The Longest Year: How I Lost Everything Part 2

how-i-lost-everything-part-2

This post is part of the series “Living Your Authentic Life” myself and Mellissa  from “She Smiles Within” is hosting. Please read my first post “The Longest Year: How I Lost Everything: Part 1” if this is your first time reading the series.

…I have to at least try…

Try…The definition of try is to make an attempt or effort to do something.

I had been following the Happy Black Woman, I was watching the Shanel Cooper-Sykes videos “Alright, I Am Good Enough” (in her voice), I read “The Alchemist,” I prayed to God, and guess what? Not a damn thing happened. You know why?

Because I was sitting and waiting for an answer, for someone to tell me step-by-step exactly what I needed to do. When in reality I knew exactly what I needed to be doing, and sitting there was not it. We all know what we really need to be doing but we don’t want to do the grit work. We want to chill, and talk about how such and such is doing xyz. We never want to take responsibility for our own shortcomings. Then we are quick to say he/she only got xzy because of blah, blah, blah. What about…maybe…that individual worked hard for it.

At that time in my life, I was fed up. I was tired of sitting and waiting. I was financially, and mentally broken and the only way I could pick myself up was to try.

So after getting the book “How to Shop for Free” I tried.  I read the entire book cover to cover, took notes, read it again, marked pages, highlighted everything, went online and researched, found more websites.

The first time I scored a coupon deal I felt lightheaded and hot on the inside. I couldn’t believe the store was letting me walk out of the doors when I just paid for everything with coupons. Surely the guards were going to come out and tackle me as soon as I hit the doors, but that didn’t happen and I was hooked.

I hoarded coupons, asked people if I can have their coupons, planned trips, requested coupons, printed off coupons, shopped at multiple stores, cleared shelves. I mean I became a couponing connoisseur.

I was so enthralled by the adrenaline rush I got when finding a deal I hardly recognized that I wasn’t saving much. Yes, I wasn’t spending as much money as I previously did, but I was also getting things that I didn’t need. Sure, I could donate the items, but that $3.00’s I spent on X amount of items I didn’t really need could be applied towards those bills I owed.

I tried applying for Food Stamps and was denied time after time. They said I made too much money. WTH??? (puzzled look) Well Damn, if I make too much and I’m barely making it, then how are other people surviving.

Still drowning in debt, couponing helped me get on my feet. It helped me start looking on the bright side. It gave me hope that things will get better.

I started changing my thinking patterns, started practicing gratitude and being thankful for the things in my life. I started to simplify things, started to not give a care about what other people thought of me, and slowly, slowly, I started to become happy.

I’m a totally different woman than I was a few years ago. I smile more, I am genuine, and I truly want to help people. I’ve experienced some crazy stuff in my life (stories I’ll be sharing), but I believe that I experienced them to help others.

In life there is no step-by-step guide. There is not one way to do things. We are all unique and God created us that way. My daily prayer is for God to allow me to be and do what he designed me to do. Hopefully, that prayer is being answered each day as I encounter new people and experiences in life. You never know when you might be just the tool that someone else needs.

This getting out of debt journey is rough, but I’m optimistic about the future and I know I’ll succeed. (Now on to slay these student loans 🙂 )

I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced every (most) type of financial setback, I have more stories to share. If you need someone to talk to, need advice, need resources, need someone to push you to get your life together I’m here to help. I’m just an email away, ericka@lifeofrandom.com. Also, remember the United Way has plenty of resources available just dial 2-1-1. 

Read The Longest Year: How I Lost Everything Part 1 here

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