I’m not typically the type of person that writes about negative things, but in order to truly explain the entirety of the situation, I kind of have to explain the bad before I can get to the good. I’ve only really told my parents and one of my cousins about this situation, so it feels almost awkward to talk about this so candidly.
Overall, I just want to get this story off of my chest as it’s something that has truly changed me and my perception of people and family. I don’t like to think of myself as a selfish individual. To be honest and frank, I do my best to help the people in my life with whatever problems they could potentially be experiencing, within good reason and measure, of course. This incident actually occurred last year around this time (October 6th to be precise) that a relative of mine contacted me via text message to ask me for some help.
Naturally, I asked what the problem was and they responded by telling me that they needed my help and were wondering if they could borrow money. I was extremely hesitant to say the least, as I didn’t know how they got into the situation they were in, nor was I confident or sure about when (and/or IF) they could pay me back. They then proceeded to tell me about how they were low on rent money this month, and that they were also expecting to work overtime the following month and would have more than enough to pay me back with. Rather than explaining the scrupulous details about the conversation we had, as you can imagine, I lent them the money. I thought about writing out a contract that explained our conversation, that I was lending them $500 and that they would be paying me back by the end of the following month; but figured that we were family and I didn’t need to do such a thing.
Boy, was I wrong. A month later, I called my relative, sent text messages, and never got a single reply back. To this very day, I still haven’t heard anything from them; besides the various postings I see them in on Facebook. To say the least, at that point in time, I was very livid. I thought about filing a claim in small claims court, but refrained from doing so as I felt as though they would eventually “do the right thing”. I asked for an extension on paying my rent so that I could lend them the money, and I even went through my own little financial dilemma due to the fact that I lent this person money – but at the end of the day, it appears that this individual could sleep at night without a problem or care.
I think that was the turning point for me, by which I came to the conclusion that in a sense “family”, is just a word to some people. If this is how “family” treats its own, I can tell you can I want no single part of it. To be honest, I believe that’s what’s been a major contender in the reason behind why I rarely head down to Portland to see my relatives. Sure, this was a single, isolated incident, but it’s really managed to leave a very bad taste in my mouth. I’m fortunate enough to know that I have friends that would never do something like this to me, so for a long period of time, I focused on those relationships more than any others.
This last year has been a very rough year, financially, for me. Fortunately, the tides have turned in my favor and my bank account is back to the point where I don’t need to worry about my finances or bills. This sense of stability has also allowed me to overlook the $500 “loan”, and just label it as a once-in-a-lifetime gift, as they will never receive any sort of assistance from me again. To be honest, I thought that this event would sully my desire to help others in times of need, but it hasn’t. It’s definitely made me wiser, and a bit more cautious, but it hasn’t altered the fact that I take pleasure in helping my friends and closest relatives whenever I can. In the end, I feel blessed, and feel as though I can truly distinguish who is in my life for the long-haul, and who’s just there to bum a ride.
I’m also proud to announce that I have made it my personal and financial goal to purchase my first house within the next five years. There is still plenty of time remaining before I turn 35, but I’m most definitely excited about where the future will take me. I already have ideas of the type of house I want and its general size, so now I just need to focus on saving and deciding on a permanent location. Thanks again to everyone that’s actively in my life and the handful of you that have given me so much knowledge about the housing market/economy thus far. I’m sure I’ll keep you posted as the time draws closer.