Posts Tagged ‘credit card’

Little Gold Star

January 20, 2019

Today I got my 14th star tattoo.

14 stars.

14 years of being sober.

I decided I need to give myself a gold star.

It’s been that kind of year.

When I reflected on all the things that I went through and all the places I’ve been, I think that I definitely earned it.

This past year I traveled to DC, New York, Paris, and Marseilles.

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology.

I went through a buy out and moved.

That was some serious stress let me tell you.

I also started a private practice therapy business.

And.

A PhD program.

I also got my grades back from said program.

All “A”s.

ALL.

I was a little surprised to tell you the truth, I had an issue with a final paper I turned in for one of my classes and I didn’t think it was going to fly, the paper, that is–I digressed from the specific instructions the professor gave and did rather what I wanted to do.  It was the only paper for the class, although there were so many discussion posts that I feel like I actually wrote seven papers for the class, and I ran a huge risk doing it.

The risk paid off.

So, yeah, a gold star felt really appropriate.

2019-01-19 20.54.20-2

Yes.

It did hurt.

And it felt really right and I was, obviously, very happy with it.

Not only was I pleased with it, but it filled out the space perfect.  I am very satisfied with the way all my tattoos look and really have little desire to put anything else in that area.

Not sure where I’ll put the 15th, but let’s just let me focus on the 14th star.

It really was quite a year.

I walked through some really challenging things and came out the other side.

I reflected on a lot of that today as I went about my day.

I saw clients at my office, did lots of writing, read for one of my upcoming classes for this next semester (school starts next Thursday!), went to Let it Bleed on Polk Street, got an iced coffee for a treat, walked around the Tenderloin and took graffiti photographs, caught up with my friend DannyBoy at the shop, took myself out to lunch in Hayes Valley, had a coffee with a friend in the Mission at Maxfield’s House of Caffeine, went to Divisadero and got my nails done, and then hit my Saturday night commitment and did the deal.

It was a day.

I’m really happy with my life right now.

Oh, sure, romantically it’s strange, but you know, that will work itself out.

Or not.

I have ceased (fighting anyone or anything) trying to figure it out.

I’m just showing up every day and taking care of myself and I feel really good about what I did today for myself and my own care.

I also thought a lot about what I want to bring forward for this next year.

Get through the next semester of classes, add clients into my private practice, travel.

I also want to get through the Below Market Housing Homeowners workshop.

I really am going to go after buying a house in San Francisco.

My friend whom I met for coffee happens to be a realtor and we spent an hour going over what I need to do to get myself in line to actually do that.

She gave me a good idea of how much money I will need to have saved up, which will take some time (or not, who knows, money may fall out of the sky) to save, but I can do it.

Plus that I should get a credit card.

Which I’m not super stoked on the idea.

I had one that I’d gotten last year and then never used as it made me uncomfortable.

But.

My friend insisted I was really going to need a credit history that showed me paying off a card.

She said get one, pay it off every month and always pay more than the minimum payment.

If I do get another card, and that’s an if, I will definitely not let a balance roll over.

I just do not like the idea of having any credit card debt.

I do, however, like the idea of having a good credit score and something that shows I am a good risk for a home loan.

I shall take it under advisement.

I actually tried to re-open the credit card I had closed but I could not figure out how to do it and just sort of set it aside tonight when I got home.

I feel like I did a lot today just by sitting down and talking about it.

I will manifest a house in San Francisco.

See if I don’t.

In the mean time there is plenty of other things for me to do.

I do want to keep a soft focus on it though, always have it in my mind and see where I can expand my awareness of abundance.

I am continuing to practice that opening up to the universe, to the flow, to God, to abundance, I have continued to give away a little more than I typically do.

More tip in the tip jar, more money in the basket, continuing to pay my bills within 24 hours of getting them.

And!

Oh my gosh, this is definitely part of the gold star, I got approved to become an employee at my internship.

Which means that I will start bringing in more money.

I am so psyched about that.

I’m excited for this year.

I feel like all sorts of incredible things are going to happen.

I really do.

Faith.

I like that.

Faith, abundance, joy, honesty, integrity, serenity.

Words to live by.

Principles to underpin my gold star.

And!

Love.

Let me not forget that one.

Never forget that.

Seriously.

 

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I Was All Upset

August 4, 2018

I was going to entitle this blog “motherfucker.”

I got another bill from the endoscopy procedure.

$899.

Why the fuck do I pay so much in insurance?

And get so damn little?

Which I am sure will be on my mind tomorrow when I go in for my dentist appointment.

The last time I was there the dentist said I should get a mouth guard.

And of course, it’s not covered by my dental.

I am not sure what my dental covers, truth be told, I’ve paid a ton out-of-pocket for the work I have had done.

The mouth guard will run about $400.

Which I have been preparing myself for and have not more animosity about it, I need it, I don’t want to grind my teeth at night, why am I stressed?

Bwaahahahahaha.

Sigh.

But I wasn’t expecting another damn bill from the endoscopy.

It feels like I just paid a bill.

For about $900 not even a month ago.

However, there it was, all cheerful and cheeky with its return envelope in my mail tonight when I got home.

Ugh.

I opened it and tried to not pay attention to it, I got a phone call right as I did.

Give the person on the line your complete attention, they are important, not this stupid letter that looks suspiciously like a bill.

Looks like a bill because it is a bill.

I looked at it after I got off the phone.

$899!

For things your insurance doesn’t cover.

There was a big block of letters in the billing area, “insurance company does not cover,” well isn’t that terrific?

I was about to fish out a stamp and write a check and put it in my wallet to mail tomorrow, but then I thought, fuck it, save the stamp, just pay it now, get it over with.

I have the money, I was just hoping to put it towards a new place, not old medical bills.

I got online.

I got logged into their weird payment system.

And!

I don’t have a bill there!

No bill means nothing to pay.

I wondered about that, was I billed twice?

I decided to just double-check and I called the number on the bill and logged into my account, which confirmed that I have nothing outstanding!

Zero balance.

I just chucked the bill in the trash.

Fuck you bill.

The nice thing, now that I don’t have to pay the bill, fingers crossed it would suck if that suddenly changed, but the nice thing was that even though I had a  momentary hissy fit, I wasn’t really balking at paying it.

I was just going to get it over with and pay it.

I am grateful for that in my life.

That I pay my bills when I get them.

I don’t like owing money and I have worked really hard for the last 13 years to be really clean with my money.

I don’t always succeed.

But I don’t owe any money to friends or to medical institutions (it would seem).

I owe money on my car, but I tell you what, with the exception of one month, I have paid double my car payment every month.

I am pretty happy about that.

I plan on making a payment tomorrow, I do them on the 4th when the payment is due, despite not really owing one, my next payment isn’t due until December, I’d rather just keep the habit going and I’ll pay tomorrow.

Hell I may even just pay it tonight to get it out-of-the-way since I’m writing about money and finances.

And, of course, I owe on my student loans.

But I’m not in default and I do pay them when I’m not enrolled in school.

I also don’t owe any money on any credit cards

Or, as the case may be, the one card I have.

In fact, I am thinking it’s time to cancel the damn thing.

I got it last year after being persuaded by a friend and haven’t used it once.

I could be accruing travel miles and such, but really the thought of using it wierds me out.

I had credit card debt, and a fair good bit of it.

I worked really fucking hard for a few years and got it wheedled down and then, yes, upon the suggestion of a lawyer, I filed for bankruptcy.

It’s a little complicated, but basically I spent two years busting my ass to pay off debt that was mostly acquired when I was in early sobriety.

I had run up my cards, got sober, and then was so broke and destitute for my first year that I never made any payments.

And boy howdy did that add up fast.

The interest on the cards skyrocketed and it was worse than paying off a loan shark.

I think I had 9% on one card that went to 28%.

And the other had started around 12% and was at 31%.

My lawyer basically told me I would never get out from under it, that I had made a huge effort to rectify the situation, I really had, worked so much for those years to work with the collection agencies, to the point I was on a first name basis with two different women, made amends financially, did the work, read front to back twice “How to get out debt, stay out of debt, and live prosperously,” by Jerrold Mundis, that I had records of all my payment plans, of everyone I had talked to, that I kept track of how much I spent and that I hadn’t any other debt, was huge.

I handed the lawyer such an enormous amount of spending plans, budgets, records, and notes that he literally was able to turn around the case and file it within two weeks of me seeing him.

I guess normally it takes longer because the lawyer has to do all the work that I had been doing for the past years.

So.

Yeah.

I’m not really interested in that kind of thing happening again and though I understand my friend’s reasonings, I think I am going to just cancel it.

Feels better.

Not as good as throwing away that medical bill.

But damn close.

Damn skippy close indeed.

Sometimes

May 30, 2018

It’s nice to get mail.

Sometimes it’s really, really, really nice to get mail.

Especially from the IRS.

Holy shit.

I got home today, as per usual, a little tense, a little upset, a little in bafflement, as I have been over the last few days since I was told that I needed to move out, to a few items of mail.

One was a very sweet and unexpected card from my grandmother with a $20 bill congratulating me on graduation.

So sweet.

The other from the aforementioned IRS.

And it looked like a check.

But.

I already got back my tax returns, both state and federal, and I filed electronically so the returns were sent directly to my bank.

What was this check looking thing?

Could it possibly be?

Could it really be?

I was almost afraid to open it.

I had a thought, but my thoughts are not always the nicest to me, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Cue an earlier thought, that I sort of joked about, but not really to my boss that it was ok, me getting asked to move out, because I have a tent, and I can hang out on the beach.

My boss laughed, but she was horrified to hear my news and also very supportive, there will be no beach for me necessary.

I can stay in the spare room that is currently the kids play room if worst came to worst.

Such a kind offer.

And one I hopefully will not have to take up, but it’s always good to know that I can.

I did once before when I was in transition, stay with employers, actually, former employers, who were remarkably generous and let me stay in their attic room with private bathroom and yes, with both my cats, while I was waiting to get into my next place.

Nothing says worst nightmare to me than homeless with cats, but in a sense that was exactly what I was.

I used to say I was in transition, but it was a transition that was horrendously uncomfortable, especially at seven years of sobriety.

I used to beat myself up about that, homeless with that much sober time, but it was just God preparing me, winnowing down the unnecessary things in my life, so that when the time came a few months later when the opportunity to move to Paris was presented to me, I was able to go without much thought about stuff and things.

I didn’t have much.

I don’t now when I look around.

The only furnishing in my studio that is mine is my bed.

That’s it.

The chaise, end tables, chairs, kitchen table, bookshelf, all my landlady’s furniture.

She’s a realtor and I believe they were used for staging at some point.

Anyway.

I won’t have much to move when I move, just the bed and the things hanging on the wall, the clothes hanging in my closet, and my kitchen stuff.

I could very easily move and do it quite efficiently.

It’s just a matter of finding a place to move to.

I began slowly putting out more feelers today.

I got a tip on an in-law on Silver Terrace, but out of my price range at $2,000.

I figure I will be comfortable spending $1500.

And if I have to I could go as high as $1800.

But that would be super freaking tight.

And I know this sounds crazy, but whatever, I have a feeling it won’t be that expensive, I do have a feeling the right thing will come and it will be what I can afford.

I told my therapist today how scared I have been and upset and angry and how it’s been hard to fall asleep because my brain will attack me with horrifying scenarios about not finding a place to live or not being able to afford what I find.

So.

Last night I said, enough brain, knock it off.

I can’t live in a future where there is no God.

God is right here.

Right the fuck now.

I am being taken care of.

I have paid for June rent.

I only have to be concerned with today.

Stop with the future tripping.

And if you have to think about the future, think about it with faith.

Magic.

God.

Love.

Abundance.

Light.

Envision where you want to live.

Think about what it looks like, really get into the details.

Hard wood floors, light, oh man, give me some light, I have been living in my little cave for almost five years, I could use a god damn window.

High ceilings.

Or at least higher than they are now.

I have low ceilings.

A nice kitchen, a gas range, a washer and dryer on site.

A place to park.

A big closet or two.

I mean.

A bathtub!

Oh.

Fuck wouldn’t that be nice?

Ruminate on the nice things, not on the bad things, see it, visualize it.

It will come.

It will!

I don’t know what exactly will happen next, I have to go to the SF Tenants Union on Saturday and do the drop in counseling.

Until that point all that I can do is what I have been doing.

Reaching out quietly to friends, avoiding social media, but just texting a friend here and there and asking them to keep ears open.

And practicing staying in the moment.

Where there is nothing wrong.

And.

There is only a little envelope to open from the IRS.

So open it.

I had put away all my stuff from my day out and about and put away my groceries, and I was heating up my dinner when I opened the card from my grandmother.

I left the envelope from the IRS alone.

But I really wondered.

If.

Well.

Could it possibly be?

And.

OH.

OH.

OH!

It was!

It was!

It was!

It was my refund from 2014!

2014!

In January of 2015 I did my taxes early and I did not have all my paperwork, I didn’t realize this until after I had filed.

I received some paperwork a month later and realized that I had fucked up my taxes and that I actually was due a bigger return than what I had filed for.

So.

I filed an amendment with the paperwork that I had left out and sent it in.

I never heard anything back.

I don’t know what I was expecting.

But.

Well.

I was hoping for something.

I sort of forgot about it after a while.

Although it would peek up above the surface of my unconsciousness every year after when I was filing and I would remember to make sure that I had all my necessary paperwork available to me before filing.

Certainly didn’t want to make that mistake again.

And there it was.

My fucking amendment refund check from 2014!

I laughed out loud with joy.

I’m going to be ok!

I mean.

I know I’m going to be ok.

But now I can stop stressing about the money I wanted to have for my traveling this summer.

I was afraid that I would find a place and have to use up my travel savings to put down a deposit to move into a new place and then have nothing left to travel with.

Maybe I would have to break out that credit card I got months ago but have never used.

Maybe not!

Not when I got a check from out of the blue for.

Wait for it.

Like you haven’t this entire blog.

Heh.

$2,126.34!

Boom.

Can you say happy?

I can!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking free to travel about the country.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Tooth Ache

January 12, 2018

My tooth hurts.

Achy.

I’m hoping it’s temporary.

I’m one week and two days away from getting the permanent crown put in.

I’m not in severe pain, it’s just there and a touch disconcerting.

I got notice today that my dental insurance is about to end, as though it was much good, and I’ve looked up on my PPO to see if there is dental available through my plan.

It looks like there might be.

Then again.

Who the fuck knows.

I had made a opthamology appointment four months ago.

Yes.

I said four.

And today I got a message to call the office.

They weren’t sure if my insurance covers the visit.

I gave them all my information and am awaiting details.

It’s so frustrating.

I have not had this experience before.

Having to wait such long times to be seen, not being able to be seen, having to figure it all out on my own.

I had Kaiser for such a long time I got super spoiled by their facilities and the easiness of booking appointments.

I wish the school hadn’t changed over to this health plan, but it’s what I have and until I can afford something different, it’s what I’ll be using.

I do get a stipend from my family, so there’s that, it’s just the inability to be seen that has me really flustered.

I didn’t go bananas on the woman who called me but I did question why the hell it took so long to be contacted if there was a question in regards to the coverage.

I mean.

I just would have kept my October appointment with my ophthalmologist on Irving street.

Really nice guy, Dr. Kurtzbay.

I liked going there, although I did not like paying out-of-pocket for the services.

The last two pairs of glasses I got were both over $450.

Plus I was a little flush, for me, and I bought a pair of prescription sunglasses.

Which I managed to hold onto for about four months before losing them.

Sigh.

Anyway.

When I got this new insurance I was excited that there was ophthalmology and dental included.

Of course.

I haven’t been able to use the services, I haven’t been able to get in to a dentist or an eye doctor, so in a sense it feels useless.

I have used the insurance once to be seen by a new primary care physician in an Outer Sunset facility that reminded me of a bad made movie scene in a third world country.

I have the number for the only dentist facility that my insurance purportedly covers and I’m going to call them tomorrow and see if I can get in.

If I can’t then I will renew my own out-of-pocket dental care for the second year in a row and just stick to my guy over at Sunset Premier Dental.

He’s not first world, but not third world either, and he takes appointments on Saturdays, so there’s that.

Speaking of appointments.

I get to see my chiropractor in the morning.

I have a 9 a.m. session.

My back as been feeling better, I will say that, not 100%, but significantly better, I’m not in nearly the same amount of pain as I was a few months back when it started to act up.

I think this is my fourth session.

I’ll have a few more sessions still covered by my family and then I will see about continuing.

I really like her energy, it’s just $85 a pop and she wants to see my weekly.

Add that to my personal therapy at $120 a session, and the week get’s expensive quick.

I wouldn’t really be thinking that much about it, but the unexpected dental stuff did eat up my little buffer.

I’m not too worried, however, I’ve gone over my numbers a bunch of times and I’m going to be just fine.

Tighter than I want to be, sure.

Wishing I hadn’t committed throwing in $200 to the party on Saturday, yup, but fuck it, whatever.

When I was out drinking and using I blew more than $200 a night and frankly, I’m happy to help host a party and have a fun time and a good dj and friends come out to dance that I typically don’t see.

It’s only a few days away, my sobriety anniversary and it still doesn’t have that anxious feeling around it, I’ve nearly forgotten, in fact, that I had an anniversary coming.

I have heard people say that before, especially busy people, but I never really thought that there would be a time when I would not be acutely aware of an upcoming anniversary.

And I’m just not.

It’s rather nice.

The party makes it rather nice too.

So.

I’m not going to focus on money, it’s all God’s money anyhow.

I’m just going to focus on what needs to be paid next and have faith that I’m taken care of.

Paid my phone bill yesterday.

Felt great.

I actually like paying my bills.

I mean, even though I didn’t want to shell out the money to my dentist, I really like that I was able to pay it and pay it in cash, well, not paper-folding money, but you know, by debit card which is not a credit card.

I have not even used the credit card I got a few months back, I’m not even sure I will for that matter.

I like paying my debts with cash.

It feels good to be accountable.

And it feels really god that tomorrow is Friday.

Fuck yeah.

I’m ready for the weekend.

So ready.

Seriously.

Taking Care of Business

September 26, 2017

I just responded to my advisor and the head of my Masters program at my school.

I was expecting to get a financial aid disbursement from my school on September 19th.

I didn’t get a thing.

In fact.

When I checked in to see what was going on I discovered that not only was there no money to disburse to my account, well, fuck me, I owed money!

How the hell was that possible?

I mean.

I was counting on getting some money.

I certainly got the heads up from my student loan processor that I was getting the money, and they will be happy when I’m finally out of school and start repaying them, but here you go kid, take on some more debt, it’s good for the economy.

So.

I start to scour the tuition bill and there it is, a charge for $1087.

For a retreat (remember those insanely not relaxing weeks I did at the beginning of my first and second year.  Nothing says retreat like being in class for 8 days in a row from 9a.m. to 9p.m.) I did not attend.

Third years don’t get to go to a retreat, we are in practicum so there’s no room in our schedule for it, and really, there’s no point, we’re three-quarters of the way through.

I wouldn’t have minded it, actually, the place is pretty, at Ions Institute outside of Petaluma, and the weather is great and it’s nice, but I didn’t go.

And as such.

Don’t freaking bill me!

I’ve made phone calls.

Left messages.

Gone to the office in person.

I was told to send an e-mail.

Did that.

Then I cc’d my advisor and I got great support from him, but the business office hasn’t refunded the charge yet and of course, my scholarship monies got released and they, the system, kept the $1087.

I haven’t had the rest of the scholarship money land in my bank account yet, but I will and I hope it doesn’t take to long to get the rest of the money.

I have things to buy.

Like a car!

I really have decided to do it.

I have had a lot of talks about it, done research, done more talking, prayed, ran my numbers and I think I can swing it.

Yes.

I will be buying the car with some of my financial aid money.

But I will be using it for school, certainly to get to and from my internship and work of course.

This will be the first time in my life that I have bought a brand new car.

I have owned a couple of cars, but never a new one.

Here’s the one I’m looking at.

I can swing the $150 a month payment.

Plus I’ll have to have car insurance, which I figure will be another $100 a month and then gas.

Gas is going to be a lot more than the $1.50 I put in my scooter to fill up the tank today.

I still will use my scooter, but when the weather is bad, or super foggy, rainy, cold, or nasty, well, I will drive my car.

I like saying that, “I will drive my car.”

I have owned cars before, but it’s been a long while.

I ran into my person today very serendipitously, at the Whole Foods salad bar on Market and Dolores.

I had gotten out of my internship an hour early, client cancelled, and I decided to do a little grocery shopping.

I was going to SafeWay and then I felt like, no, I’m going to Whole Foods.

Glad I trusted my gut!

I got my groceries and then we joined a mutual friend and chatted and talked and got caught up.

He’s very behind me getting a car and I’ve been ruminating on my money for weeks now.

I have six thousand in savings.

I have a credit card with a limit of $5,000.

I could, technically, buy the car outright.

I don’t know that I want to do that, I would rather have a buffer for myself.

I don’t want to touch my prudent reserve at all, I’ll be keeping back $2,000 in my savings to make sure I’m ok if something happens and I’m suddenly without income.

But I could put $4,000 if my own money down right away, and maybe run $3,000 on my credit card.

I don’t want to max that out either.

Then I can pay off the rest of the car when I get my scholarship money in spring.

I’ll do the $150/month payment and come spring, I’ll pay it off.

That’s the idea.

I think it’s pretty sound.

I’m going to take a few more weeks, but I feel pretty ready to make a move on it.

Plus, I don’t want to get caught in the rain.

“Doll, I know you’re independent, but let me state the obvious, you’re a woman, go to the dealership with a man, don’t go on your own,” my person said before I left to come home.

And I agree with him.

I will need a side kick to help me out, some one to hold my hand.

I’m pretty confident I won’t be bamboozled, but having never bought a car before I want assistance, I don’t want to do it alone, and I’m pretty sure I can find someone to go over to Berkeley with me and do that part.

I think that’s about the only thing.

That and getting my refund back from the overcharge on my tuition bill.

I feel pretty awesome about the whole thing though, I didn’t react to the tuition bill, I responded, and I have been combing my finances and seeing where I can nip and tuck and get the car.

And I really do feel like I can do it.

Fun.

A car.

It’s only been fifteen years!

I think it’s time.

 

A Few More Days

August 2, 2017

Of lazy.

A few more days of being able to do yoga in the morning during the week.

I have signed up for a class tomorrow morning.

I went to one this morning.

My ass has been thoroughly kicked with the yoga.

But.

I feel good too, especially afterward.

Especially when I run into friends in the neighborhood who tell me how good I look and how much weight I have lost.

“You look amazing!  I mean, really beautiful, and you’ve lost so much weight, I mean, you look great!” She exclaimed as she stopped in front of the garage where I was sweeping this morning.

I had just gotten back from yoga class and wanted to do my good deed for the day and so I pulled in the garbage cans, the recycling, the compost bins and I decided to sweep out the front of the house.

It’s not something I have ever been asked to do, but sometimes it’s just nice to do something to care for the house, it’s not mine, but I do live here and I like to pull up on my scooter to a tidy spot.

I was still in my yoga gear, had sweat like a maniac, had my hair up in a big messy bun, and was sweeping garbage into the gutter.

And I look amazing?

You are sweet.

But.

I could also tell that how I was feeling was reflected in how I look.

I am happy.

And it shows.

I think that’s what the “weight loss” is, that I am happy.

It’s a nice thing to say and maybe it is true, but it doesn’t matter, I feel about the same in my body as always, albeit a bit sore from the work out today.

I also had no problem accepting the compliment.

It’s nice to hear.

My neighbor and her dog went to the park, I kept sweeping and it just lead from one thing to the other.

Hot shower.

Clean sheets on the bed.

Hot breakfast, latte, writing.

Trip to the laundry mat.

Run to the grocery store.

Cook a little.

Write a lot.

Chat on the phone.

Return e-mails for my internship.

Coordinate my schedule for the month.

I have a bunch of consults this week and a probably new client, although I haven’t set anything up yet.  I have been waiting for the assistant director to make the client official.

Although my director did say I could reach out to the client, I feel better waiting for the official look of the e-mail from the assistant director.

I did some research.

I looked over my syllabi for school and I poked around to see if the classes that weren’t posted yet had any of their syllabi in innocuous spots.

Sometimes that happens, a teacher will use a different platform than the one that the school wants everyone to use and a syllabus will get posted somewhere other than the spot I am used to checking.

Anyway.

There was nothing new with school.

I did some personal accounting, adding up my expenditures for the month of July and making a Spending Plan for the month of August.

Which is typically a month where I have an additional financial category.

Burning Man.

I decided this morning to stop being a baby about it and suck it up and be happy that I have enough resources to rent a car and.

Yes.

I applied for a credit card.

I realize I don’t want to tie up a bunch of money on my debit card.

I can and have rented cars before on my debit card, but they typically demand an enormous deposit and the reimbursement of said deposit is almost always a month.

I don’t want to tie up my finances that way.

Especially heading into the fall semester.

Plus.

Well.

I like to travel and I have been lots of places in the last few years, Paris twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Atlanta, and I should be accruing miles for that travel.

But I never have.

I have always found a cheap ticket online and just bought it with my debit card.

Which is fine.

It’s worked well, but I have been thinking it would be nice to be acquiring some miles.

Especially since my dear friend has moved back to France and we’ve discussed probable trips there, and I want to go to Barcelona and I’ll be flying back from LA next June when I do the ALC (Aids Life Cycle Ride.  Hey!  That’s right, I’m riding, you want to donate to the cause?  I need to raise $3,000 it would be great if you donated.  My rider number is: 2713 you can donate here), so I want to start getting travel rewards.

Yup.

That’s right.

I applied for a credit card today.

First credit card I have applied to in 12 years.

I haven’t had one since I got sober.

Cut those bad boys up and threw them in the trash.

I had a lot of debt.

I was very generous when I was drinking and using and I had no problem throwing my plastic around.

That plus.

My first year of sobriety I had no money, like none, I had a bad accident at my first job and was out of work for six, seven months, it took me a long time to get back on my feet and I went over a year and a half without making any payments on those cards I had.

What had been about $12,500 in debt became.

Wait for it.

$112,000.

Yes.

Part of that was back taxes owed the IRS.

But hey, they audited me and took that money right away.

That sucked so hard.

Then there was the pair of panties, the bra and the pair of jeans I had bought using a Victoria Secrets credit card that I never paid on.

It was a sale of $84 that became a debt of $1350.

I cleared it all.

All but my student loan debt.

I had many, many, many conversations with collectors and debt departments and all manner of people who wanted whatever money I had.

I got harassed a lot.

I was mortified.

It was horrendous and I was assured I would drink again if I didn’t take care of it.

So.

After some time.

I made the calls.

I used a script that someone helped me write.

I eventually went and saw a lawyer who took one look at my records, what I was doing and said, “what you are doing is commendable, and at the rate you are going you’re never getting out of it, you need to file for bankruptcy.”

Ugh.

He gave me his services for cheap.

Cheap.

Fuck, it cost me $2500 to file it and for his services.

But.

It went through.

And yes.

I still have debt, but it is just my student loans.

Just.

Bwaahahahahahhaaha.

Excuse me.

Anyway.

I’m worth the investment so I don’t care about the student loans, they will get paid off too when the time is right.

So, to circle back, for eight years I couldn’t have a credit card.

And for the rest of the time I just said, I don’t need one.

I technically don’t.

But.

I would like to not have to deal with the hassle of the car rental and I can rent the damn thing, be done with it, collect some miles on a card, and immediately pay the bill off with my debit card.

That’s what I figure I’ll do.

I’ll rent the car with the card, pay it off right away and then not have to have anything tied up.

That’s the logic anyway.

I don’t know if I can get a card, but I researched and I applied and I’ll just say, I took the action, I’ll let go of the results.

I’ll get to Burning Man one way or the other.

And in the mean time.

I have a few more days of lazy.

Not that I’ve been terribly lazy, just mellow.

Work will start back up for me on Friday.

And of course I have my clients and consults and internship to deal with.

Life is full.

Life is good.

I am happy.

And apparently I have “lost” some weight.

Heh.

 

On The Road Again

October 19, 2014

Honey, I just can’t wait to get on the road again.

Baby.

Ooh.

Yeah.

That’s right.

I got back in the saddle, I hopped back on the horse and I rode her all over town.

My Vespa that is.

Yes, my Vespa, not his Vespa, my Vespa.

Because a lady can change her mind and that’s ok.

There was a time, and not too long ago where I would have said ok, I said I’m going to sell it, I’m selling it, or whatever it was I was doing or thinking about doing, even though I had some doubts, because I said I would, I would.

I wasn’t allowed to change my mind.

Which meant I wasn’t allowed to make mistakes.

Which means I have to be perfect.

And man.

I tell ya, perfect is a hard state to achieve and maintain.

Having neither achieved or maintained said state ever, I should know.

Having tried to maintain that state of perfection all my life, I should really know.

I was unsettled this morning about the scooter when I woke up.  I prayed.  Yeah, I do that, weird huh, but it works and I’m not about to change the efficacy of something when it works, do it.  So I asked for some direction and did some writing and then I did a sitting meditation on top of it.

What did I need to do to get the scooter ready?

I should put air in the tires, I should dust her off, she’s basically been at a stand still since June 4th when I sprained my ankle trying to kick-start it, I should maybe, if I can get it started, top of the gas in the tank.

Then I sat.

There were two things bothering me at the edge of my brain.

One of them had to do with a piece of mail I had gotten the day before yesterday.

The other was that I sort of wanted to ride my scooter.

I mean, I was sort of jealous of the dude that was coming to buy it.

I was also concerned that the whole plan to sell the scooter, turn around, put a down payment on another and then transfer the title, get new insurance for the new scooter, pay extra taxes for a new scooter, and the getting my scooter dealt with, felt all too complicated.

That knowledge coupled with the piece of mail I received, which was an offer for a credit card, sat with me.

Now.

I haven’t gotten an offer for a credit card in a long time.

Like, oh, seven years to be exact.

I picked up the VISA pre-approved credit card application and smiled, I had forgotten, though not truly forgotten, about my bankruptcy filing that I did, yes, you guessed it, seven years ago this month.

October 15th, to be exact.

I filed for and was granted a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

I did some stupid things, drinking a lot and doing a lot of cocaine fueled those stupid things, and I had to pay for them when I first got into recovery.

But I did not.

I did not for about a year.

I was really destitute my first year of recovery, I am still uncertain how the hell I got through, but I did, I was graced and I got through and after that first year I had to start cleaning up the wreckage of my financial history.

“We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them,” she quoted to me as we sat and drank coffee in the kitchen of her house.

Fuck me.

I owe a lot.

I was scared.

It was hard.

I made a lot of phone calls with a script I had help writing, I made amends and repaid what I could when I could where I could.  I repaid my best friend $1100 for rent.  I paid off the IRS.  I paid of Victoria Secrets (the pair of jeans and the bra that I had bought on my credit card for $128 eventually cost me $785 after not paying on the Victoria Secrets card I had taken out right before I got sober, but I paid it off–said pair of jeans, fyi, I sold to Buffalo Exchange for a whopping $15 store credit, or $8 cash, I took the cash and bought some groceries).

I made payments to VISA and MasterCard and another card I had, maybe another separate VISA account?  Not even sure, but I made payments.

Sometimes five dollars a month.

Sometimes twenty.

I finally, after a year of doing this, maybe a year and a half, took the advice of a room-mate, saw the free lawyer at the San Francisco Public Library, who told me to file bankruptcy, and I set the wheels in motion.

It cost me $1500.

It cleared me of over $68,000 in debt.

Most of it interest.

The original debt might have been around $12,000 or $13,000, I’m hazy on the numbers.

Anyway.

The only thing I owed on was my student loans, which they won’t absolve, and I have spent the last 9 1/2 years paying my way in cash with very few exceptions.

The plane ticket back from Paris.

And this scooter.

That’s what got me.

When I saw that piece of mail saying I was pre-approved, my first thought was, now I can buy a new scooter and get on this thing.

Then I thought.

Wait.

What?

Why go into debt when I am almost completely done paying off the Vespa?

I have two payments left, I could probably pay it off right now if I wanted to, why go into debt buying a new one?

And then.

It’s so cute, my Vespa, that is.

I sat.

I meditated.

I got quiet.

I thought, felt, asked, listened.

It seemed to be that it was not the prudent thing to do.

I sought further instruction.

I rode my bicycle to 7th and Irving and sat at Tart to Tart and did some reading and spent some time talking about where I am in my life and what’s happening and dating and work and then I rode home on my bicycle.

I was beginning to feel, honest, in my gut, that I was not supposed to sell the Vespa.

I made lunch.

I sat on the back patio and flipped through a Vogue and watched the sky and then I went and got the keys to the scooter.

Act as if.

I pulled it out.

I dusted her off.

I wiped her down, put air in the tires, and decided I would try to start her up and take her to the gas station down the street.

I used my right foot, not my left.

Guess what happened?

No, really guess.

Ha.

She started on the second kick.

The engine-turned over, I gave her some gas and then I let her sit and warm up.

I went inside, put on a jacket, grabbed my helmet, my messenger bag and my wallet.

I hopped on my scooter.

I had not forgotten how to ride it.

I knew within a minute, less probably, of being on the scooter, I knew by the first stop sign I reached at 46th and Irving, that I was keeping her.

I was grinning ear to ear.

I took her to the gas station, topped off the tank, for a whopping $3, and rode her back to the house.

I parked in front of the garage and called the man who wanted to buy her and said, I apologize for the late notice, but I have decided to not sell my Vespa.  I hope you understand and I am sorry if I have inconvenienced your schedule in any way.

He was super sweet about it and that was that.

I rode her to the grocery store, just to get a little more comfortable on her, through the park, and then back to the house to unload my bag.

I rode her up Lincoln to Cole Valley, then to 17th Street, up and over the hill, god damn the view, then up and over Diamond Street to St. Phillips in Noe Valley.

And like that.

I’m back in the saddle again.

It was a bit rocky at points.

I killed it twice.

But I restarted her without a hitch and breathed through the entire thing and whooped with joy more than once.

Grateful that I am allowed to not be perfect, to make mistakes, to learn from them, and to literally get my butt back in the saddle.

I have to say.

I am more than a little proud of myself for doing it.

Walking through some fear.

It does a girl good.

Note to self.

Remember that tomorrow on your date!

Which I will enjoy, no matter what, because I will know that I have a gorgeous little scooter waiting to take me for a ride when it’s done.

Vroom!

Vroom!


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