Monday, July 11, 2005

I think I'm going crazy

There are so many options right now, and I don't have the time or willpower to process them all. But, the facts remain: I'm broke, in debt (though much less than others I know), and worn out from my commute.

My options:

1) Continue living at my parents house and just deal with my commute (oh, did I mention I hydroplaned on the interstate last week during a particularly rainy morning?? And almost hit the car next to me?? As well as a near miss with the cement road divider??)

2) Rent and have absolutely no available $$$ for anything beside a roof over my head and gas. The real estate equivalent of driving down I-40 and tossing hundred dollar bills out of the driver's seat window.

3) Somehow beg my way into purchasing a condominium or teeny-tiny old house downtown so I can walk or take the trolley to work, hence saving money. (But how to get that pesky down payment and closing costs? And how to pass the credit check when my savings account is on a starvation diet? And how to convince the loan officer I AM over 18, and thereby able to sign a legal document??)

4) Forget the whole life-supporting job thing and jump into the business head first. Convince a SBA person to loan me enough to rent a commercial space with an apartment overhead so I can "open up shop" and collect printing supplies to work with while living in the same place. Zero commute. But living in danger of repossesion!

5) Shelve my beloved Ruby Red for a few more years, keep doing research and preparations while focusing on becoming a better and more recognized professional in the design field, and continue to write, in hopes of earning enough from an advance and royalties to get my business started. (Did I mention I have a dozen or so children's and young adult projects in the works? Betcha didn't know that! In fact, for a change of pace, I think I'll write my next post about THAT part of my life).

6) Bury my head in the sand. Or move to Venezuala and hide in the rainforest. Or take a vow of poverty. Or run into a handsome billionaire on the corner, "twist" my ankle and be carried to the nearest hospital, where, of course, we will fall in love, marry in the chapel, and immediately relocate to Bermuda, where he will buy me an entire letterpress print-shop with cases and cases of type and dingbats, gallons of brilliant inks, and truck loads of fine papers! When I am not smudging ink on my nose, he will find me snorkling among a school of bright blue fish.

Personally? I like the billionaire angle. Positively polictically incorrect, but a girl can dream!

I'm begging for advice here, fair readers. If you were me, which would you choose????


sarah said...

I feel your pain. There's happiness with no money or comfort and not being as happy as you could be. It's tough, and I'm trying to make the same decisions.

In your situation, if I had the opportunity to live at home, I would do it. You can save money for your business and for yourself.

As for the commute, I drive 40 minutes each way and it's really starting to get to me. It's like wasted time. You could always find a part-time job close to home and work on the business part-time.

I guess you have to decide when you want to jump into the business. Unfortunately, it's a decision only you can make.

(sorry, this was long)

Kathy said...

I agree with Sarah. As much of a bummer as it is to live at home, you do save on rent. Commutes suck, but there's little that can be changed unless you can move to Europe and commute via rail, therefore allowing you all the commute time to work on designs and other stuff for biz.

Of course, there is always the option of moving out here to the lovely sunshine of Cali and setting up shop with moi! (Remember, I've got three bedrooms now!) You think I jest? =-)

tammy said...

I dunno... I might disagree with the above voices of opinions. But I'm not sure. I have only my own experience to base it on.

I was in the same boat about a year ago. I lived two hours (in rush hour traffic) from home, and I was renting a room from a friend of mine who lived close to my office and staying there three nights a week so I didn't have to spend four hours a day in the car. The premise was to save money (cause living at home and renting a room was cheaper than having an apartment), but I ended up not saving much money at all on account of I kept buying stuff like art supplies and paper cutters and whatnot.

(This might just be my own inability to save money, of course.)

I finally just decided to quit the job and jump feetfirst into freelancing and trying to figure out what I wanted to do and enjoy the poverty. And I'm kinda digging it, although it's definitely stressful. But to me, it beats being demoralized by not feeling like I'm making any progress.

Have you considered writing out some goals for yourself if you do decide to stay at home? If you can say that you're going to keep it up for X more months, or until you save X amount of money, maybe it'll help you sort out what you think is right for you.

There's my two cents. Worth just exactly what you paid for it. ;o)

Stefani said...

You asked. :-)

1. Keep living with your parents and throw every dime you can against debt and into savings. Be frugal. Join Freecycle. Make being a cheapskate into an art form.

2. Use the commute time to your advantage. Listen to books on CD or tape - business books or self-improvement books - or even fiction. It will make the time go much faster and you'll learn stuff to use for your business.

3. Like Tammy said, set trackable goals. Make a chart that shows your savings increasing - always good for the soul.

4. Keep doing the children's and young adult projects. You can earn money and have a creative outlet.

5. Can you start your business small? Like rather than own a letterpress, can you laser print at home? I'm sure you already know how word-of-mouth is your best friend. Life isn't always "go big or go home". Sometimes you start small and "grow the business" as you can. (I'm a regular cliche factory today.)

I know it's hard and frustrating and feels like it's a giant mountain to climb when you want what you want when you want it. Small steps, small goals - you'll be there before you know it.

Good luck!