I took a walk this morning because the weather was simply too beautiful and I realized it’s been a couple days since I bought a lottery ticket. Near my apartment is a New York Lotto vending machine, tucked away in the corner of a deli next to a stand of stale looking powdered donuts. Last night, during one of my now common bouts of insomnia, I did a little research. According to NYLottery.org, the “White Ice 8′s” scratch-off ticket has the highest probability of winning you some cash. Just imagine: your investment of just $2.00 can come right back at you as $20,000.00. For those of you whose minds haven’t been blown by the possibility, let me repeat: that’s 10,000 times the amount of money you originally put in! Can you imagine??? Two bucks! I have two bucks! Do I have two bucks? Wait, now. C’mon. I know I had two dollars tucked in between that receipt for my Starbucks Vivanno and that other receipt for a pack of Moleskines. Whoa, did I really order three extra shots of espresso in my Vivanno at 55 cents per extra shot? What the hell is wrong with me? I’m definitely in no position to be spending money on overpriced “designer” drinks and notebooks, let alone throwing away a single penny of it on scratch off tickets. It’s a sad realization – considering just a year ago, successful self-employment had me feeling pretty great about my financial status. Great enough to buy multiple drinks from Starbucks in a day. Great enough to be okay with a twenty dollar lunch. Great enough to drop five hundred dollars on a pair of Jimmy Choos. Great enough to sign a two year lease with my 750 square foot apartment in the East Village. Of course, just a year later I make the decision of taking a break from “the greatness” of being a 23-year-old entrepreneur and find myself unemployed in this fun little recession of ours, wallowing in the disgust I harbor for the poor financial decisions I made the year before.
A friend of mine recently referred to this second year out of college as a “sophomore slump.” Considering myself a sophomore when I’m no longer a student is rather unnerving. This friend and I had both experienced very successful first years out of school, so how did we suddenly end up back at square one? And why doesn’t square one have padded walls and provide sedatives?