I’m not sure if you remember me, but I have written to you twice before. The first time I had been out of work for almost a year and the second time I was working part-time jobs on a regular basis. I want to thank you for your sound advice, your care and concern.
Anyway, I almost lost my home, my car, etc. but I made it. I had to work (at times) up to 3 part-time jobs at once to survive. I gave up my home phone, Internet service and went to the library to check my email (yes, while job-hunting and unemployed), gave up cable television and other little things.
I would go to the library to rent DVD’s and old VCR tapes. I networked, networked and networked as much and as effectively as I could and finally was hired by a large insurance company and am now a licensed Property and Casualty agent. I am still not making the salary or receiving the benefits I was getting a couple of years ago, but I AM WORKING and I SURVIVED!
I somehow have been able to keep my car payments up (my car will be paid for in Summer of 2011 and I am keeping it!) and keep my insurance paid. I didn’t (and still don’t) have health insurance but fortunately am very healthy (I am in my 50’s) and except for a few things (some unexpected surgery, etc.) I have come through things basically sound and healthy.
I am going to school and have just been awarded a scholarship to finish, which I am VERY thankful for. Each Sunday when I go to church, I put a small amount in the collection plate because I remember how the churches helped me keep a roof over my head and my lights on. I know it COULD have been much worse. Those things I could never forget.
Our church, as many do, helps many people in the community with various types of assistance. I have realized I am truly a fortunate woman, but of course when going through all of this, never did quite see that. I am reminded of something you told a reader once…you told him/her that debt is just debt and never worth even considering anything drastic like suicide.
I believe this reader thought he or she would never survive their situation and did not see a reason to go on. You were SO right, and if I may, Steve, would like to tell your readers just how much your column helped me.
I read the letters and I could could identify with many of them. Many times I was so depressed, I would read them and start to cry. At one point, after many months of unemployment, I thought I would never work again or be able to keep my car and apartment. I was wrong.
I have learned that if you think things are bad now, realize that you will be able to look back one day (I promise) and wonder how you ever got through it. I see more and more homeless people near my workplace each week, and think “that was almost me.” Well, that could be ANYONE of us. We always HAVE much more than we think, more strength, more determination, more faith than we ever thought possible. We also have the faith to go on because we all have people who know, love and care about us. Find those people and cherish their friendship, they will be there for you if you are there for them. This will keep you sane and centered. Don’t let bills or mounting debt choke you. There is ALWAYS an answer. It m ay not be the one we want, but it’s there.
Finally, know that even if you lose a home, a car, a job, empty the bank accounts, or can’t pay the bills, it’s NEVER as bad or as painful as the loss of a family member or friend. By the way, earlier this year I met the most wonderful man and instead of worrying about what he might think about my situation/debt, we had an honest talk about money, credit and debt. We are now planning a life together. I do feel that almost anything can be worked out between two people who are honest with each other. Who would have thought I would meet someone who would be able to understand?
You are right, Steve, when you said to “not wait to be debt free” to get married. If that was the case, would anyone be able to marry?
Again, thank you, Steve, so much for all the positive things you have to say,the straightforward manner in which you say it and the caring way that you help readers.
God Bless and Please Keep up the Good Work!
You are very welcome.
I learned a long time ago to never expect anyone to come back and say ‘thank you’. I do what I do is to help people without any expectations.
For that reason, the time and effort you took to come back and share is just the best gift you could have given me.
I’m so happy you’ve found a way through and that you learned from what I’ve shared. I can hear my words in the messages of what you have come to realize.
Moving forward, just remember, every day is a good day as long as you are not on fire. If you set that as your daily expectation, every day is awesome.
Congratulations on your new relationship. The fact that is is rooted on honesty is a true blessing.
This time I need to thank you for the big hug.
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