Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

I found a new place to live today, after a relaxing night of cuddling and dinner with an overworked Type Geek, I checked out an apartment share close to his neighborhood.

You see, in the last several years I went from being a shoestring budget entrepreneur with a small business and a small condo I owned in an up and coming neighborhood to a bankrupt entrepreneur with a failed business and condo in foreclosure. The recession and housing burst sucked, I won’t lie. It has been a rough couple of years watching my housing value disintegrate to nearly 60% less than what I paid for it, while the neighborhood became even more unstable than it was when I moved it. Back then, 4.5 years ago, there wasn’t violent crime, there was only a huge immigrant population and no Starbucks. But, a Starbucks was planned, less than a mile from my condo, so the purchase made sense.

Only, 6 months later, the recession kicked in and that mixed used hotel development with the Starbucks, well, it pulled out and went elsewhere, and so did my equity. A couple of schwag bean joints opened up, all with the potential to have good coffee, but without the dedication to actually doing so, so I gave up on finding real coffee in my neighborhood. Then began the graffiti, and the random men following me on the streets,my dog getting attacked my strays, the stolen plants from outside my door and finally, the drive by shootings. I’m done. I never would have been able to sell for what I paid and by the point I needed to get out for sanities sake, my business was in the state of being dissolved.

I had been holding on by a string, wading through the recession and the competition from Amazon (any retail business these days hears, “but Amazon has it for this much”. Sure they do, because they buy 100x more than I do and get the distributer pricing and sell to you at wholesale. I get wholesale pricing… I can’t sell to you for less than I pay!) So, eventually the string began to disentegrate. Perhaps where I am today is an inevitable, however, having my mother proclaim herself emancipated from my father, and moving in with me (no asking, just proclaiming), I was forced to use my entire savings, take out personal loans from friends and barter for the remaining needed in order to build out a second bedroom in my condo. The promise was that she would contribute once here. I told her I was not in the financial state to do this, but that I would, if she could help once she arrived. She stayed 3 weeks. She complained the entire time and then left, without apology. I saw not one dime to replace or help pay towards the loans I now had over my head.

Within months I was defaulted on my condo. I eventually gave up wanting to renegotiate my loan because frankly, I wanted out of the neighborhood anyway. Short Sell? The unit above me has been trying to short sell for a year. It isn’t happening. No one is buying in this neighborhood. So, I began seriously looking at apartments a few months ago. The dog has presented a hurdle that 4.5 years ago wasn’t an issue. Now it is a renters market though. Things are harder, more expensive.

Type Geek told me that I might need to bite the bullet and accept that living with someone might be a viable and potentially attractive alternative to a tiny studio, which at this point was becoming all I could afford. I found a loft I loved. The owner said no to the dog. I made appointments to see various places, only to have the potential roommates flake several times. So, on this morning, since I was close by the apartment I was to view this weekend, I decided to see if I could check it out early, since I was around. Hardwood floors, dining room, back deck, fenced in back yard, dog friendly, flat-mate rooms on different floors so built-in privacy, laundry on site, quiet residential, close to good coffee, good food and… Type Geek. Dog will have company. I will have a room with sunlight again. I will have a kitchen I can cook in. I will have a yard to spend time in and grow my tomatoes. I knew immediatly that I would be able to live there. We shook hands and agreed to finish the paperwork in 15 days. Sigh. Now, I call the mortgage company and see if they will pay towards my move. There is this great thing that Obama’s legislation helped create, a relocation reimbursement for deed in leiu properties. Even if it is only $1,000, that is incredible. I am so happy and so relieved. It is truly the beginning of a shiny new era in Student Driver’s life.

Read Full Post »

I am NOT this high maintenance, however, these are some of the people which he is used to dealing with everyday. He fell into café ownership after college. First, a small food establishment and then a successful chain of franchised coffee shops, which he managed to break away from the corporate headquarters and create strong independent identities for. He’s impressive. A late bloomer who seems to be coming into his own personal comfort zone in his mid thirties.

We met at a small bistro. He rose from the table for a brief but friendly hug. Setting the tone. I always prefer hugs upon meeting someone. Hand shakes are so formal, they immediately create distance, a physical and emotional barrier that is impossible to break through in only 1 hour. My belief is, you have one hour to show me who you are, without pretense, without apologies. It’s like the leading paragraph of a juicy novel. Hook me. Otherwise, I won’t be interested in those other chapters. Hell, like Cormac McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses, if you try to hard, I might just get lost in your language and writing style, finding myself circling your first sentences over and over for some sense of honest simplicity, depth and meaning. Just be YOURSELF. Don’t try to impress me and don’t assume I am going to rip out your heart and serve it up like an exotic carpaccio to my girl friends. We all have pasts, we all have baggage, or at least we should. We need to live life in order to know who we are.

Late Bloomer and I started talking about all those “off-limits” topics. The ones I like. Exes, work, sex, religion. It was easy conversation. He thought he was the wrong thing by talking about his recent break up and how heart-broken he is over it. I wanted him to talk about it. I wanted him to vocalize where he is at and how he feels, internalizing isn’t good for anyone, especially post break up. Having someone to open up too and relate too is important. He meets a disproportionate number of undergrads due to the nature of his business and those people just can’t relate.

We had 4 cocktails. A light nosh of mussels for me and chicken for him. He wanted to smell my mussels, because he had never had one. He proclaimed, “I.AM.JEW”, therefore, no swine, no shellfish. He made me laugh when he proclaimed that once life is found on Mars, he is forsaking his faith and heading right to the nearest seafood restaurant for a lobster. Cockroach of the sea. Upon the end of the date, I asked if I could walk him to his car. He laughed at that, “YOU are going to walk ME to my car? I will walk YOU to the train.”  It’s habit, taking control in romantic scenarios. It’s what a I did for all of my years with women.

As we turned the corner to the train, while making more small talk and pleasantries, I commented, off the cuff, that, “Under normal circumstances, I would kiss you, BUT, considering where you are, I am not sure it’s what you would want or need at the moment.” He mumbled that I could kiss him. So, I stopped him and for a few minutes was reminded of how short I am while I tip-toed to put my lips against his, nearly 9 inches higher than where I stood. As I walked away, I reflected on how he was my age and had far less romantic experience, but far more success. Perhaps this lack of romantic diversion in his twenties allowed him the freedom to focus and create the professional success he has now. I think it’s possible that many of us have it all wrong, the order of things. I am glad for my experience, but I often feel light years away from any professional success due to the time I spent nurturing failed relationships. What’s the answer? Maybe there is no special equation or perfect set of guidelines. Late Bloomer, he’s doing better than he thinks he is. He’ll get past this broken heart and be all the stronger for it. In the end, this doesn’t define him, because he is already clearly defined as a man, as a business person, as a brother, as a son and as a friend to many. The partner and lover, that will come and only enhance what he already has. I get on the train aware that I am a little bit envious of him and of the girl who he eventually finds.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: