Monday, June 7, 2010

Credit Cards: A Love Story Gone Bad

My pardon for not posting earlier, but I've been on the phone. Busy talking with lots of wonderful people asking me for money. Clearly I was mistaken about this whole credit thing. They gave me all this money and now they want me to pay it back?! And by the volume of calls I've been receiving, they really really want me to pay them back. Sooner rather than later.

Let's begin at the beginning, no not the very beginning. More like the middle. The beginning of the end. That's more like it. The beginning of the end of my Financial Freedom. The beginning of "THE DEBT" - soon to be a major minor mini-series which is going to pay off my debt. Then it's back for "Financial Freedom II: New beginnings", or "Fresh Start". Something just cheesedicky enough that people will lap up like a big bowl of milk and will get me on The Oprah to promote it. And once I get on The Oprah I will be good enough.

I owe two credit institutions money. Discover, the crazies from Utah - I'm not even sure they are from Utah*, but the phone calls come from there. I envision of a bunch of blond haired, blued eyed, un-caffeinated polygamists hanging out talking about converting everyone to the Church of Latter Day Saints between leg breaking calls and naps. And the fantastic folks at Citi. Uppity hyper caffeinated New Yorkers who talk about playing squash and weekends gardening at their hideaways in Connecticut. Three different accounts with the Citi folk. I didn't even know one of my cards was with Citi. I do now.

I can't believe how much money these two companies lent me. I haven't had a real job in years. Since 2002 I believe. Really I was in a major funk, lost, unhappy for the most part, certainly not motivated to make a living. Why should I? These companies were telling me it was okay to be depressed, okay not to work. They were rewarding me for it. They just kept upping my credit lines. Juggling from one account to the other. Borrowing money from Citi to payoff Citi. Revolving credit, oh you sweet temptress, how you lured me into your web.

I love talking to these people. I get to practice Wizard School techniques in lieu of telling them to go fuck themselves. The Citi folks especially. God love those brave men and women that go into the collection world for credit cards these days. One of the gals had the audacity to tell me I should move to a cheaper place so I can start paying them off. Great idea, thanks for the advice. Mental midgets flying around on corporate jets from vacation home to vacation home after a hard week in their penthouse office and I should go live with seven other dudes in a three bedroom fixer upper in Palmdale? Right on it ma'am. I'm so sorry to think I deserve my lavish one bedroom apartment in Santa Monica. You're right, I've sinned against you and to hell I should go.**

And you Discover, you're the more demanding lady. You’re the little dog with a big bark. Sure you're both whores, but you were the known whore. Everyone knows you'll sleep around with anyone. Throwing your money around to any schmuck, myself included. And then putting the squeeze on the dupe when he can't pay it back. I knew you were diseased. That's why I used you last. After rolling around with you, my reputation would be sullied. Forgive me I was desperate. The last thing I purchased on credit was a transmission for my Volvo. Yes spending wildly on hookers and eight balls was a bit of a tale I told my mom just to be cool.

Does anyone wonder why these companies went south? Had to take out loans (grafts?) from the Federal Government? I was irresponsible with my credit. Most definitely I was, but these guys were nuts. Or geniuses. What a country. Run yourself into the ground with a heaps and heaps of bad loans and then have the Feds rush in on their magical stallion and save the day. Genius.

Hell I want the Feds to come rescue me from this self imposed burden. Where's my grant Obama? I'm going to school to learn how to operate in this world, how to be a responsible man operating with integrity. I am back and better than ever. I'm writing again. Getting work here and there. Have had a few very loving angels help me out with their generosity to pay my rent, bills and tuition. Getting out from the haze I put myself in soon after a few traumatic events. I am back on my feet. What are the credit card companies doing?

Fifty billion dollars, that's $50,000,000,000.00. That is a lot of zeros that Citi received (please see footnote). Discover considerably less, but still in the billions, yes billions with a B. I didn't even come close to borrowing that and you people call me as many as 15 times a day. How many times a day is Obama calling you? Are you taking the call?. Don't worry, it's okay to duck one when you don't feel like talking. I don't blame you. They have to be calling every minute, every second, multiple calls per second. I hope they are calling, that's taxpayer (read - not me) money. $50,000,000,000.00 I just had to type it again. Wow. It's a little disheartening, I don't feel so special, clearly you were giving a lot of people way too much money. It wasn't just me, sniff, sniff. I thought we had something between us Citi, I thought you'd be different. Classier, more refined than the Discover whores. Nope, spreading your legs all over town. Giving not just to this depressed lounge about, but a whole lot of others. That must be a lot of tacos and Bud. And now you want me to pay you back? Wasn't the dance enough? Time to move on from each other. Wash our hands of this whole relationship. We had some good times. We laughed. We both looked really good. The places we went, the food, the drink, the people. The high life was never easier.

There's no way I am paying these guys back all the money they say I owe. I've been reading up on it, and they don't seem to expect all the money back. Phew. Thousands of dollars in fees and fines and laughable interest rates. Yeah sure I'm going to pay the 29 interest on my debts. Are you high? What's your points on the governmental pie your chewing on? What is the compounded interest on $50,000,000,000.00 a month anyway? That could pay for a few more teachers I bet.

Come on party people the credit rave is over. The ecstasy has worn off, the glow stick has dimmed, it's time to spend what I earn, or less. And the oppressive thumb of credit companies is not going to keep this cowboy down. I'm hung-over from the bad choices we both made. Let's shake hands, say our goodbyes and move on. No walk of shame, but possibly an STD test. We can all hold our heads high, it was a great romp. I'm not paying any additional fees for our bad choices. I'll pay you when I have the money. I’ve even started to a little. Threats be damned. What can you twist my arm with? Take the slightly used transmission from my 1994 Volvo station wagon? She is a beauty I'll give you that, but I'm going to have to borrow your Mercedes to get to work.

Now it's time to get back with our lives. Start doing things that matter to me. And your attempts to put your foot on my throat, to recapture past glories isn't going to work. So stop it. It's embarrassing. And I gotta say, you seem a little desperate. Which is not an attractive quality in anybody.

So thank you for the life lessons. I know you are most welcome for the one's I have taught you. Let's not talk anymore. If you need to say anything just write me. And I'll do the same.

To Financial Freedom for you and me, I bid you a fond farewell,
The Bitter Spiritualist


*I'm not sure of any of my facts or figures, I could have done some research, got some of the facts and figures right, even in the ballpark, but I don't really give a fuck. About facts that is, ballparks that's another story.

** Not that Palmdale is hell. I don't think I've been there, it just seems really hot.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Feedback Fun

Criticism polishes my mirror. - Rumi
A hammer smashes it. - BS

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over the same way and expecting a different outcome. This notion has been with me for as long as I can remember. I heard it first in my youth, either from that manic blonde lesbian and her insanity stopping infomercial, or a relative in the program. And when an Irishman references the program, he means AA.

It dawned on me a short while back that I was a practicing Insanist. I know I am monkey butt nuts, but insane? It surprised me. The realization came to me while looking at a handout from Wizard School. The handout detailed the path to manifesting success. The point that struck me was receiving feedback, adjusting my plan accordingly and taking action. Feedback? Hmmmmmm…..

Feedback wasn’t new to me, just what to do with it. In the past I would store it in my memory bank to use later as a judgment, give a big "fuck you I know it all" response or ignore it entirely. As I’ve detailed I am making strides to venture out of my comfort zone* and into the world, so new skills are needed. Using Feedback to my advantage is a skill that rings a big bell for me.

I could take any number of examples from my prior life, so I'll use none. The Universe kept saying "Hey shithead, this isn't fucking working. Are you happy? Getting what you want? No? How about trying something different, a new approach." I'm not being hard on myself, I do realize life is perfect, even when it sucks sun baked egg salad flavored arse. Yet I had a good run, no, a great run, at ignoring the Universe. She'd write, call, shake, rattle and roll me, but I would just not answer. I was fucking busy being miserable. And for those of you who've not been miserable for long stretches, it takes a lot of time and energy. It's a full time job, and I was working a double shift. Who had time for feedback assessment, I was to busy being a victim of my circumstances.

I was frozen by my thoughts. I am embarrassed to write that I was worried what others thought of me, in the smallest and the biggest of ways. I would lie to myself and others to appear more together, and that would take the wind out of my sails. So I had very little feedback from the Universe. And what I got, I generally ignored and operated out of fear. My world became very small, and I suppose “safe”. By safe I mean the aches and pains were dulled to manageable levels. Exactly what I needed at that time. I need that no longer.

I've been practicing this new skill, actually listening to the feedback and taking actions based on the new information. The key is taking action. To get feedback, I must take action. How can the Universe provide guidance if I am sitting around waiting for something to happen? It can't, trust me. I sat around for years, taking little action and I received little feedback.

Jolly (yes pet names are okay posts at BS), my courageous beautiful Mom's dog is a great example of getting feedback, taking action, getting feedback and trying something else, until in works. He is constantly taking action and seeing what happens. Someone tells him no, or pats him on the head, either way he takes it in and keeps on moving forward, toward his goal. I’m sure his goals aren’t just to drive my Mom bonkers, just to get what he wants. Like sleeping on the couch, or going for a walk, or having a snack, or checking out what’s so interesting atop the dining room table. And he trusts his heart, people give him feedback, and he tries a new way to achieve his goal. Being cute and furry really helps his cause I've noticed.

That is an important point, no not the furry cute part, the part about trusting myself, trusting my heart. The old adage, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, comes to mind. Sure it's all part of the big picture, yet I have to be vigilant on who I share my dreams with. Hopefully they want what is best for me, yet only I know what my heart truly desires. That is not to say I need to be a secret squirrel or ignore what is said, just a realization that only I know what is for my highest good.

My eyes, ears and heart are open to feedback. It comes in all shapes and sizes, it comes to me in every moment from the Universe. I just have to keep looking, continue to be brave, take action, and trust my heart. Knowing that there is no right or wrong, just opportunities to grow and trust. And have fun!!! God have I been taking myself very serious lately, part of the story I am releasing. I am no longer insane, just more and more bananas.

Love, Light, Laughs and Bacon Sandwiches,

*There really isn’t much comfort in a comfort zone. A new name is in order. The terror zone? The numb zone? The walled off shut off obsessive about everything and nothing zone? The unconscious zone? Nope. None of those work. Hmmmmmm......... I'm smelling an opportunity for some reader feedback!