Personal Post: Life After Debt.

It Was A Year of Work, Work, Work, But Now It’s Time For Something Completely Different.

Rice and Beans.

Hello! It’s been a year since I was last here. Let’s talk about my favorite topic: work and hobbies (not this again).

Three years ago, I was lamenting that a life of “Extreme Ownership” might be problematic. Two years ago, I had reached a place where hobbies and laziness were okay, especially given how my professional life had started with long hours and low pay.

Well here I am at it again folks!

The past year would be the envy of any rise and grind social media influencer. After realizing that my student loan debt was beyond ridiculous and was making me beyond broke, I decided to clamp down and decimate it. I switched jobs, negotiated pay raises, worked three different places, spent 23 out of a possible 52 weekends earning extra cash, and made rice and beans a staple of my diet.

Obviously, there was little time for anything else.

Unfortunately, I could not afford the cilantro depicted.

Why was I willing to do it? Mostly spite and resentment, the two emotions that fed me just as much as my deprived grocery budget.


Somehow I had been tricked. Me. Mister Cynical-Smarty-Pants. The person who contemptuously mocks hypocritical, double-standard, public relationships BS was taken for a ride by the the institution of academia.

I remember having thoughts about how expensive PT school was only to have a second year explain to me how it was a good investment (PSA – never listen to a broke college student about finances).

People in the program explained that everyone had student loans (especially themselves…not like the price of school was different 20 years ago or anything) and it will all be okay.

I’ll never forget sitting down with a seasoned academic of 30+ years for them to only be in shock saying that “your monthly student loan payment is more than a house payment.” It was then I realized, with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach…


Patient: How did you get so good at teaching yoga poses? Therapist: My PT program was really good – it only took 7 years of schooling and $167,000. It’s not like you could learn this on Youtube ya’ know?

I had been hoodwinked by a world where no one talked about the cost because no one knew the actual numbers, but you had to talk like you did know the numbers and be sure to degrade others who asked questions about the costs.

I was now saddled with this debt in my name and no one was coming to save me. Forgiveness options lacked urgency: I could work 10 years at a non-profits or I could do income driven repayments for 20, but timelines that took until my 40s and 50s to complete wasn’t exactly exciting.

So what was I to do? I did what any erstwhile Stoic would: PUT IT ALL ON THE INDIVIDUAL.

How about that worry that comes with paying down a debt we DO owe Mark?

Death to Debt.

Dave Ramsey is a cookey and often smug financial guru that can be found all over the US on AM radio. In between quoting bible verses, Dave implores Americans to live debt free lives asking listeners to cut up their credit cards and pursue mortgage loans underwritten without credit scores.

While there may be things to criticize, when it comes to getting your ass out of massive debt, I don’t know who else I would recommend. Their solution to being debt free: an all encompassing obsession where every fiber of your being goes to debt pay off.

  • Meals? Life sustaining starches.
  • Entertainment? Anything from the local library.
  • Free time? Perfect for your second and third job.

While not for everyone, I was able to go debt free from my massive mistake in about a year. I recently made my last payment to my private student loan, and the freedom that I felt when my next paycheck came in was unmatched. No longer do I have the drag of a mandatory 20% of my pay, and with that, I made some important decisions.

Gazelle’s don’t always have to be running.

Life After Gazelle.

I’ve been running ever since I graduated school. When I first came out, I worked really, really hard…except it was always for someone else.

As I think about my posts over the years about work and leisure, no wonder I had such a hard time figuring it out. I was working really hard but not getting anywhere – a recipe for disaster. When Covid happened, it was a very meaningful respite from that awful situation, but it didn’t fix the true problem – I was massively in debt.

But now, I’m on the other side of this thing. With the debt being gone, I’m transitioning to a four day work week. My hobbies are coming back to the forefront – I have space for reading, games, music, daydreaming. But unlike the COVID pandemic, I’m a free man. With no 10 year repayment plan, I am truly free to do what I want.

The Roomba has played this thing more than I have recently.


I believe it’s time for something completely different. I’ll be writing/reviewing again! It’s good to be back.


    1. I always run into these wordpress blogs that have gone dormant for years and wonder if that’s it or if the person will ever come back and get going again. Somehow I keep coming back 🙂


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