"In the face of defeat, we emerge strengthened, to face our next victory." - Eleesha
Four and a half years ago, I was faced with a pile of debt and struggling to make it from one paycheck to the next. Although I had a decent paying job for a young lady being single with no children, I was terrible at managing my money.
To this day, it's a wonder where all that money went--a mystery to which I have no clue. Clothes and shoes weren't my poison although I enjoyed shopping but I was often on the road so perhaps it was spent partying & traveling--that's neither here nor there. At that time, there were only two things that I was actually responsible in doing: paying both my rent and car note on time--no exceptions. Anything beyond that was thrown to the wind, never mind saving for expected maintenance of my car or even emergencies.
The cycle of broke-ness went on for only 2 years but I'm a witness that it takes far less effort to acquire debt than it does to get out of it. I've spent a little more than double that amount of time paying those bills I made (and as well some that were made for me by an ex, lawd that's another tale in itself).
However, the turning point for me was in the latter part of 2007 where I received two wake up calls in the same weekend:
Wake Up Call #1
I'd ventured to Cold Stone Creamery with my girl, Lesa, for an overpriced bowl of ice cream--$6 to be exact. Had the creamer load up with all my favorites: french vanilla ice cream with snickers crumbles, extra peanuts and caramel. My mouth was watering in anticipation of savoring all the goodness. Got to the register for ring up, card declined. The young man was attempting to be discrete about it but there was another creamer standing next to him when it happened. She asked outloud with a huge mocking smile on her face, "It was declined!?"
Really? Yes, right in front of an ice cream shop full of people, I tell ya. Lesa and I laugh about it these days but back then I was freakin' mortified.
Wake Up Call #2
I'd gone to my good friend Jenelle's bridal shower the following day and stayed for a few hours not too far from my own home. At the end of all the festivities, I got outside to my car and it wouldn't start although there had been no prior indication that maintenance was needed. Turned out that the car needed a new battery and some other part needed to be replaced because the battery acid had eroded it. I stood there in front of Jenelle and her father embarrassed explaining that I just didn't have money for a car battery knowing what had happened at Cold Stone the day before.
Jenelle, my sweet friend, offered to purchase the car battery for me and luckily the other part was just a few dollars so she offered to pay for that as well. I cried as we stood at the counter at Auto Zone. She said it was nothing for her to do that for me and although I paid her back when I got my next paycheck, I was still very ashamed.
It was only after these two instances where I'd finally said enough is enough and slowly began to make my ascent to where I am today. Not saying that I'm at the pinnacle--no, not nearly but I'm now only $600 away from being debt free(minus students loans). I'm finally feeling the weight being lifted from my shoulders and the stress has surely dispersed.
I had accrued that debt through my childish actions, immature mindset and by overextending myself on the account of others that in the end left me holding the bag. However, a new woman has emerged from all of that nonsense with many lessons behind her. Now, I'm a save-first-responsible-doing-what-I-want-within-good-reason kind of girl whose well on her way to total life prosperity. (TLP Nicole! Tee hee!)
The first step in progress, that leads to victory, is being honest with yourself and those around you.
This is my truth and this is where I came from. I shared this in hopes that it will help someone else. Perhaps in getting at least one to change their perspective on how they handle their affairs.
And no, I'm not embarassed or ashamed.
Heck, even before the great Suze Orman was the Suze Orman we all know today, she was mired in debt and she shared her truth with the world. If she can, so can I.
MAC MatchMaster Foundation in 6.0
MAC Pinch Me blush
Base: NYX Yogurt Jumbo Eye Pencil
Lid: Rock & Republic Emerge & NARS Coconut Grove on outer 1/3 & lower lash line
Tear Duct: Wet N' Wild- "Blue Had Me at Hello" Light Turquoise
Highlight: NYX Nude
Liner: Maybelline Ultra Liner Black
Waterline; Maybelline Live Express Pencil Ebony Black
Mascara: Maybelline Illegal Lengths Black
Liner: MAC Chestnut
Lipstick: Smashbox Nylon Nude