't go far. There's no money for vacations, shoes or purses and little money for entertainment. All of that comes from whatever savings I have which depletes very fast.

Today, I opened up a letter that told me just one of my 10 loans was increasing another $75 in July so now I'm down to just over $600 for the entire month with more loans increasing by October. I honestly have no idea what I am going to do if I don't get another position soon. As it stands, I already work 12 hour days and my boss is considering mandating that we work from 8 to 6 when we already do and take work home on weekends. I got chastised for leaving 20 minutes early so I could go coach softball so an extra job isn't even possible.

It's just bad. I need suits to wear for Leadership Training next month so I was going through my clothes to see what I could fit and what needed to be repaired, etc. I haven't purchased clothing in about 6 years. My clothing situation is raggedy. The pant linings to all but one of my pant suits are so ripped up that I had to just cut them out and I had to get a few hems repaired. The three sweater shirts I took to the cleaners today had holes in them that I got repaired vs. buying new ones. I was so embarrassed to take those clothes into the dry cleaners. I got back in my car and I just hurt to my soul. I wanted to cry. I drove over to my parents house just to see them and to remind myself that there is a reason for me to be here and that I am loved and valuable to someone.

I just never imagined this would be my story. I don't have anything to offer people that are looking for a personal finance blog. The only thing you get here is a real life picture in words about the devastation that debt can cause. How debt can dim a person's light.  I am going to have red, puffy eyes tomorrow. Too much crying. Night night.


Anonymous said...

Hi Windy City!

I stumbled on your blog as I am a law school grad paying off a lot of debt and after reading some of your posts I wanted to say that I think you're doing *awesome* and don't be too hard on yourself. Regarding the debt, you make a fabulous income -- really, you do. Consider really changing things up. If you sold the condo and moved in with your parents, you would free up cash that you put to the mortgage and you could attack the debt more. Or get a roommate?? Think RADICAL. You have the power to get out of debt. I would also suggest going to a financial advisor and asking for a plan of attack. You might benefit from having a person you are accountable to who you meet with on a regular basis that can help you figure out where to trim expenses etc... You need a community of people to help you with the debt. Go find them!! Wishing you all the best. A fellow law school grad.

Chitown said...

Thank you! You are right. I do need to think radically. I have tossed the idea of moving home many times and my parents offered again last week. I held off over the last couple of years because I was close to engagement twice and this last relationship, we were planning to stay in the condo for 4-5 years. Since I owe more than the condo is valued, I will probably try rental first. There's a few improvements I need to make first but this is a viable option. Thanks again for your encouraging words!

Kay B said...

The funny thing about life is it can all change with one decision. Two years ago I was stuck and I decided to make the drastic change of moving to a new state and ended up finding everything I was missing. In your case maybe it will be moving out of your condo, or getting a new job, or even just dating a guy outside your "normal" type. Ironically it was my normal type that was failing me in the love department. Embrace making changes in your life as you never know what good outcome might come.
And I remember being $53K in debt between school loans and CC's and it's a horrible feeling but I buckled down and paid it off in 5 years. You can do it! Maybe it's best to approach it in a way where you pay down enough in x amount of years to where the monthly amount becomes more manageable. Maybe that's $50K paid or $100K.