We All Can Hit Bottom Unintentionally, But Bouncing Is A Choice

I hear from people all the time where they’ll parley why their circumstances are “Oh so much harder.” than anything I may have been through. More often than not the person truly believes the odds are so stacked against them there is no way as to dig themselves out.

One of the most common I hear is: They tried this, then that happened, so they stopped. Or, they tried again and something worse happened, so of course this means the decks of the universe are stacked against them, and they should just accept what the universe is now dishing out. After all: “You can’t fight the universe” they’ll say.

That’s rubbish, and nothing more than an excuse big enough that they can hold onto while hoping it’s vague enough that the recipient of such hogwash won’t dare question, or call them on it.

If you think you can’t recover when you’ve been hit so hard, and sank so low, that down now looks up? Trust me you can and here’s just one of the examples that happened to me.

Personally I was just recovering from a devastating financial loss. So detrimental was this to my personal wealth not only did I lose everything, I was down to riding a borrowed 10 speed road bike during the winter to travel 3 towns over to visit my then new girlfriend. (now my wife) I lost everything. I was not some kid, I was in my 30’s. And this was again not my first time with dealing with adversity.

After about a year of bouncing around trying to find either employment or make my own I finally caught a break. I landed a position in a different industry than I specialized in previously. For the first time in quite a while I had a weekly income. However, what I did not have since I had lost everything was a bank account. There was no need for one since all I had was what I had in my pocket. (yes, that little.)

With my first paycheck I did what anyone would do: I went to a local bank and opened an account to cash and keep it. Pretty simple stuff. Until about two days later when I received a letter from the bank. Inside it was a check for the full amount I deposited with a letter stating (I’m paraphrasing) “My money as a customer was not welcome at their bank. Thanks, but here’s your money and – we’ve closed the account.”

You couldn’t get a feeling in your gut any lower than mine was in reading that letter. I had just felt as if I was turning a corner and here was a bank telling me my money was no good, find somewhere else to put it. I was in shambles.

I gathered myself up and went to the branch and asked for the manager that sent me the notice. When we talked I almost couldn’t find the words to plead my case. I didn’t try to hide anything or make up some cockamamie story why this was an outrage. I just pleaded my case for why I needed a bank to just cash my check and keep it safe.

The manager (Holly was her name) told me that because of my prior circumstances (inability to pay bills therefore going into collections) their policy was with a savings account I would have access to a checking account and that was at issue. You want to talk about low, I pleaded that I would not, nor needed a checking account. I would use only money orders and that was absolutely fine by me. All I wanted was a place to cash my check and have a savings account.

After what seemed like a lifetime she agreed on her word as manager that I could open a savings account only. However, this was on her authority and if for any reason she found I was trying to get one around her via another office or bank she would end any and all relations there. I agreed and thanked her.

Less than 5 years after that incident not only was I back on my feet, but I was making up lost ground at a breakneck pace. Not long after I drove by that very branch to remember that time and reminisce about how that manager Holly went against the rules and gave me a chance. (I still give thanks in my private times)

What prompted the desire to reminisce that scene was brought on for what I had just done moments earlier.

I had just left the local Porsche® dealers showroom floor where I was deciding whether or not to buy that car I always wanted. This time there was no need for a bank, if I wanted the car which was right there on the showroom floor, I could just write a check for it – in full. (And no, It would not have bounced for those of you who may be snickering)

In the end there I was fully recovered where now other banks and managers were approaching me to deposit or do business in their banks where not that long ago; not only would they show me the door, they might not have even opened it in the first place. And as for the car?

I learned my lesson the first time. Now that I could afford that goal I wanted to see if I learned anything from it. So right there I decided and started immediately on my new goal. Not needing to buy something to prove to others – I could.

I decided the most mature thing to do was to do exactly what helped get me back there. Keeping my money where it was, in the bank.

I think Holly would agree.

© 2014 Mark St.Cyr