For the most part, I feel that my life has gone extremely well. This is both a blessing and a curse. So, this challenging time in my life that I have been experiencing is a good learning experience. It will help me relate to what others experience. Of course I'm looking forward to coming out on the other side and flying high again. But, there is a part of me that wonders whether I have had the opportunity to experience enough pain and struggle for it to leave a permanent mark. Now that things seem to be looking up again I am wondering if I will forget the lessons I have been taught. Therefore, I am going public with the ammunition to keep me honest and humble down the road.

Here is what I need to remember. These are emotions I have felt:

  • Desperation
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Self-doubt
  • Self-loathing
  • Depression
  • Lack of control

I've already written another entry asking the question about how much we control what happens in our lives. Basically, I believe that we each have a tremendous amount of control. I certainly want to be able to take some credit for the success I've had. And, I'm willing to take blame for the failures.

This latest set of life experiences has certainly put my belief to the test; the question is whether it has been tested sufficiently. As of this point, I still haven't made it all the way through to the end of this chapter. So, for better or for worse, I am still having the opportunity to internalize the lessons. But, the lessons are much easier to swallow when it seems that they are almost over; maybe too easy. I still may need more time to "chew" on the lessons before I am ready to truly "digest" them. As I've already written above, I'm not wishing for this to drag on any longer. Nor am I (consciously) doing things to make it drag on longer. On the contrary, I have been working to bring it to as speedy a close as I can. I'd like to believe that I have learned enough and been tested enough.

To avoid letting this blog run on "too long", I'm going to begin to wrap things up here. You've pretty much read the heart of what you need to know. I've stated the emotions I have felt. Let me summarize the circumstances that precipitated those emotions, though there's nothing novel about them. My household expenses exceeded my household income. We have had to live off savings and thus far have gone through about $12,000 (it's hard to pinpoint an exact amount of time, since I'm not sure when I should start the count). From my vantage point, there were no good prospects for gainful employment and my attempts to acquire said employment were unproductive. I felt trapped in the Catch-22 of needing experience to get hired and having no way to get or demonstrate the experience.

This post is not meant to be a downer. It's meant to be a reminder to myself. Maybe I will write about this more in another post. But for right now, I'm going to call it good and finish with this note to my future self. Marc: Don't forget that time period in 2010 when you weren't sure that you were going to continue to be able to make the mortgage payment and wondered what you had done to yourself with your crazy ideas and choices you made. You were SCARED and uncertain. Now that you have pulled through it be mindful and grateful for the lessons you were taught and (I hope) learned. Don't forget how appreciative you were of the things you still had in your life like your health and food in the refrigerator. Don't forget how much you chose to pursue the less-is-more way of living. Don't forget what it *felt* like while you were experiencing that time of your life. Never, ever forget; it will make you a better person.

Thanks for checking in and keeping me honest and humble.