Friday, October 19, 2007

Journey of a Thousand Miles

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Today I start my journey.

  • I am now 42 years old, and I'm renting a bedroom in a friend's apartment because at the moment that is all I can afford, though I've been working for 24 years now.
  • I just negotiated what I hope will be an acceptable payment schedule with a law office representing a collection agency representing a bank that took over another bank that I opened a credit card account with twelve years ago. The balance is three times the set credit limit of the account I opened, because of long-standing delinquencies. From that time until now I could probably have paid the account many times over, except for a very old habit of letting things go until, and often way past, the last minute.
  • Because of this longstanding habit, my credit rating is somewhere in the 400s. I'm driving a six-year old car that was probably meant to last only five, and only God knows what will happen when it needs major repairs, or when it gives out completely and I try to get another car.

With all that said, I'm stating my goal now: to buy a house. It won't happen this year, or next. It may not happen until sometime in the next decade, if then. In all likelyhood it will be a repossessed or foreclosed house, a fixer-upper, or something along those lines. And it may even turn out to be, not a house, but a condo or a co-op apartment. And it may very well turn out to be somewhere outside the NYC area, where I was born and have lived all my life. But I'm making it my goal to get a house or something owned in my own name in order to significantly improve my financial situation. I don't want to be rich, but it's time for a change.

I'm tired of just scraping by.

I've been saying that to myself for some time now, but now I will start putting myself on the spot by saying it to others. The part about buying a house I may keep to myself for awhile...

I've also been saying for years that I wanted to start some kind of business, and I've researched just about every manner of business that could be started and run by mail-order and possibly online, but up until now really haven't taken any steps to put the research to work and get something, anything, off the ground. Today, that changes.

What prompted this decision? Well, it’s been on my mind for awhile now due to the chronic near-brokeness, for one thing. But the decision kind of made itself last night, while I was out driving around and around my new neighborhood trying to find somewhere to park. I was thinking, "if I had my own house, with a garage or at least a driveway, I wouldn't have to be out here wasting time circling the neighborhood looking for a space."

In any situation you can never predict just what the "last straw" will turn out to be, but I think that was it. When I was in my former neighborhood, I had the same problem, since only about every third house had a driveway or garage. I swore that my next apartment would be somewhere with more parking. That didn't happen.

But it will.

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