Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Brother, can you spare a dime?

I have a lot to be grateful for. In my heart, I know this. Going through a divorce is generally one of the toughest things someone can go through, but in this economy, it's even worse. I knew this was going to be an expensive process. However, with my primary job's paycheck about to plummet, my second job barely pulling in enough to pay my health insurance premiums, a home with no equity in the current market, no savings left, no investments, and no property worth enough to bother trying to sell, it's looking very bleak.

You all know me well enough to know I don't complain a lot...well, at least not on here. I vent a lot, but usually with the disclaimer that I'm not asking for help. I have had to swallow my pride a lot lately. I'm not good at asking for charity, and over the past 3 months, I've had to ask my family for more than I ever should - financially, emotionally, and logistically. I don't like putting people out of their way for me. I'm a big boy, and I need to dig myself out of my own trenches. Usually this entails selling one of my instruments or working more hours at one of my jobs. Well, my instruments are being held hostage and more hours at work aren't a possibility right now. I'm out of options.

Yes, I'm an "able bodied man" and "gainfully employed", but hardly making anything near a "substantial income", as recently implied. Not that I would know this, as I still haven't seen my tax returns for the last year and they are also being held hostage. Now I find myself trying to come up with money for a retainer for my lawyer, pay the mortgage on a home I have been locked out of, fighting a losing battle to see my kids in the few hours I can squeeze in between jobs, and returning scavenged pop bottles for grocery money.

You all know I'm a big believer in Karma. Lately, I've discovered that my faith in Karma has paid off in dividends beyond my wildest dreams. The fact that I have been able to survive this far with the support of my true friends and family is a testament to how my desire to help everyone I come in contact with has built up my stores of good Karma. Those stores, I fear, are dwindling of late. A dear friend reminded me last night that it's all cyclical. The "Pay It Forward" concept doesn't end. I am still who I am, and will be ready for the call to help my friends and family however I can at any time. At some point in the future, I may be called on to drive cross country to save a stranded friend, house a loved one, or provide financial assistance for my kids or grandkids, and I will take the experiences of the past couple weeks and jump at the chance to help. That's who I am anyway - karmic balance sheet be damned.

I picked up my summons and Complaint for Divorce papers yesterday. I'm a bit scared about what the next few months will bring. I WILL take a devastating financial hit, have to make a lot of material sacrifices, and I have no doubt that nothing will be made easy for me. Still, I will not impose on my friends and I will not compromise who I am. I will keep taking the high road, and keep doing what is right by my kids as best I can. I won't "prepare for battle". That's not what this is about. I WILL stand firm for what I need and move on with my life.

This will be the most difficult year of my life, no doubt. I may even end up financially ruined. I'm going to batten down the hatches, ride the storm, and arrive on the shores of my destination to the warm sunshine and loving embrace of friends and family a stronger man, wiser for the lessons learned.

I hate accepting charity, but lately I've taken to heart that, "I'll get by with a little help from mhy friends."

I will be my own man.

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