Ah yikes, December and January got away from me! I vowed to write once a week but alas, job interviews, the holidays buying and moving into a new house got in the way.
But I’m back and vow to write more frequently. However, I think the events of the past month are a great story to relay.
I don’t want to belabor the point about all the trials and tribulations I have gone through in the past 14 years since my divorce but in summary, I had to raise 3 kids for several years in there all on my own. The ex didn’t pay support for many years, I lost jobs, got evicted, had to go on food stamps. I spent all of my time trying to keep my head above water. I felt like I was treading water non-stop. And it was exhausting.
But 2 years ago or so, something finally stuck, some advice I heard was to just calm the hell down and think about a plan rather than just grab the first thing to bring money into the house. I was having a hell of a time finding a job and when you are the sole supporter of three kids that can be terrifying. So calming down and thinking instead of acting was a totally foreign reaction for me. It felt unnatural. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I had a gut feeling that nothing was working out, so I had to make my own job. So I wrote a book. And another change I decided to make was to try doing something I loved. Every other job I had was just that a job, some I hated, some I was terrible at. I love writing and it worked, opportunities soon came.
I’ve been cultivating those opportunities and cobbling together a career. I’ve hustled, I’ve worked really hard, I had obstacles, I had missteps, I learned lessons, I gave it my all. So what did it bring me? A house of my own. My very own house that I bought all by myself. I would have never thought this possible 12 years ago, 8 years ago, hell even 2 years ago. What changed? I started to believe in myself. I stopped viewing myself as a poor victim of divorce and bad husbandry. I stopped believing the stories I told myself for years… that I was a screw up.
Yes, I had screwed up but I was told “You can fix that”. Huh? Really? My credit was in tatters in a soiled heap on the floor, from job loss, eviction and divorce. I thought no way. But I spent months fixing it with the help of a service. I thought you needed heaploads of money to get in a house, I inquired and found programs for low income grants and other aids for low income first time homeowners. I had to do a lot of homework. All it took was one knowledgeable person to say, “You can do that”. Ask questions. Don’t give up. Seek and ye shall find. I’m now paying half the amount each month I was paying on rent but now on a mortgage. Suck on that, former landlords!
The moral of the story is… you can do it. If I can do it, anyone can do it. See there I go again, viewing myself as a lost cause. Well, not really, I mean that I had bad credit and a crappy streak with jobs. I was on food stamps for a while for God’s sake! But I did it, I got steady work, I fixed my credit and scraped up some money for a down payment. And now I won’t be beholden to anyone else. No bully landlords, or control freak landlords. No landlords period. I run the show. And finally my kids have a place they can make their own. Unfortunately, one is already in college, another will be leaving for college this August, and the other only has two years left of high school but they still have it. I feel bad it couldn’t happen earlier, I feel bad for the kids, but I can’t change the past.
Life is filled with coulda, woulda, shoulda, it doesn’t always turn out as planned. It’s how we rebound that matters. My rebound style is that I never gave up. I believed in myself and continue to do so. Everyone had reasons why I shouldn’t, I had to keep reminding myself of the reasons why I should. Why should I, you may ask? Because I am worthy of being happy. I finally accepted that. Home sweet home.