Friday, May 2, 2014

Debt journey: Years in review (Pt.3)

Alright, here's the home stretch. It's a lot more cheery than the first 2, and cover between 2011 and 2013. (Thanks for the support on previous posts!)


I've always been a gamer, as it seemed one of the only few alternatives that allowed for interaction (real or imaginary) when your parents forbid you from hanging out with the other kids. Mostly platform video games, until me and my brother discovered the world of online gaming and we were hooked. That's a whole other world with as many complications and implications as the "real" world, and I wont go into it. But gaming does have a very special part on this discussion.

Through online gaming, I managed to reshape who I was and what I wanted. I met some wonderful people (like my half brother from CA, whom I've known for 11 years now) and my two best friends (one in China and the one in Chicago, both met about 4-5 years ago). I also got a much needed dose of spiteful negativity, pessimism, and the worst of a generation, as they tend to turn very mean behind the veil of anonymity. That made me grow a thicker skin for sure. I became mentally independent and move away from that group mentality I had with my family. If you want anything done, you are going to have to do it yourself.

Of course, online is online, but I never saw the line that divided them. I ended up meeting my half brother as he came over to MD for pre-med school. That was quite an experience. Then, against all logical advice, I went to Chicago to meet my other friends, stayed at their place and had a blast. Those travels in 2011 were the first dominos to fall before the entire lineup started to follow suit. I enjoyed the city, but I think what I was enjoying more was the freedom, for sure! So much to see. So far away from home, far away from my parents. If even for a while, I felt the distance and it was quite liberating. I wanted to go there, and be close to my friends. It didn't matter the place (which NOW has become a problem, ha!), but Chicago sounded as good a place as any. More importantly, moving there became THE goal. The one that started it all. A lousy, half-dreamt idea that I would move to Chicago with the pretext to be closer to friends, but with the underlying reality that it was 770 miles away from my parents.

It wasn't all about gaming, though... I had started following blogs. First, food blogs (bento, in specific), which turned into crafts, sewing, and then I ended up on some PF blogs. I would comment, and people would ask me if I had a blog. Me? Confess to all my debts disaster, my dysfunctional family and all of my setbacks? Surely they were joking! But I was quite enticed by their candid approach, honesty and die-hard efforts to get out of debt. Why couldn't I be like them? Truth be told, I took upon the debt free path as a stalling technique. I wanted to move, but I sure as heck had no idea and wanted none of it outside of the idea back in 2010. I had no idea what I was about to get into, or the trials and battles I would have to fight to reach that "minor" goal.

I had already made plans to move away from my parents, with the excuse that the 1hr drive back and forth 5 days a week to my FT job was as expensive as paying rent (a lie I told myself until I thought it true). Arguments with my mother just continued to get worse, as I had "seen the light" that is budgeting and that money CAN be managed... managed to the point it is not keeping you up at night. That being in debt was not the only way to be. But the more I fought to control the household budget, the more she resisted and dug deeper. So all in all, I took off Oct 31, 2010 and moved 5min away from FT job.  My dad helped me move. Talk about heartbreak!

My first budgets date of Oct 2010. I didn't start blogging until 10 months later, and the rest is history. 2012 and 2013 were spent hard at battle with debt, paying off most of it. Then it became one of those "I've been fighting for so long, I forgot what I was fighting for!" as I try to redefine the whole move deal. But I have time... 12 months of it, in fact. I think that'll be my next focus.

Thanks for sticking by! Truly, PF bloggers are an inspiration to many, even if our lives are not always exciting, different, new and smart. We all make mistakes along the way, but at least we can learn and share experiences. I think that alone makes it worthwhile.


  1. Thanks for sharing all of this. You're definitely inspirational, that's for sure. Moving away from my parents (I chose to study languages partly so that I'd be able to tell them it was compulsory for me to spend the summers in a country where the language was spoken) was the best thing I ever did. Take your time now deciding what the next step is and where you want to go. Wherever it ends up being, I think you're going to do well!

  2. Moving away from the parents is definitely not easy! I lived within a 4 hour radius of my parents until I was 30. At that point in my life I was unhappy and needed a change. I ended up moving 1400 miles way and couldn't be happier. I miss my parents and family but I wouldn't change my decision.

  3. I have met some of the neatest people online and I've met many MANY! of them IRL to date and hope to meet many more IRL.

    The idea of moving away kept you going and maybe now that the timeframe for this idea is at hand, it might be time to change your goal or modify it.
    People and dreams change so just keep adjusting your goals.

  4. I absolutely loved reading your story. It's so inspirational and really fills a void in the PF world (meaning your story is so different from some). Keep up the great work!

  5. I've loved your blog from the first time I read it. I learn from it, and I am inspired by it.
    I'm glad you're here!

    Peace <3