Monday, March 29, 2010

"You know I couldn't last... someone please take me home..."

There's nothing like a good Morrissey lyric when you want to convey internal drama.

Lately I've been constantly reminded of just how far beyond my means I live here. New York bleeding me dry and making me feel like a failure most of the time in this blog profile is no joke. Within the last few weeks that feeling has only increased ten-fold.

As I've written about before, I made a choice to live in New York. And despite any unpleasantness that I've come to associate with the price of living here, it may be the best choice I've ever made for myself. Now, and perhaps for the first time seriously, I'm questioning if I should stay here.

I still love it. I love Brooklyn. I love the shops and restaurants in my neighborhood. I love the walking. I hate that my paycheck can barely cover my bills. I hate that despite my efforts and mad budgeting to get my debt in check, I'm constantly throwing away money on Chase bank fees because I just couldn't quite make the money work again this month. Because, no matter what I do, I find myself in the red.

I know that it probably sounds like a simple solution -- spend less money. And let me tell you that I've done that. I can actually live on an obscenely small amount of money between pay checks, particularly if there's already food in the house. I've eaten boxed macaroni and cheese and locked myself in my apartment on the weekends. I've done almost everything I can think of. But I can't get caught up, let alone ahead. I've borrowed money from my generous father ad nauseum that gets recorded in a little notebook in his desk. He loves that notebook. I want to set it on fire.

I'm older and wiser now, enough to know that this cycle of debt can't go on forever. At some point - possibly in the next few months - I will need to say, okay, New York, you've broken me. I can't do this anymore. If I don't stop myself I don't know what will happen. It may be me in a rubber room. That sounds entirely feasible.

And then, what?, I just suck it up and... go? Just like that? I just move. Away from New York. My home. For as much as I've talked about it, I can't ACTUALLY imagine not living here anymore. This place that I love to hate. Oh, how that phrase resonates in every area of my life.


A New Beginning said...

I just moved from Manhattan in 2008. I have to tell you I know EXACTLY what you are going thru. I loved Manhattan, and at the same time hated it. I lived in Chelsea, and I felt as though I just couldn't make the move away from the place I had grown to call Home. However, when I thought about what I was doing to not only my bank account, but also my psyche I knew I had to say goodbye. It was one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make, but at the same time, one of the best decisions I made. I am so happy where I am now. Not only do I thank myself for making that decision, but my finances and psyche thank me too lol. ;) Once you make the decision, it becomes a lot easier to move forward. I walked away feeling victorious because I made the decision to leave on my own. ;)


Interesting post and also the first comment. Although I'm in glorious Oregon, a co-worker lived in NYC and she called it an addicting drug she can't get out of her system. It actually sounds very romantic for a young lady to live there.

But, A New Beginning is right- you've been there, conquered the city (well, let's pretend), and now can say a sorrowful good-by on your terms. And no matter where you go in life, you'll always have New York (with apologies to Bogie).

PlaysOneonTV said...

Thanks, Beginning and Blazer, for your comments. I am concerned a bit that I need to make the decision to leave for myself, before I begin to feel pushed out. And I'm probably getting mighty close to that anyway. I've unofficially given myself another two months to really look at all options and go from there. Appreciate your encouragement!

A New Beginning said...

I just happened on your blog last week, but am now a follower. You are very right to give yourself a few months to really figure out if this is the place for you. I did that, but didn't put an end date on it, so then stayed another two months. So, my advice is make sure there is an end date to your plan, and then stick with it. It will be one of the hardest decision you will probably make in your life, but I guarantee if you really take the time to search for the right answer for you, it will be the best decision of your life to make. ;) Hang in there, and I am so glad that I came across your blog. ;)

PlaysOneonTV said...

I am, too! Thanks for your advice!

The Working Girl said...

Listen, I live in Jacksonville, Florida and I have to live paycheck to paycheck. You're not out of the ordinary! Plus you're living in NY - bonus!

I started my blog to blog out of debt. It kinda worked. I don't think there's a way to live without just a smidge of credit card debt!

Cut yourself some slack and give yourself the time to figure it out. In the meantime, find a credit union or a better bank. I refuse to pay banking fees when there are so many other user-friendly options!

Explore your options - if you've done New York you can do anything anywhere! Cheesy as that sounds, you know it's true.