Friday, January 20, 2012

Financial Reconstruction- Part 3 of 3

“Continued”- Make sure you read part 1 and part 2...
So there I was... Single and unemployed in DC. The irony of it all is that I moved to DC because I had a job offer in DC and my girlfriend lived up here. Now What!? I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to enter a advanced accelerated course in “learning yourself”. 
After I left my job, I was now making part-time club wages while I had full-time corporate bills. You don’t realize how much you are actually paying out until you don’t have much money coming in.  I quickly realized that this situation was not going to work. But luckily, I’m West Indian. We are born hustlers and we know how to make things work. 
As a punishment for my bad financial behavior, I got rid of my precious car. I was upside down on the loan, but I traded to a more responsible Civic Hybrid. This was so much more my style. What can I say, I’m  a tree hugger! Even tho my gas and maintenance bills we reduced, I was still paying the same car note (seeing the bill then looking at my lil Honda made for some very angry moments). I was able to rent out my condo for the amount of my mortgage. Even tho my expenses still far outweighed my income, I felt better that I was making some effort.
So with this new good feeling, I explored life. I felt like I was enslaved so long in corporate prison that I just wanted to be free. I was determined to enjoy life to the max. I was very random, and all over the place. I just wanted to live. Whatever felt like living at the time, is what I did. I spent a lot of time in NYC. I remember one time I went up there for a weekend and ended up staying for a month. I met new friends, some who let me crash at their houses for days on end, I rubbed elbows with celebrities, modeled a little bit and spent a lot! I mean, after all I didn’t go up with extra clothes and a boy’s gotta eat! It was a surreal moment. Just living completely abandoned. But I am sure you wondering how I made this happen. Well by this point I extended my line of credit to over $20K and my balance was near $0 before I left my job. So I had a $20k field day! 
My mother always used to tell me that I don’t know when to stop and I should “always leave the party while you are still having fun”.  And to hold true to tradition, I didn’t listen... the party wasn’t fun anymore. I could barely recognize my elf thru the wild moments, reckless behavior and lack of responsibility. So I headed back to DC to try to get my life back in some kind of order. I was now staying at one of the hoodest (I’m sure that’s not a word) apartments, in a guest room of someone I barely knew, sleeping on an air mattress. I left everything in boxes because I refused to face the fact that I lived in these conditions. I was working at the club, I was a waiter, and modeling. As much as I was working, ends still didn’t meet. I covered the slack with my credit card. One month when rent was due, I found a statement from one of the investments I made in college that had a couple grand in it. I took all the money out, paid a few bills, and ate. 
So now, I was working harder than ever, making less than ever and not enjoying life. How the hell did I get here!? After taking serious inventory of my life and goals, I decided to pursue my first love, design. I got a job as a design assistant. I wasn’t making much, but at least I was learning to do something I loved. 
The credit card company called- I’m over my limit. The investment funds mailed- The balances are all at zero. The bank statements come in- there is a total balance of $0.37 left in my name. Nothing else! By this time I had given notice to vacate. Fortunately, one of my friends let me stay with them as I swallowed my pride and accepted help.  
That was it... that was the breaking point. I have had my fun, now it was time to work. I was a waiter, a model, and a design assistant.  I didn’t go out anywhere, didn’t buy anything. Shoot, I didn’t have time or money to.  Something had to change. I went and filed for a sole proprietorship to form my own design company, Renaissance Design. But with all my other jobs, I was working over 14 hours a day and not able to dedicate the time I needed to y business. So as another leap of faith, I left all of my part time jobs to focus on Renaissance Design. Now I had no choice, this thing had to work! And now what you see today, is a result of frustration, recklessness, stupidity, generosity, hard work and faith (In that order!). And it’s still growing... Stay tuned
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