It’s the last day of 2013.
I did a lot of things I never thought I would do this year.
I lost 40 pounds.
I ran a half marathon.
I completed the NYC Triathlon.
I completed my first marathon.
The NYC Marathon!!!
I raised over $8000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
I started a 5K race in my brother’s memory.
A year ago, if you had told me I’d do all that, I probably would have laughed at you.
What a year.
But that’s not all.
There’s something else I did this year that I never thought I would do.
Something I’ve gone back and forth over.
Do I share this, or do I keep this one secret?
Because I live in kind of a small town.
A lot of people in town read this blog.
And people talk.
What to do…
What to do.
But this is kind of big.
And I want people to know that this kind of thing happens to hardworking people.
Not just degenerates.
Or drug addicts.
But good, honest, educated, hardworking people.
So the other thing I thought I would never do?
I definitely never thought I would file for bankruptcy.
I’m sure you’re wondering how I came to be in this situation.
I bet you want all the details.
There’s a good chance you are shaking your head in judgement.
All I can say is,
you have no idea.
It would take a novel to explain how this happened.
Maybe someday I will write one.
Because if I told you all the shit that has gone down in the past couple years, you wouldn’t believe me.
It would definitely have best seller potential.
And I realize I’ve just opened up a can of worms.
I know I’ve just invited a whole bunch of staring, finger pointing, and whispering.
But I also know that there is at least one person out there reading this who has been in the same boat.
Or who is currently in the same boat.
Who feels like a failure.
Who is feeling dejected.
Who is feeling the effects of the stigma attached to having to go through this.
And I just want that one person to know that you are not alone.
You are not a failure.
I totally get it.
I mean, I have my masters degree for Christ’s sake.
This shit is not supposed to happen to someone like me.
But it did.
Having to file is one of the all-time lows of my adult life.
I am financially ruined.
I could focus on that.
I could focus on the very long road I have ahead of me to rebuild.
I could focus on something else.
I could focus on the fact that this situation has also led to some pretty good things.
Some incredibly supportive, thoughtful, and understanding people have come into my life.
People who I may never have met had I not found myself in this situation in the first place.
My bank account may be empty,
but my life is actually more full right now than it has been in quite some time.
And for that, I am grateful.
This situation has also forced me to think outside the box.
And that has led to some other exciting turns in my life.
The blog has become quite popular.
It turns out I have a good eye for design.
I’m not bad at inspiring people.
Even as I sit in bankruptcy court.
to that one ashamed and scared person out there who is feeling defeated,
It will get better.
Look for the lesson in all this.
Look for opportunity.
As I look back at smoke coming off of the ashes of 2013, I could see chaos.
But I don’t.
I see a Phoenix rising.
And you know what?
It turns out she’s a smart, talented, and pretty good looking blond.
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