My cleaning lady is here now. The same one from last week who called me an Angel because I texted her to clean the second after she got done praying. When she was here last week, I told her I needed the same help to pay all the bills on my plate. To pay the 7 workers that would be at my house all week. To pay all the bills and all the mortgages that were due. She didn’t care. She “judged” me that if I have so many houses, drive a nice car, was affluent, etc., that I didn’t need help. Well wrong… I hate that line of thinking – hate it!
Even though I spent $25,000 in the last two weeks, I literally had to go return two items totaling $250 last week so checks would not bounce. Like that’s totally ridiculous but it’s true. We all do what we have to do to make ends meet. My next door neighbor in Venice who owned a $1.0 million tri-plex – well, I think he literally turned some gay tricks on certain months to get the mortgages paid. No joke. I love him though he was quite mischievous at times. We shared the same philosophy of doing what you had to do to get all the bills paid and stay afloat. We were budding real estate moguls together at the time.
We all have issues no matter what monetary level you are at. The more inflow one has, the more outflow one has. Period. Sure, someone can make less money than another and have less things than another but that does not mean the level of stress of someone who has more is any less. People with less than don’t ever seem to get that. They continue to carry envy and jealousy against those with more.
When I was forced to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy to try and save all I had built up, I received little sympathy and solace from others. Despite me having zero money on which to exist, I still had houses and a Porsche. People would not acknowledge me struggling. It was beyond bizarre to me. I learned so much about the dark side of humanity during that episode. So much.
To some, I was still a “rich bitch” because I had property. To others, I was a “failure and scum” because I declared bankruptcy. People who knew me for years supporting their businesses all of a sudden started to treat me differently because I was in bankruptcy. Nothing changed inside of me with who I was as a person, but the perception of bankruptcy changed something for them.
At first, I had a real issue with the word bankruptcy myself. I felt like I had failed. I couldn’t believe I was in that position. I tried to gather as much information as possible about Donald Trump’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings to not feel as much of a loser as I was feeling. My own perception of the situation slowly changed. But it was a very slow process.
Now being out on the other side, it was freaking awesome. Not awesome that I had to even declare it to restructure my holdings, but awesome such a tool exists to allow me to restructure my holdings. I went to hell and back but maintained all my properties. Well, I willingly let one antique house go because the pipes burst one winter due to tenant neglect and abandonment. The cost to abate the mold was nearly more than the house was worth. So that was a strategic business decision to let it foreclose. Ironically, I still own the matching house next door to it.
In sum, and I know this may be hard to hear for those struggling to barely survive…do not “envy” those you perceive to have more than you. You never know what may be on a person’s plate. Never. Perfect example is my friend Ariella. She has a great job at a hedge fund and her husband is an accountant. They live in a nice house in a nice waterside community and are seemingly doing very well. Recently I learned she pays for her dad to live in assisted living. He is moderately mentally ill and needs to live in such a setting and the state will not cover the cost. I have known her for about 10 years now and had no clue she had that big expense to cover each month.
So, the gist of my story is you never know what another’s burdens may be. Focus on your own stuff and have compassion for others. We are all here trying to survive to the best of our abilities. All of us.