40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 21

If you find yourself in a hole, one of the best things you can do is simply stop digging.

By midway through my second year at Bradley University, I was working two jobs to pay for a car and an apartment–both of which I didn’t really need–and I was missing lots of class and homework to make it all work. I missed payments on my insurance, got into a car accident, and got a speeding ticket, all in a couple of weeks.

With some helpful guidance from a friend (same guy who had been chased out of my dorm in entry #20), I decided that the expensive private university might not be the best option for me at the time.

I left Bradley after four semesters and took a gap year (not exactly in the traditional gap year manner) to wait tables, sling java, and get caught up on bills. I stopped driving without insurance, and I stopped putting things I couldn’t afford on credit cards. (Partly because they’d canceled my cards, but you know… progress, not perfection, right?) I started working my way out of the hole, slowly but surely.

Now, pushing 40, I can nearly see daylight over the rim!

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