On Staring Down Bankruptcy, Failure, and Rock Bottom

I didn’t know my grand adventure would lead me here. Obviously, I knew better, and it was fairly apparent the entire time, but there’s a different kind of gravity when the gradually-then-suddenly awaiting ruin smacks you in the face. The realization that you’re at a point of inevitable disaster never seems like it came with enough warning. Let’s talk about that.

This may well be the last post I write for this blog. Think of that not as a formal announcement, but as a hypothesis.

See, a couple years ago, I set out on this grand adventure to become a rich and famous and beloved comedian-entertainer-entrepreneur-YouTuber thing. It turns out I kind of suck at a lot of those things. Not necessarily because I’m an untalented, uncreative hack, but because I lacked direction, consistency, and, honestly, motivation for a lot of it.

It’s a struggle – a daily struggle – to strike out on your own and build a career in a field you know nothing about and have no connections within. Add to it that I live in one of the emptiest, blandest places on the planet, can’t rely on good looks and high self-esteem, and have no eye for aesthestics, and you have a recipe for struggle and hardship.

Now add some mental health disorders – a bit of ADD, bipolar depression, and crippling anxiety – and you have me.

One giant failure.

Matter of fact, the only thing I’ve really been successful at so far is selling a handful of t-shirts and maxing out nearly every credit card I have. Oh, and I was also successful at convincing myself that I was doing pretty well for myself, for a while.

It’s been a bucket of laughs, but that leaves me in a precarious position.

But I’m lucky. Kind of. We’ll find out how lucky, exactly, in the next few weeks.

On Staring Down Bankruptcy, Failure, and Rock Bottom / Michael Noker / This may well be my last blog post. In which I talk about how I've destroyed my life as a self-employed creative type, what appears to be my final shot at not declaring bankruptcy, and my general state of malaise.

Disaster or Perfection: Where does my karma stand?

I’m lucky in that I worked my ass off for the first few years of my career. I built connections, scraped my way up the career ladder rungs, and never pissed anybody off (to my knowledge). I volunteered with a billion different organizations, raised a whole bunch of money, and granted a lot of favors.

Thing is, I did all of that in my hometown.

None of that carries over to other communities. As many friends as I have in Albuquerque, few have any power and I haven’t really shown them what I’m capable of. El Paso feels like even more of a desert when it comes to racking up achievements.

So I’m making a last-ditch effort to return to my hometown.

I found out recently that my previous employer has a job opening. And I’m going after it. It’s a significant raise from my previous salary, which makes it a challenge to get, but as long as I worked hard and smart enough while I was there, I should get it.

If I do, that gives me the means to pay off all the debt I’ve racked up. It’s also an excellent market to go back into real estate. Oh, and did I mention that I could also continue running my business on the side? And get my boyfriend a significant pay raise in a new job with a better organization that has better benefits? And potentially even return to my old house, which has the best deal on rent in the town and one of the nicest and most perfect layouts? And a hot tub? In one of the most beautiful places on the planet?

Yeah. Pretty sweet, right?

The alternative, of course, is that I don’t get the job, keep having to job search in El Paso, and hope that by some grace of God I get hired at a fast food joint that pays me enough to cover my bills in return for flipping burgers.

(I say this because I was turned down for a job as a cashier at a grocery store. By El Paso standards, I’m not qualified to be a cashier. At a grocery store. I’ve run two resort condominiums and overseen million-dollar government contracts, but I can’t bag groceries.)

And if fast food falls through, it’s time for me to start contacting bankruptcy attorneys.

So that’s where I am.

Either on the verge of a perfect, joyful, fulfilling life, or facing down certain financial ruin.

No sweat, right?

I’ll try my hardest to update this when I have news (good or bad), but don’t hold it against me if I can’t bring myself to publish my current situation. It’s taken me about a month to be able to say all of this out loud – and only once I found what appears to be a good, solid last chance.

Take care, y’all. I still love you all.

1 comment on “On Staring Down Bankruptcy, Failure, and Rock Bottom”

  1. Patrick Cleary Reply

    Ah, crap. That’s really rough. Doing the entrepreneur thing, or the working in the arts thing, or even the self-employed contractor thing is really difficult, and put that into an economically-depressed area, and that’s an uphill climb.

    I really hope you’re able to get the new gig and get back to where things are good for you financially. Fingers crossed that this leads to a step up for you both and that you’re kicking back in the hot tub being happy at all that’s transpired very soon.

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