This shouldn’t be inspirational: Lessons from going broke with $33 in the bank

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I wrote a little about this before, but I decided to revisit this part of my life again, especially since I’m pushing myself to become a better writer.

Now, honestly, I do hope to  help people with this post, but yet, I don’t really want it to be a typical inspire-you-with-my-rock-bottom-adventure story.

That’s so boring. And frankly, it doesn’t work that well that way anymore.

So here goes. Let me tell you the real pain and struggle from going broke and doing what you love.

Last year I hit a point of going broke, like seriously fucking broke. I had exactly $33 in the bank at one point.

At the same time, I was suddenly diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Long story short, I lost a ton of weight in a month and became very weak. I woke up almost everyday drenched in sweat, with my hands trembling and heart beating too fast.

At the same time, I was unemployed and my blog was struggling to gain traction. My expenses beat my income.

How the hell did I spend my money? My girlfriend is not from around here. My money goes to air tickets to go to her and her to me. To save the money, I didn’t go out at all. When I I did, it was go for Bboying sessions. I ate at home. I never went out on weekends.

Eventually, I hit $33 in the bank. I never told anyone about it.

I felt it hard when I went to the clinic to get more thyroid medicine and my ATM card was rejected. I had to use my credit card. I don’t remember what the hell I did back then, but I managed to get some cash after that.

Fast forward to today: I’m doing way better now. I make a lot more money, so much so I cover my girlfriend’s medical expenses (she has a dangerous allergy). I’m stronger than before because I trained really hard to get my strength back. I can do 20 chin-ups now.

That’s the story.

Now, here’s the thing, please do not turn this into inspiration porn

There’re too many rag-to-riches stories out there. This is not one of them.

Billionaire today used to be suicidal and wanted to end it all.

Successful writer today had no inspiration and had to work five jobs.

Blah blah blah guy was homeless while he created his app or whatever.

It’s easy to read up on these guys and be super inspired. We all know the cliche lessons already, like how failure is a good thing, you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone, you need passion or whatever.

And that’s okay. But nobody ever talks about the ugly side of things.

So here it is.

It really, really, fucking sucks to hit rock-bottom and you should do whatever it takes to make sure you don’t ever hit that.

No, don’t tell yourself, “This is my rock-bottom moment. It’s a challenge I’ve to overcome” and then accept it like it’s some milestone in your journey.

The thing is, whether you accept it or not, it’s already happening in your life, so there’s no point talking about the ethereal elements.

Just focus and take action all the time.

Don’t quit your job just because some successful people did the same before. Quit your job only when it makes sense. You’d only be shooting yourself in the foot if you do it without thinking. You’d only be causing those around you to suffer if you’re responsible for them.

Don’t drop out of college if you think you can’t handle the pressure and stress of being a dropout.

Don’t rake up on credit card debt because of “YOLO” bullshit. Money does not come to you automatically unless it’s from a salary and saying you’d “worry about it later” is extremely dumb.

Sometimes it doesn’t let up

Throw karma out the window please. And shove those cosmic ideas up the universe’s ass.

Don’t waste your time thinking of shit like, “I have to suffer now, then things will get better.”

Look, challenges and obstacles are part of life. They come anyway. They attack the rich, famous, poor and even the depressed.

The choice to how you want to react to it is always yours. You’ve to take action, in all ways everyday to alleviate the pain.

So do whatever it takes to be prepared because success or even a break is never guaranteed. If my lack of money wasn’t bad enough, I had to deal with a fucked up thyroid. And not once did I think of giving up. I was pissed. But I didn’t think of giving up.

The only way out is to keep trying and take little steps. There’re no golden tickets waiting for you to solve all your damn problems. That’d be the equivalent of thinking, “Maybe I’ll win the lottery next week” and both you and I know that’s highly unlikely.

You gotta be thankful for the struggle even though it doesn’t feel great

Trust me when I say this: You’ve to be thankful for the struggle.

And no, you’re NOT going to appreciate this idea when you’re struggling. You’re probably going to be angry, sad, upset, annoyed and frustrated with the world. You’ll be thinking of giving up, and that brings along all the negative feelings.

But all of this, the shit you’re going through are meant to create the life you truly deserve to live. And no life is real if there’re no struggles. People who don’t struggle are also known as rich, pampered assholes with a silver spoon in their mouths.

You don’t want to be like them.

I’m not saying to be thankful everyday or even to keep looking at the bright side. I get it. We’re only human.

Take a break. Be angry. Vent it out in healthy ways.

Then continue working hard cause that’s the only way out.

No matter how hard it gets, you aren’t going to die from any of this

My last, beautiful lesson which I’ve told all my friends.

You’re not going to die from this.

Struggle all you like. Let challenges rain on you. Have obstacles hit you in the face. Allow toxic people to screw you over even.

You’re still human and that means you won’t die from little things like these.

As long as you’re a rational person who has the common sense to work hard and push forward, things will eventually come around and you’ll prevail. How long does it take? I don’t know. I’m not a psychic. Nobody is. Whoever says you won’t struggle anymore or promises you riches are nothing but liars.

And that is supposed to be your silver lining. Because all it takes is common sense.

You’ve brains. Make the right decisions. It doesn’t take a genius to make positive decisions.

You’ve guts and instincts. Trust in them if you ever have two competing ideas within you.

You know what honesty is, another element a genius doesn’t have to teach you on. So have integrity, keep a clear conscience and be nice to others.

If you’re a fucking, reckless moron who does stupid shit like borrowing money from a loan shark, gambles away his money, steals ideas from others or thinks he’s too good to humble himself to learn…

… then yeah, maybe you deserve to die, or more likely, not get any kind of success.

My story has been told

Sorry, I’m not going to say, “If I can do it, so can you.” or “I hope this helps guys!”

Because that’s been said and done ample times by many other people out there. Although, some of them are lying about their success. Take note of that.

Stories like these are only inspiration, and inspiration is ultimately useless if it’s only going to make you feel high for the next few days while nothing real comes out of it.

This is my story. Everybody has stories and we’re constantly writing new pages.

Dramatic moments. Fight scenes. Emotional breakups. Death. Epiphanies. Divine intervention. Mysteries. Cancer.

Just write yours already. All it takes is common sense.

If you want more real talk on inspiration and happiness, go to here.

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  1. natasa - September 19, 2014 8:29 pm

    I recently broke up with my boyfrend (6 years we been together), now i am afraid to even talk to anyone or sit with other men in classes, i am scared to talk with people, and generally i feel so low.

    • Sharon - September 21, 2014 2:41 am

      However bad it feels right now, please know that it will get a little better each day that you live through. People are around your life that will not make you sad but will help you through this if you let them.

  2. Sebastian Aiden Daniels - September 22, 2014 8:00 pm

    It sucks to be broke. You are absolutely right about that. It is definitely easy to glorify the rags to riches stories because we see the end result. The actual process of doing that sucks. The day to day grind of going from rags to riches sucks.

    I pursued acting for a little bit and I was naive and glorified the poor actor lifestyle, until I lived it. It was lonely, shitty, and a constant struggle. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

    I agree that you should just try to be kind, enjoy life, and build relationships. Life isn’t all about success even though many of us seem to make it about that, myself included at times.

    Getting traction to a blog is a struggle haha. Have a good one.

    • alden - September 23, 2014 5:22 am

      I know right?

      Success is individual anyway.


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