It’s been a year of ups and downs, mostly downs, and now I’m feeling the pressure of being tired, broken down, old, and now; broke. I’ll bounce back to March of 2022. I had moved back into a home I didn’t want to live in but sold my house, (the one with chickens, ducks, a big yard, close to the park, my “grandpa” house), to my youngest and her husband. I was in a relationship with someone I met online, we had been dating a little over three months when I decided, fuck it, I’ll move to Wisconsin and start a new life; this was all prior to March. I found a job in Minocqua, where she lived, and I started the move, still paying rent until May month as I was renting from my daughter. The new place was good, I liked the dogs and the location, but, it was a bit overwhelming living in a house with her late husband’s photo staring at me from the mantel. I understood that she had made a promise to him, but it made me highly uncomfortable, I didn’t complain. One day I did lay it face down only to come home and see it face up again; we never discussed it after that.
The job, of administrator at an Assisted Living home, experience, none, but work ethic, and care for other human beings, quite high. I loved the people, (the residents, the employees, eh, not all of them). The owners of the company were probably the most douchey men I’ve ever met in my life. They focused solely on money, and they were losing a lot. There were no avenues to increase revenue because the empty rooms all needed repairs, and there wasn’t any money for repairs. I’d come home at night and my significant other would be deep into TikTok, that was her life, not me, but being a “star” online. She felt she’d find fame and fortune eventually. I tried to fit in, to accept that as a 50-something-year-old man “beggars can’t be choosers”. Let’s face it, a thrice-divorced man isn’t a catch. She was and is a good person at her core, she just wasn’t what I needed. If I’m being honest I didn’t know what I wanted. We tried to open a business together and that ultimately was our downfall as we both lost thousands of dollars; at one point I was losing $1000 a week on top of the bills that needed to be paid. We fell apart, and I moved out, back to Michigan but still commuting to work an hour each way. The positive that I can point to is I learned a lot about her culture and it is one I value, and yes, I was introduced to Pizza Ranch; a restaurant like no other; that’s a story for another day. The end for me, financially was approaching.
I moved to Michigan again in late July, the daily commute was rough, we still had the store, (she had bought me out mostly but not all the way), and I was driving an hour, working ten, driving home, and then teaching a few hours or grading. I almost lost one of my online jobs in the process because I couldn’t keep up. In early September I had a health scare that landed me in the hospital, got nitro under the tongue, and spent the night wired up with two of my kids watching over me as I thought I was dying. The doctors never figured it out and my employer wasn’t happy. My main boss tried to get me to do payroll from the hospital bed; I refused. I took the next day off too and told no one that I thought I was going to die. I kept working, 10, and 12-hour days, plus the drive, and even filled in for a couple overnights; that was the beginning of the end. After doing the two overnights I was looking at the schedule when I was told that an employee was threatening to not show up if her demands weren’t met. The house manager said that “I guess you’ll be covering” and the days I’d be covering would mean giving up a visit with my oldest daughter. This was the last day of September. I had been slowly taking my belongings from my office. That day I hung my keys on the doorknob, took the last of my belongings, and drove away; not knowing what was next. All the way home my phone was “dinging” except in the dead spot. The final straw was a call I got from an employee stating that she needed a raise or she’d quit, I said, “Quit then”, and hung up. I typed up a resignation and for the first time in my adult life, I quit a job without a notice. The fall was about to begin.
I decided to take October off as I had savings and I figured I’d find a job the minute I looked, and I just needed a break from life; that was a mistake. I ended a relationship the day I quit my job too, a budding one. The long story short is that by the end of October, I was rested but the panic of losing money daily as my savings dipped. I had gone from close to a hundred thousand a year to $30,000, while my debt was based on that higher amount. In November I started subbing at the local schools, not getting the five days a week I thought I would, I started selling what I could and watched my money tick down. I stupidly took out a loan to try to live on as I was certain that I would find something, arrogance is not a healthy trait. My money, my savings, the most I had ever saved, had run out. In a desperate move, I asked my mother for a small loan of $1500, to carry me to the next month. The plan was to side hustle my ass off, but fortunately, I landed a new job, still over $1000 less a month than before but; a start. The problem was that I was still bleeding money, there was no hope left, I tried one more time to get a huge consolidation loan; it failed, but they signed me up for a debt management plan.
A debt management plan in a nutshell is that you simply stop paying the debt the company listed as now theirs to deal with. The plan, is you pay them a fraction of what you were paying, and they negotiate on your behalf to pay it off. The problem is that they need to wait until you’ve gone default on all of it; something that causes your phone to ring a lot and your credit score to fall in chunks. It’s been almost three months now, and my score has dropped over 100 points, the collectors are actually understanding that I prefer to not be homeless and I need to keep my vehicle, (a bad purchase choice), and have shown empathy; something I desperately need. I’ve made the decision to lead a credit card free life, with the exception of using one to reserve a room, flight, etc. Every Monday I look at my bank balances and I take out any “extra” that may be in there, $20-$100 and I put it aside. I buy in bulk, (thank you Sam’s Club), and I did get a promotion to supervisor that should bring me to within only $800 less than what I was making at my peak. I’m dating, it’s complicated, and that’s okay.
To finish this off I did want to talk about my latest and last relationship. It’s an LDR, a long-distance relationship, and she may, or may not move from her state to mine; I doubt it will happen. I’ve decided as I near my 54th birthday that I don’t expect it to work out, and I’ll be okay. She has to fight for custody of her daughter in order to move and I honestly don’t think she will. We will probably continue to date long-distance for a while but if it fails it’s okay. From that point on when people ask me if I’m single, I’ll simply state that “I’m done”. I never fully recovered from the devastating loss of my last marriage, I’m okay, but not okay as well. I have a grandchild and another on the way; with probably more to come after that. I’m going back to minimalism, (I have to overcome the need to sell everything and not simply give things away). Exercise used to be my escape, I tried to reboot that and injured myself to a point where that motivation, the motivation to exercise is gone. Below is my PayPal, I need to raise $5000 for a down payment on a land contract; which is another step backward. In the end, I’ll have a $500 credit card, a good used truck, hopefully, a house, (or at least be allowed to continue to rent), and have a relationship, in person or long distance. To quote an oldtimer, “Every day on the right side of the grass is a good day.”
Venmo: @Brian-Foreman-10 (make sure there’s a picture, of me with glasses on)