I Followed My Heart...
I started this group b/c I, for one, am not ashamed of filing bankruptcy. I don't buy in to the hype that tries to make me feel like a failure in life. Things happen, people make mistakes and sometimes things are just out of your control. A little of everything applies to me.
Last year I lived in NC with my wife making nearly 100k a year. With no kids and only school loans we had a lot of disposable income. The problem was that we hated our jobs. Every dollar was directly connected to a blood vessel that popped in my eyes from the stress. We both came from poor upbringings and I'm not talking about "we only had one BMW growing up." No, I grew up with no heat, hot water and little food. My dishware consisted of old mcdonald's breakfast platters or reused yogurt cups found in the trash at my mother's job. My wife had it worse as both of her parents were on drugs and she was homeless off and on.
We grew up dreaming of just having a place to stay that was warm. Somewhere we got lost in making money. I didn't even have a great job. I was a manager in a call center but it paid me 50k a year in a place where four hundred a month will get you a decent apartment. Every dime we made went to eating out, a car note, a mini-vacation or some toy or gadget that we didn't need and only bought to fill that void growing inside of us from hating our jobs. One day we had enough and decided to move.
We turned in our two weeks notice, found an apartment and moved 300 miles to Washington, DC not knowing how we would make it. I found a job that turned out to be more of the same thing and after two months my wife insisted that I quit. We didn't move and try to start over just to end up with the same old thing. I believe in what was said in Fight Club, "The things you own end up owning you."
When I quit my job with no other form of income except savings and a 401k, I knew that it could all go to crap. I just wanted a chance to start over fresh, find something that I really wanted to do and not work solely to pay a car note or a bill. I ended up discovering a passion for writing, I even found the will to go back to college and finish my degree even though I swore I'd never go back. And for once in three years, my wife and I were completely happy.
So here we are roughly a year later and our personal lives are mirror opposites of what it was before. We couldn't be happier. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of our finances. I'm still unemployed b/c I'm in school full time taking 18 credits with a graduation date of Dec 2010. She makes enough at her job to pay rent and the basic necessities but now those bill collectors are talking about taking us to court.
Her car was repossessed back in the summer and mine will be repossessed next week. When they first took her car, I got desperate and applied to be a cop. During the physical they ran an EKG and I learned that I had a genetic heart defect. Apparently my entire life I lived with a condition that can be fatal but I was lucky enough to never have triggered an attack. So I had heart surgery not too long ago and my insurance denied the $90k claim.
Now I'm facing over $20k in car note debt about $5k in credit card debt and 90k in medical bills. Also, my wife just found out that she's pregnant with our first child. I have to file bankruptcy.
Part of me wants to feel bad and think about what might have happened if I never moved out of NC, but I keep going back to that heart surgery. I had the condition my entire life and no doctor caught it b/c EKGs aren't part of a routine physical. If I hadn't quit my job, the car wouldn't have been repossessed, I wouldn't have been desperate and applied to be a cop and I never would have known about the issue. So I have to believe that it was all part of some grand design. I'm not big on fate, but I must say that this experience makes me think that maybe sometimes things do happen for a reason.
Oh yeah, before we moved the doctors thought that my wife couldn't have children but after coming up here and starting her new job, she found a different doctor who gave her one medication to correct her issue (It wasn't a fertility drug, it was related to a hormone imbalance and only required five pills to correct). She got pregnant a week after he gave her the medicine.
I have to believe that all of this is for a reason. Am I scared to file bankruptcy? Not really. It will look bad on my credit. It may stop me from getting certain jobs. I live in DC where the average house costs half a million, so buying a house was never a dream of mine up here.
I get to start over and that's all that matters to me. So no, I'm not ashamed.