The post I’ve been putting off for weeks. I experienced some recent losses lately…
The second was the loss of someone I’ve been friends with for over 15 years. His name was Ryan, he lived just a couple miles away from me when I lived on Long Island. Like me, he started out working in a regional grocery store and wasn’t sure about his future career. He eventually started landing writing gigs, moved to NYC, and became CEO of the site Manhattan Digest. He also was into food blogging and wasn’t ashamed about being who he was. I saw some messages from 2011 we exchanged where he was struggling to make any money from writing. Only 34 years old and it was Covid-related. It all happened so quick, he posted regular social media updates of what was happening. Then all of a sudden the posts stopped. I learned he passed from one of our mutual friends, and saw several posts from his sister on his status later on. I cried and just wasn’t sure how process it all. I thought maybe I’d see him again next time I went to NYC.
The first was the loss of one of my aunts, she was 74 and had some health problems. I was a lot closer to her as a child and leading up to the time my father passed away. Then we kind of lost touch. I called her once after I moved to Texas, she was friendly as always. We just didn’t have a ton to talk about. No one in the family told me either via phone or even sent me a message. I learned 2 weeks after it happened via Facebook. I was quite upset about that, felt like the wind got knocked out of me. I also wasn’t able to attend or even see the service, there also was a bad snowstorm in NY at the same so even if I flew it probably would’ve been delayed. I planned to visit last year during my planned trip to see my mom for her 60th birthday. Then Covid happened and that trip got cancelled. I haven’t seen family on my father’s side in almost 5 years (I wish we were closer than we are but it is what it is), have no siblings, and on my mom’s side no one in person for over 800 days.
Then yesterday a guy I went on two dates with and messaged back and forth daily for 2 weeks said he felt like something was missing and didn’t think another date was right for us. I read the text literally after I finished brunch with a friend and was grabbing a few drinks. Maybe I drank a little more than I should have. It’s hard to date during a pandemic, and the last couple guys I had a strong interest in dating really left me feeling broken. I try to forget bad past experiences, but they seem to keep happening over and over again. Then a different guy I matched with, exchanged some messages with for half the day and was having a somewhat normal conversation with drops “sorry to do this but I just ended a relationship recently and I thought I was ready but I don’t think so now”. We were just supposed to meet for a beverage… Straight people have it a lot easier. February has been a rough month, I’m glad it’s almost over.
So let’s move onto personal finances.
401K: $117,738 (including my pending contribution)
Roth IRA: $10,239
M1 Acct: $1,452
Total Investments $130,647
I was tempted to touch the emergency fund to cover a small credit card balance or more quickly contribute to the Roth IRA 2020 cutoff but decided not to. The market had a couple of rough days last week. Still managed to grow my portfolio by $4,606 or 3.65% higher than last month. Had another vet bill to the tune of $250, this time for some annual tests plus treatment for some growth in her ear. So that, plus a $195 tax bill, several dates, the $200 dehumidifer, and a meal plan service I signed up for. Just a year ago I had $80k in retirement and $6,975 in debt. My net worth is up 79% from 2/22/2020, still not where I want it to be, but still nothing to scoff at. I read somewhere that once you pass the age of 30 you should only compare yourself to where you were previously, not to others. In your 20s, you and your peers are beginning from generally the same starting line but so many things are unique to individual situations after that.
I’m probably on the border of a mid-life crisis. Not sure if I should stay in this apartment, in this city, heck even in the state of Texas. Not sure if I should go for a low cost STEM related degee online, or maybe work on my skills in my current industry. Maybe I need to travel somewhere, been super stir crazy. Still no word yet on a date for the vaccine. I registered in two separate counties, one last week and the first in late January. Things could be a lot worse I know. I didn’t lose power, or get stuck with a $700 electricity bill like Harlan of Out and Out (terrific travel / points / lifestyle / personal finance site) did. I watched someone I follow on YouTube whose girlfriend got sick and had to be hospitalized. He paid for her rent for a month but he’s also on unemployment. Yikes!
In spite of this I did have a good weekend in Deep Ellum. Cool place but a bit more congested than I’m used to in the burbs. Anywhere you have to circle the streets 4 or 5 times to find a paid parking spot on the street or pay even more to use a parking lot a bit extra to me. Either way cool place to grab drinks/food, shoot the shit, and admire the art. North Dallas lacks culture. I’m looking forward to March, doing a mental reset and to start making some solid gains.
Last but not least I hope good things are happening in your lives. Hard to believe I’ve been blogging here for almost 9 years. Net worth is up almost 4X in that timeframe and that’s with buying 2 new cars…. I was such a hot mess back in the early days…