Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

In Medias Res

with 3 comments

While the beginning is a very good place to start, here it doesn’t seem to fit somehow.  My back-story is long and can be told another day.  And besides…no one’s seen this yet.  So really I’m just writing for myself right now.  But yes . . . this is my first ever blog entry.  So, expediting the formalities, here’s the main adjectives that one might employ in describing me: Male / 33 years-old / White / Gay / Adopted / Gemini / Lawyer / raised Byzantine Catholic / Penn State alum / Howard alum . . . and, of course, Laid-Off.  But I suppose the blog title already aptly notes that.

At the outset, I must confess that I just saw Julie & Julia yesterday.  I was probably the only person in the theatre who got stressed out by that movie.  And it stuck with me, so I started examining the origins of that gnawing feeling.  That prompted this.

In a sense, I am Julie: my apartment overflows with piles of partially-read books stacked for later, stacks of newspapers waiting for one of these days, days gone by with bills lying opened but unpaid, opened boxes not yet put away.  Let’s just say I have a bit of trouble finishing what I start.  But cluttered is not dirty.  I am a bit of a clean freak, that much I know, especially upon returning to my apartment after two weeks with a renter staying there.  I’ve heard a stereotype of  New Yorkers that they come across stylish, fashionable, and a cut-above-the-rest, but yet their apartments are nasty, dirty, and gross.  But I digress (and more on the renter later).  At any rate, since I’m great at starting things, I figured I’d start this blog.  And here’s what it’ll take to finish it.

A few days ago while back at my mom’s, I vowed to myself that by this time next year, I will be debt free.  I’m calling myself on that promise right now.  On August, 9, 2010 (8/9/10): Student loans.  Credit cards.  Back taxes.  All of it.  Gone.  Done.  Paid-in-Full.  As Ms. Powell painfully reminded me, we need goals (even short-term ones like a recipe a day), otherwise you’re kinda just adrift at sea.  So, this is the medium for achieving that goal.

Every day upon waking, I will post the balance in my checking account, my credit score, and my total debt load.  Monthly I’ll break it down into groups.  If possible (not too familiar with the functionality of this website just yet), I’ll have the data graphed into a chart to track progress.  And along the way, I’ll blog about my efforts at finding employment.  But one important aspect to this project, and something that I’ve come across recently, is this: income need not come from employment.  I got $350 from renting out my apartment.  A few weeks ago I upgraded my iPhone, took the old one back to the Apple Store for a replacement (there was a crack and the apple care plan covered it) and then sold the brand new one at a used / recycled electronics shop.  (Shout out to  Hell, last night I came across some guy’s eBay auction: he put himself up for bid as a “Friend for a Day.”  Last bid was $5,100.  For a day!  So . . . umm . . . yeah . . . employed or not, these debts are going down!

This moment is, in a sense, the confluence of a few different events: I mentioned the movie, being-laid off clearly factors in, but starting The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and getting through most of Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki both weigh in heavily.  Add in a dash of “What the Bleep Do We Know?” and a Masters in Philosophy, and the picture coalesces a bit more.  By no means am I some new age fanatic.  But—based on the above adjectives alone—one can see that my life has kinda compelled me to look at things a different way.  Being adopted got me thinking about belonging and what it means.  Being raised Byzantine Catholic sensitized me to other religions because people assume Catholic equals Roman Catholic.  Being white at Howard practically speaks for itself.  So I’m pulling on these skills to pull myself out of this debt hole.

So here it is . . . my blog.  I titled this first entry in medias res because in so many ways this is really in the middle of (the mess of) my life that we start this story.  Once I figure out the formatting, I’ll start posting the data.  But the debt load is in the six-digit range.   And the checking account balance is about four less than that.

3 Responses

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  1. Just accidently stumbled on your blog this evening and I’m quite enthralled with much of what you have to say. Mainly because I’ve been there… not quite in the same shoes, but definitly on the same boat.

    You call this stage “medias res” I referred to it as delayed adolecent rebellion/pre mid life crisis. And The Secret, Smart Women Finish Rich, and Eat Pray Love were my tool guides when things got tough. (I recommend the latter as a great read.)

    As a fellow bison I look forward and anticipate the completion of your goal.

    p.s. I still haven’t seen Julie and Julia but since reading this post I vow to go see it sometime this weekend.


    August 18, 2009 at 22:48

  2. I like the delayed adolescent rebellion / pre-mid-life crisis. I might have to plagiarize that. 😉 But really that’s an interesting description. Sometimes I think of people our parents’ age, but when they were our age (approximate). Quite often they had kids, or were fairly well entrenched in their jobs/careers/lives. Imagine a 30 year-old in 1962. Compared to them, I still feel like I’m 23! delayed adolescence for sure. Or maybe delayed young adulthood.

    At any rate, I’d better stop before I end up with another post after all.

    You go see J & J. I’ll find my copy of E.P.L and read it finally. Deal?

    Laid-off Lawyer

    August 18, 2009 at 23:00

  3. You actually believe Kiyosaki? You are doomed, doomed I say. Maybe you should just start a debt settlement company like Hess Kennedy?


    January 7, 2010 at 20:31

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