hi everyone, this thread will be about my own personal journey. I have been around on web for a very long time, but recently discovered this site maybe about a year ago and started lurking before i created my account. i have been more shy about posting here but also overwhelmed with the massive amount of knowledge. i recently turned 29 and i live in NY the "land of opportunity" except that i chose to follow my dreams and get hit with roadblocks with every turn i wnet. i am very active with civic engangement, have helped create a non profit and even helped make the mental health services better in my state. i have helped so many poeple, and it has alwayas been on a volunteer basis. i opted to go to a community college for social work and get my associates degree based on that is what i could afford, i was coveredvia grants and scholorships. i stopped there because of not wanting to go into debt. well, i ended up in a 5 year abusive relationsjip in which i accumulated a small amount of debt according to others as its near $6000 but at the same time that is alot to me when you work in a field thatdoesnt give you a fighting chance. that debt has been killing me inside for years, and as i journeyed through trial and error i found taht no matter what i did i couldnt seem to get past that debt. it is very real for me, it plays a huge role in my depression, but when i talk about it to others, they laugh it off and compare it to their school debt. I am one of the few very upfront and sincere people who just wnast to make the world a better place. unfortunately that often gets taken advantage of. My cuurent girlfriend actually moved in with me from texas after we met online, this was while i was still living with my abusive ex. she is currently traveling and working at the same time as i encouraged her to follow her dreams while i focus on my own self improvement. while she has been away i have been cracking an dbreaking as it seems i am losing my community supports as i go. i started sharing my struggles more frequently and it has given many hope but also made many of those people who i once thought of as friends distance themselves from me. i got published about a year and a half ago and i used that money instead of focusing on paying off my debt to help a 19 year old get published because i wish someone had done teh same for me. i have used my knowledge of what i have learned here to create what i call a hope bot on instagram which posts messages of hope on peoples feeds. i am however going to be taking abreak from social media for now as i need to detox and focus on myself, i recentky gave everyone a very big scare and my girlfriends old friends started reaching out to her and are trying to push her to leave me because they only see my struggles that ahve been talked about online instead of seeing the positives i also do. i know that she is definitely the one for me, but the only way for me to keep her is for em to focus on my own self improvement. Debt is what has been keeping us apart. becasue we are trying to pay it off. i have gone through some pretty deep crap in my life but this year definitely takes the cake, but as atech guy, a futurist, a guy who likes to be optimistic and as an underpaid social worker who refuses to give up, I BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A WAY TO TURN THAT CAKE INTO SOME PIE! and when that happens i plan to share some slices of that pie with the world so that i can make it a better place. Unlike most people around me who think small and competitivley, I think BIG and Win/Win and i know its only a matter of time before success hits me. so for anyone out there who may be going through some similar crap, just know that there are still good peopple out there, they just might be out of your reach, watching you silently or hiding behind closed doors becasue society doesnt accept them. dont ever give up on following your dreams, i know i sure as hell wont!