Not all poor people are poor because they are crazy, shitty employees, bad workers, strung out, etc. Hi! I'm one of those people. The fact is, if you're poor enough to begin with, the events that might be small setbacks to others are catastrophic, life-altering and will keep you poor, I dunno...forever? In the past several years I have worked my ass off. Let me repeat that - in the last several years I have worked my ass off. I successfully moved my yoga business from Lynchburg to Atlanta and got contracts at every studio for which I auditioned. No small feat. I have nooooothing to show for this. How? Allow me to outline some of my setbacks for you if you will, please...
- Invasion of the Cockroaches July 2016. The home we had paid to rent was not brought up to liveable standards prior to the move-in date and as I was loading things from our old house into the new house I was contending with flying, 3-inch cockroaches. We never took occupancy, lost money in breaking our lease, and within a few short hours made the decision to pack the essentials into my car and move in with Matt's family. This was supposed to be short-term.
- From Just Enough to Chaos in Cycle. As I mentioned, I was hired by many yoga studios in Atlanta. That's the only way as a teacher you can make enough money. I was teaching 15 classes a week just prior to giving birth to Vor. It had taken me 9 months but I was finally solvent after our move to Atlanta. Being a new mom, I rearranged some things, changed some studios, took fewer classes with better pay. I was teaching 10 classes per week and I was still solvent! It felt like a major victory. But then the house thing above happened. I was faced with the decision of giving up the positions I'd earned or getting creative. So I got creative! I off-loaded all but my weekend classes and thus began the period of about 6 months when every weekend I left my infant and drove from Lynchburg, Va to Atlanta, Ga to couch-surf and teach as many classes as possible. And in that time, guess, what? I was solvent! I wasn't making a ton but I could afford my expenses. Then I was offered an exclusive leadership position at Thunderbolt Power Yoga and it looked my life was going to change for the better.
- Accidents Happen. I guess that much mileage every week and you're bound to screw up eventually. Sometime in early November 2016 I rear-ended a truck in front of me in heavy traffic on the highway. I completely totaled my car and ended up in the ER to fix a hole in my face and sew my tongue back together. So much for being solvent and saving to move back to Georgia to fill my new position as the Talent Manager of TPY! I had been making just enough that I had a tiny amount saved toward a security deposit and rent for my upcoming move in January. This accident more than swallowed the entirety of that money and much more. So what did I do? I got creative again. I have excellent credit and realized that with my new job, I would be able to get an unsecured loan from my bank, buy a new car and use the money to get myself a place to live in GA. If I could find an inexpensive enough place, I could pretty much pay for all of it with the loan up front then just have one consolidated payment to my bank per month plus other expenses. It was a pretty genius move, I thought at the time. I got a used car, I got an amazing apartment for 6 months, I paid off my hospital bills, I was able to move on the timeline that I had agreed to, and Vor and Matt and I were able to re-start in GA, seemingly better than when we'd left.
- Divided. Well you already know that I have moments of severe anxiety and suffice it to say that Matt also has some things he has to deal with. This caused us to make the joint decision that living apart was best for our relationship. So, instead of one rent, he had his and I had mine. For the six months I was in the tiny garage apartment paying next-to-nothing, that worked great! In fact, when I moved out of said garage apartment and into a brand new apartment right across the street from Matt it seemed even better. It was all gravy until I lost my job at TPY. There are details about that situation I am not at liberty to share. However, the community of TPY knows that I busted my butt, loved them, did good work and that my firing was based on personal reasons which in no way were a breach of my contract. Sometimes people grow apart. Its unfortunate when that person gave you a job, raised you out of poverty and in one fell-swoop was able to undo all of that worse than before. That's my reality unfortunately. How did I handle this setback? I got creative again. I started making videos, taking private lessons and booking clients who want yoga videos of their own. But none of it was immediate enough to stop the inevitability that I had to ditch my apartment. If you rent you know breaking your lease to be an expensive decision in and of itself. Yet again, tail tucked, I landed back in Virginia. The timing of it coincided with the holidays and a nearly month-long shoot Matt had scheduled through Jan. 21st. So I'm still here and he's still there and when we are done with the crazy production we will move into his apartment together. Its all really quite disorienting. I haven't lived in one place for more than 6 months in years.
- When Life Gives You Lemons. Remember how I said I thought my unsecured loan idea was pretty genius. For a whole year and through all of the BS and losing my house, and scrambling for bits and pieces of income I was still able to pay my loan payment. AND THEN MY CAR DIED IRREPARABLY. There are not enough emojis of pain and suffering to explain to you how this makes me feel. I recently had $1,000 of upkeep done to it, I do regular maintenance on it and via some twist of fate, I got one of the Subarus where the engine just fails - that's a thing as it would turn out. It didn't show up in my searches when I was trying to decide on a car to buy, but I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I hedged my bets and took out a loan for lemon and suddenly I don't feel so smart anymore.
Ok, so that brings us to now...I have a mounting pile of debt, no car to drive, a car whose resale is now damn near negligible, limited income, isolated, lost my community, lost my ability to take care of myself financially, move after move after move, all of my creativity and hard work and NOTHING to show for it. Less than nothing. I'm like, literally worth -$30k. So...yeah, I'm fucking depressed.