My Money Story: Part III

My Money Story: Part III

I’m 34 years old, graduated with honors from one of the top-15 universities in the world, have a “real job”, and I’m broke. This is the story of how I did everything I thought I was “supposed” to do and still found myself 100K in debt and moving back home (to my aunt & uncle’s). Want to start from the beginning? Go to My Money Story: Can I Have A Do-Over?

June 15, 2018

While reflecting on my current situation – which I do – often – I began to wonder why moving is affecting me so much. I mean, people move every day. They change apartments and jobs and cities and many of them don’t feel the resistance that I feel – they just do it. So, why can’t I?

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. I love my apartment

Despite all its downfalls – dark, poor management, lack of security – this apartment means more to me than all the tangible stuff. It was supposed to be my new start. My previous apartment had bad memories and too much pain. After five years of being all consumed by the addiction of someone I loved, then suddenly having him disappear from my life, this apartment symbolized my new beginning. 

Not to mention that the neighborhood is perfect – close to the beach and within walking distance of everything. With big trees and lots of grass. It felt like home immediately. I felt safe – something I hadn’t felt in a long time.

2. Finding an apartment in this area is difficult

It took me more than two months, uncountable frustration, and even a few tears to find this apartment. In addition to the desirability of the neighborhood, previous rent control laws cause tenants to stay put for many years (often 30+). This means that finding a decent apartment in the area that isn’t significantly overpriced is an uphill battle.

For example, at some of the apartments I looked at prior to this one, landlords had potential tenants BIDDING over the monthly rent – which always resulted in it being higher than advertised.

I didn’t even know that was legal.

So, despite knowing this is what I need to do – I’ll eventually be evicted if I don’t – I worry that I’m being stupid to let the apartment go. Not that I currently have another option.

3. Entitlement

There’s a selfish, entitled part of me that feels like I’m owed something. Not from any person in particular but from the world. I’ve worked so hard to get where I am, to live where I do. And, yet, none of it matters. Because that same part of me tried to keep my lifestyle going, living beyond my means for way too long. It’s like I was expecting someone or something to swoop in and save me from the financial hole I was digging for myself. 

Spoiler alert: it didn’t.

The bottom line is that all my fears and anxiety are tied to me trying to hold on to things I know I’m going to miss. My daily walks with PJ to the ocean; my neighbors, who make my apartment feel more like a community than I’ve ever had living anywhere else; the pilates studio that I’ve been going to for years. 

But trying to hold on is how I got into this mess in the first place. Holding on to a life that I can’t afford isn’t going to bring me closer to my goal. It’s only going to hold me back. 

The faster I can learn to accept this, the faster I will get back on my feet.

Easier said than done.

Want to know more about my money story?

Go to My Money Story: Can I Have a Do-Over to start from the beginning.

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