May the 9th as evolved as rather significant date in my life reaping various challenges upon me.
I’d been successful in selling my condo and was now on the hunt for new digs.
The last few years have been tough in many ways physically, emotionally and its been hard financially as well.
Seven years ago on May 9, 2010 I ran the Sun Run which is a 10 km race in Vancouver. Crossing the finish line had a profound effect on me. I had also just purchased my first home!
My focus became my health and well being. I decided it was time to tackle all the issues that had plagued me for a lifetime. I got back into running in a big way and decided it was time to dive into my passions and bring them to the forefront. I pursued writing and photography with a rabid hunger.
For the first time in my life I was really letting myself search my potential and even more so I was building upon it.
A book was in the works, I had joined writing groups, I’d taken a photography class and had found some shutterbugs to roam the streets with. And I was working on some emotionally deep issues as well.
Emotionally I was sideways for a time. Dealing with repressed issues was a strange balance between how I was and how I am now and putting them together to become the person I wanted to be.
People came into my life offering direction and guidance. And I was actually asking for help, in a round about way.
The introvert was becoming an extrovert. Still I was pretty rough around the edges. The emotional aspects were hard to express as I was living through it and not certain about any of it.
As the emotional storm began to settle health issues began to arise. The first was the heart issue. I had a stent put in and carried on. I was encouraged to keep running, to keep hitting the gym which I did. After being on blood thinners for a year and getting the all clear on my health I decided to treat myself to the BMO 1/2 Marathon.
Halfway through training I began to falter, however, I ran the 1/2 Marathon on May 5, 2013.
Four days later on May 9, 2013 I discovered I had uterine cancer. So came surgery and treatment. I worked through all of it, however, my performance at work was impacted as chemo can do a number on you. Six months after treatment was complete I was terminated and given 5 weeks notice after 5 1/2 years on the job.
A personality conflict with one of the partners was sited. The partner in question was a rude, cold individual who commented continually on my shortcomings during cancer treatment. In layman’s terms . An asshole.
I found another job within 3 weeks. Better pay and full benefits!
Some things, however, are not as they seem. While I initially thought this was the job I’d been looking for, it became anything but that.
Working with an antiquated computer system, and this was new industry for me, I walked into the worst mess I’ve seen. There had been no accountant in the position for 4 months prior. This had not been disclosed.
The promise of a new computer system that would be implemented within three months of my start date never happened and has still not occurred.
I’m either a fool or a trooper, perhaps a bit of both, but I dove into it, despite the fact that chemo still had me a little foggy. Perhaps that’s why I jumped in the way I did.
I worked hard. Really hard. Too hard. Rebuilding a company that was in serious relapse with its clients and vendors, restoring the relations necessary to do business in a manner that is balanced and productive. I worked along side two women who were exceptional and assisted in my efforts in every way.
In the New Year I headed to Vegas to visit a friend. A vehicle accident occurred. My car was totaled.
I thought I’d be fine. I wasn’t. As the months passed my neck and back were like a vise.
If my ability to remain focused had been a little challenged before now it was painfully so. Still I toughed it out. Didn’t take any time off as felt I could not. With dogged determination I muscled through. Working with a DOS based program requires you to think about applications differently as well.
Yet I did.
I was so close to having the whole thing brought up to date, so close to having all the checks and balances back in place, so close to completing what had at first seemed impossible when I was unceremoniously released from my employment contract.
This I didn’t see coming.
The other major issue for 2015 was the re-piping of my condo building. Twelve of the forty-seven units lost their hot water for three months. Mine was one of the units. The cost escalated to a ridiculous rate. I cleaned out my RSP and savings to pay for it.
2015 was a year where I felt that I was running up hill the entire year but not really moving.
In 2014 I’d started my own publishing company in early 2015 I’d released my book, however, with the chaos occurring in my life from the accident and the building repairs I thought it might be best to focus on marketing it later.
I’m nothing if not resourceful. Unable to run or hit the gym…and spending far too much time at physio I thought it may be prudent to build on my public speaking skills.
In effect I had none. So I joined my local Toastmasters to work on that aspect of self. 2015 was a tough year. Depression reared its ugly head and as the year closed out I found myself unemployed and feeling desperate.
I had worked so hard and now it felt like everything was starting to slip away. I had made some poor decisions. Shopping sprees that were ongoing for a time. Purchases of $300 in perfume that kind of thing. This is simply a reaction, an echo. It is not who I am.
Still, I found a job. And I like this one. I really like it. The fit is good.
I assessed my situation. The building was completed, I had my place painted and put it on the market.
And as stated I was successful with the sale and on May 9th, 2016 I found a new place!
A little rough around the edges, like me. I would make the space a beautiful one. I would make it a home.
In January I had renewed my mortgage and discussed the plan to sell with my mortgage specialist, who is fabulous. He set the mortgage up to be portable. All was good.
So when the call came that Canadian Housing Mortgage Corp. had pulled out, that I could not get financing…I spent last Wednesday evening in a very dark place.
What had I done wrong here? Was I going to lose everything again?
I had never missed a payment. Never defaulted on anything. Still I no longer had the safety net of my RSP and my savings had been depleted.
The point of all of this was to regain control of a situation that could well get out of control.
The following day I was resigned to the fact that it would be back to renting. My boss asked how I was doing with everything and I told him it looked liked I would be renting once more. His response would goad me back into action. “So…you’re just going to give up?”
Calls were made, bank managers were contacted. My mortgage guy went back to it and put it on the table. My realtor got an extension on the subjects being removed. Again it came as ‘No’ on Friday morning.
Well, that’s it then. I felt defeated, deflated, abandoned.
I wanted an explanation. Not the debt ratio where I was three percent out of what CMHC considered acceptable. I was not going to go out quietly.
Someone was deciding my fate without knowing how hard I’d worked to get here. Someone was looking at numbers, nothing more. Someone who didn’t know the hardships I’ve overcome to get to this point.
I picked up the phone. Then they at least had to know who they were saying ‘No’ to I decided.
The first fellow tried in vain to curtail my attempts to take this further.
Not once did I swear or raise my voice, though at times the emotions caused me to have a higher pitch. I insisted that I need to speak to a manager and was put on hold, a few times.
Finally he put me through to Joanne who had been dealing with my file from the get go. She did not want to talk to me.
I was not about to drag it out, I just wanted her to know what a tough year I’d had and that I was doing the right thing by taking the actions I had. She spouted privacy laws, she could only speak with the lender, not the person whose life her decision was affecting.
The debt ratio came up. She had laws to abide by. Had I broken a law here? No. Why was her organization pulling the plug when they had renewed my mortgage for 5 years just a few short months ago? The debt had been there then as well. It had been made portable for the very reason we were here today.
And damn! I’m so proud of how I relayed my message on Friday. With calm determination I wanted her to know that I was not a number. I’d made mistakes, yes. I’d had a tough year, but I’d paid for everything. I was taking care of everything in a responsible way. Why was I being cut short here? You are telling me that a three percentage point is going to alter my life?
Joanne would tell me nothing due to ‘privacy’ laws. I requested then that she contact my lender and provide an answer to my inquiries. I didn’t want to hear about debt ratio.
With the money laundering that is currently going in the real estate market…well, I won’t go there.
I think Kenny cringed a bit when he received the message from Joanne. She wasn’t happy. Still this had been an action I’d taken on my own. Kenny called me. He was going to try one more thing.
Collectively we held our breathes.
I was so very grateful to my boss and his father for encouraging me not to give up. I was so thankful that I had the mortgage and realtor guys that I do in my corner.
At 7:30 pm I got the call.
I was approved.
I’ve learned a great deal through this experience. I made many assumptions prior to beginning this exercise of buying and selling. This time I got my happy ending.
Now begins a new chapter. This time out I am whole, complete. This time I will reach for the stars and I’ll get there.
Just watch me.