Friday, September 16, 2011

1 Million, 203 Thousand, 840 minutes...

So I said I'd be back today and I am!  Look at that...

I've had quite a journey since graduating college in 2006.  I was fortunate to go to college in West Chester, Pennsylvania which I still LOVE LOVE LOVE and consider to be one of my three homes.  I got to experience Philadelphia and all of its surrounding areas before leaving.  It's a really wonderful area to live in , and hope to call it home again in the future. 

But when I graduated college, I had a really tough time finding a job.  Like.... super tough.  As in I took a job at a mental health facility and worked from 7:30am until 3:30pm for $27,500 a year.  So terrible... I was a Criminal Justice major.  This was so not up my alley.  After I paid my modest bills each month, I was left with $11 do go NUTS with!

So after 8 months of THAT particular brand of hell, I decided to up and move to DC.  I got an amazing job with a law firm paying $40,000 a year (I felt like I was the richest person on the planet), and working normal 9-5 hours!!  I was SO SO HAPPY!!

People... I got there, I furnished my all new, all to myself, apartment and paid cash for everything!  Of course I was apparently living in the GHETTO at the time, but I was blissfully unaware until I was asked out by a convicted murderer on house arrest, who wanted to cook for me (for obvious reasons... going out was not so much an option... so maybe he asked me in?) if I was willing to get the groceries for him.  But that's another story, for another time. 

After 4 months at THAT job, I was laid off... They say I was fired.  I beg to differ since within a month of my being "fired" my entire team was dissolved and my position was never filled, and they could offer me no reason for my being let go.  Anywho... that sucked a LOT.  I temped for a while, which wasn't so bad.  I got in with a good company that found me lots of good paying work.  Then I landed a job at yet another law firm that was actually for real a good job!

I moved to Alexandria, VA.  I had a savings.  I had excellent credit!  I had a car that was paid off, I had a completely filled walk-in closet, bought a new computer, and even bought new Pottery Barn sheets... that weren't even on sale!  I put them on my credit card, of course, to help build my credit and so I didn't shell out ALL $800 at once.  Because that's reasonable for sheets, no?

Do you have a Macy's Visa card?

Because if you do, you should probably read the fine print.

You will be getting two... count 'em TWO... statements in the mail each month.  One is the charges made at Macy's.  The other will be purchases you make outside of Macy's on the card.  Oh you didn't realize this and thought you were carrying a zero balance?


Next thing I know, my $800 sheets have cost me $1500 due to non-payment because of LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF A BALANCE DUE and a 29% interest rate.  And RIGHT as I started paying this down? 

I decided to move to the most expensive city in the world.

OK, that's an exaggeration.  But it is damn expensive! 

I also decided to move with out a job.

Also, also?  I opened another credit card to lower the interest being collected on most of what was on the Macy's card, and closed my Macy's account.  Indefinitely.

It may shock you to hear that;I was unable to make some of these payments once I moved to New York City with no job, but believe me when I tell you some months it wasn't possible.  Between late fees, interest, and having to charge more to the card due to lack of funds, I had maxed out the credit card I had open to relieve some of the interest induced stress.  So so terrible.

I have now been in New York City for Two years and three and a half months.  I have worked part time for the Public Schools of New York City (Oh my God I will never have children in this city ever.), and for the worst restaurant on the face of the planet.  And now, I have almost been at my fantastic Investment Bank job a year.  Next month I will make the final payment on my Macy's Visa credit card... those damn sheets aren't even worth it.  I just got rid of the duvet cover because it's falling apart, and the sheets are nearly thread bare in spots.  So basically that means the sheets were done before they were paid off, like some sort of lemon that you are still making car payments on.  Ugh.  Stupid Pottery Barn. 

I will be making my final payment to pay off the secondary, back-up, then maxed out credit card in April.

I am currently building a savings account.

I live in a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side.

I have a really good, steady job.

And I am enjoying every part of New York living.

By next April, I will be able to literally do whatever I want. 

I achieved it!

People, this is my dream!  My dream realized, even!

I can't get over how happy I am, and how lucky I feel!  I can't believe I have been able to do this!  It really does make it clear that, although it may take longer than I'd like, and I may appear to be on a different path at times, I really can achieve whatever my next dream may be!  I just have to keep my eye on it, even if it's far off in the distance.

Which is good because my next goal is getting my Events company up and running successfully.  From there it's all marriage and babies.  Which... HA... let's not.

When I was moving into my current apartment with Flo, but before I had met Flo, I was talking to a girl in Ohio.  She was interested in moving to NYC, and had just graduated from college.  I think I may have scared her, and for that I am sorry.  But I was just being fo real, dude!

Moving in New York, as you may have gathered from previous posts, is a huge, GIANT pain in the ass!  It's totally horrible.  When I said that she would need to expect to have AT LEAST $6000 in the bank when she decided to move, I was not kidding.  And really?  That's on the lower end.

You basically have to be independently wealthy to move to NYC, or be willing to live in really terrible conditions until you get everything together.  You will hate your life sometimes (like last night when I was carrying groceries from Trader Joes on 14th street back to my apartment on 88th street in the cold and rain while being cut off by every single person out at that particular time because they are the cheapest and best groceries you can find anywhere in the city).  But you will also love your life (like tomorrow I have plans to go with Ana for a famous burger, a walk in the park, and a movie night with her and Miranda while eating Reese's S'mores... be jealous.)

This city has brought me more that I could have ever imagined.  I spent the first year and a half of my time here with a guy that hated this city.  He could find no good in it and couldn't wait to leave.  I am so glad I didn't leave with him.  As summer comes to a close, I can't help but think back on how much fun I have had!  I wouldn't trade a minute of my time here with these people in this city for anything! 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, when all is said and done, it will have taken me about three years to get myself comfortable here.  To feel like I'm home.  To be confident and solid in my lifestyle.  It's the best and worst journey I have ever taken.  But I will never ever forget one of these 1 million, 203 thousand, 840 minutes....


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