OMW: I-81 Adventures, Vol. LXIII
I have not had hardly any free time (and energy at the same time) to write about my latest trip up and down the 95 and 81 corridor, and with good reason: this was probably the least-planned and most-rushed trip that I’ve ever made. And if that is not so, it was definitely the combination of those two AND the costliest of them all.
Most of you know that I was torn between three options (and most everyone who knows me knows that I always have at least 3-5 plans in place for a given situation most of the time); 1) remaining in Harlem and going back to the corporate arena, 2) I had an offer to drive a local truck in the tri-state and be home nightly, which would not have been bad at all, and 3) attend law school — but out of state — following my notification of acceptance for admission on December 27, 2012.
I pride myself on being a planner and organizer, and it certainly came into play in this situation.
My lease back home expired on January 31, so I had three weeks to make a decision (and actually exercised an out that allowed me to leave within the 30-Day period — pays to be a longtime real estate agent — without penalty). I was fully ready to go and drive the trucks until August, when I could enroll at one of the law schools back in New York or out in New Jersey. I was fine with that. Would have been good pay, could drive on my own terms later, and could have avoided uprooting my life in totality.
However, while I was accepted for admission at Charlotte Law, it wasn’t an easy decision. I was waitlisted at The U., Barry, Cardozo and Brooklyn Law, and summarily did not find out about admission until the absolute last day that I could afford to wait before I could attend Charlotte Law. Additionally, I had been unable to secure a Graduate PLUS Loan since the beginning of 2012, given the more stringent rules that have been put into place since 2011. I was instructed on what was necessary to get it done, and by Wednesday, January 9 — in the evening, at that — I found out that I could indeed secure the financing that I needed in order to attend Charlotte Law.
What this necessitated was a quick-fast move with about 15 different things that must have been handled in five days. Without God, I am completely certain that none of this would have come off without several hitches.
The very first day after securing financing, I began arranging for my parents to come and assist me in packing, hauling and moving down to Charlotte. Not only did packing take nearly three full days, my parents spent the morning driving from Virginia the day that I left, and I ended up spending 11 hours packing, hauling everything down the stairs in the walk-up building, and into the transport. WITHOUT EATING A SINGLE THING. I still don’t know how we pulled this off.
Needless to say, I was in extreme pain for two days after I got here.
However, within all of this, I had to make swift arrangements to close out the apartment, all of my utilities accounts, transfer insurances, find an apartment (in the midst of packing), but also and quickly have an address in place to forward all of my mail — with many important pieces of information coming with tax season rolling around. Not only did I get lined up with a realtor locally, she was able to steer me to the best possible option for me: an apartment less than a mile from campus; in a complex that is only two years old, within walking distance while my parents spruced up their old car so that I would have the means to get around (which, for those who saw my travails last week, was going to be EXTREMELY NECESSARY and immediately), but I was able to get approved the very next day and have everything ready to move in by the time we drove down from Harlem.
We got on the road, intending to avoid the Turnpike and the ridiculous tolls for three-axle vehicles, and took 78 out to 81. However, almost immediately after passing Short Hills, we encountered some of the heaviest fog I’ve ever seen in my life. We could not see more than 20 feet in front of our vehicle. And with a hitch attached, we had to be extra careful with more stopping distance required. A normally nine-hour drive took 13 1/2. Regardless, we were safe and sound in Greensboro. After about three hours of “sleep”, we got back on the road to finish the last leg of the trip: to get to Charlotte and move in/unpack. That only led to the requisite checklist that comes with moving into any new place — with a mandatory orientation and other obligations on the horizon the very next morning on campus at Charlotte Law.
Nevertheless, I was here and ready to go, in pain and all.
My parents extended themselves more than anyone ever has in order to help me. It’s beyond unreal when thinking about how much time, energy and money they spent just to get me down here. Additionally, they expended even more of each just to get me their old car. I don’t even realize how much responsibility I had waiting for me both on campus, at my place and getting everything else done, as I basically got by last week on adrenaline.
Reality has fully set in, and I still have thousands in the way of costs related to books, utility transfer and having to head back to New York in a couple of weeks. All of this was done in three days, and I marvel at it.
I believe the impetus for writing this was to not only reaffirm my faith (and incessant prayer that SOMETHING would turn around and QUICKLY) that God is always on time, but perfect in bringing things to fruition. 2012 was a rough year after I was laid off from Chase, let’s face it. My entire summer was ruined and I faced the need to have to find just “any” job, as opposed to enrolling into law school last fall as I originally intended. But just like all of my trials and tribulations that began in 2006 — and really have never alleviated until now — everything that I had built up: 800 credit score, very good paying job, substantial savings, stocks, sizeable 401(k), a new non-profit incorporated and an expansive portfolio of networking contacts in my longtime real estate career, it was ALL GONE within two months. However again, as quickly as I lost it all, I was able to have every single thing go “my way” (i.e. favor from God) in the past three weeks, and I’m one step closer to fulfilling my objectives and ultimate purpose in life. I hope that this particular edition of my “Adventures” can encourage someone who thinks that the situation they may find themselves in is irreversible and permanent. I went from near-catastrophe (again; and wouldn’t have been phased, having been through much worse a few years ago, as most of my readers know), to being back on the up and up, and I am eager to be able to share the fruits of my labor to this point, as well as those to come, now that I can do more than just “offer prayer” and “well-wishes”, but also the manifestation of the ultimate purpose being fulfilled.
(For those who are given to acronyms and trying to be “deep” with regards to the fog that we went through and using the oft-cited “favor of God” line, I will roll with you on this one).