Saturday, June 04, 2005

Enough Love To Go Around.

After all the bills have been paid, after all the money have been stashed away for safekeeping, I'm down to my last $100 until the 15th.

Of course, when you're in a situation of personal financial recovery/rectification, you'd try to avoid getting yourself in a situation that might threaten your health, sanity, dignity, reputation and future.

After bad decisions, personal splurges for the sake of pleasure and the occasional necessary needed luxury, I find myself in bankruptcy.

Yes... I do feel humbled and a tad humiliated, but as someone with (in my own opinion) the world's worst attention deficit issue, it's something that I have to live with until my discharge.

Everyone gets bankrupt once in a while, whether it's because of poor financial planning, arrogance, confusion, an error in basic arithmatic, or a case of trying to beat the Joneses. In my case, with the possible exception of arrogance, it's a combination of all of the above. The plastic gets used and maxxed out, taxes get unpaid, food potions get smaller... these factor led me to seek advice from a bankruptcy trustee, who arranged a plan to satisfy the creditors while keeping me in line.

The credit card part is usually the toughest. Sadly, the internet and most of its products revolve around the use of virtual money in form of bank credit cards. Very few places accept online cheques or money tranfers from bank accounts. The credit card is one of the major forms of identification online, and since all of my cards have been cancelled, I could not register with any site or service without that piece of I.D.

Credit cards provide the illusion of wealth and prosperity for those who are either spontaneous, compulsive or impulsive. Sadly, like Anakin Skywalker trying to resist the offer of Godhood as a Sith Lord, I subconsiously let my guard down and went on a spree of material self-gratification. The card companies loved my dedication to paying the minimum amount, repaying the favour by raising the credit limit, from $2000 to $5000 to $7000 to $15000. But as my compulsiveness grew, so did the debt monster, and the burden became unbearable in the end.

Without being preachy (being forced to live in a glass house prevent me from tossing any stones), always think ahead and imagine all the worst-case-scenarios that could happen with credit and finances. Resist the urge to go to VLTs and casinos in hopes for a quick fix instant-millionaire solution to your woes - I've been there and done that, and I've kicked myself in the nads for all the trouble. Poverty may suck, but nothing sucks more than that of the self-inflicted kind.

So what else can I say? Here I am on a beautiful Halifax Saturday morning (if my Dad could see this - it's so beautiful...), at my computer (paid in full), enjoying bradband, basic cable and telephone service (paid in full), and typing this out. Unfortunately, my contract with the Navy will expire the end of August, and my mind has been working overtime trying to figure out the next great move. For all intents and purposes, I am staying in Halifax, not because I can't afford to move out, not because I don't like Toronto anymore (in spite of crime, pollution and terminal urban sprawl, I'll always be a Torontonian no matter where I go), but because I love Halifax. I love Nova Scotia. I love the Maritimes in spite of fucked up weather, iffy job prospects, political skullduggery, fledgling variety of services and bad drivers and raods (especially in Nova Scotia - be very careful going through the Young-Windsor intersection in Halifax: it's a doozy). The people are good here, the seafood always fresh, and history and Celtic culture permeates the air. I went through too much trouble getting here, getting my driver's licence, learning the streets and terrain and understanding the services to actually want to leave this place. Maybe when things get much better in my existence, I might want to move somewhere else, but for the here-and-now, Nova Scotia is "Home".

Shabbat Shalom.

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