BlogLines: “…and I have nothing to show for it.”


This is the first post of my BlogLines series where I share quotes that I’ve collected from other blogs that resonate with me around a topic or a ‘line’. This week’s theme… “and I have nothing to show for it”.

I’d like to share some of the experiences of other writers as it helps us to know that we aren’t alone. Go check out these blogs and their authors.  

woman lawyer

I never went to law school, but I often find myself reading JD blogs because they are one of the few categories of student loan debtors with balances as large as mine. Shout out to Mr. Law School Debt and Moving Back to Black (Where are you, girl?).

Angel @ But I Did Everything Right…or So I Thought describes herself as a disenchanted lawyer. She wrote (no new posts since 2013) about the law school scam and the impact that it has had on her and other students. Here is a 2009 snippet from one of her many introspective posts.

 I went on to graduate with honors from College… and I continued on to Law School in due fashion like I had a fire under my ass.  I don’t know why I rushed. But I felt compelled to become someone. I was going to be an ATTORNEY.  I would have a title that would scream “educated and respected.”  Or so I thought.
I never really concerned myself with boys.  I was told, you have time.  Get your education.  Marriage and children can wait.  Why didn’t my biological clock get that message?  So, I rushed through school.  For the very first time in my life, I found school to be a little much to handle. I graduated, but I didn’t do wonderfully and I realized that the cards were stacked against me when I graduated.  But I told myself that I didn’t need anyone to help me.  Screw career services.  Who needs ’em. I passed the bar and I can make my own way.  Just needed to stay focused.  Men and babies can wait.  Marriage can wait.  It’s career that matters.
So, over half a decade later. I find myself in the worst recession nearing the magnitude of the great recession… and I find myself laid off.  And here I go again.  With yet another set back.  A measly savings.  A stupid 401K that was hit so hard with the stock market down turn, that it fell over.   I can’t believe I’m here.  I did everything right. I have nothing to show for it.  
What does it matter if you have a decent salary if you’re stuck with nothing after a couple of years.  Why didn’t I just get knocked up again?  At least I’d go home to a baby’s smiling face.  I’m not complaining. I do have a couple of things to show for myself. But I just expected so much more.  And I’m not suffering from entitlement.  I just don’t know what more I could have done.  My uneducated immigrant parents had a 5 bedroom house, two cars and two kids by the time they were my age. I have nothing… except a large student loan and dismal job prospects.
I’m just mourning the loss of what I never got to have. 
(excerpt from post “Why is this Happening to Me”, Blog: But I Did Everything Right)

I can so understand how she questions why all of her hard work seems for naught. I understand what it feels like to look at what my parents, who were not college educated, had (house, car, kids) vs what I have (none of the above) and feel cheated out of life.

Why did I work so hard all those years in school? Why did I bother?  I’ve run into old college acquaintances that I know for a fact partied their entire way through school, who have since married well and now have very comfortable lives. I’ve probably written here before that in my most cynical moments I wonder if I would have been better off investing in make-up and mini-skirts rather than text books.

Female student worrying about money

Karen, guest blogging at The Professor is In about Ph.D. Poverty, wrote about the personal and financial sacrifices she was making to finish her degree.

I have applied to over 40 companies, mostly retail, and have had 3 interviews, but remain unemployed after 5 months. I can only guess that employers are reluctant to hire me because they do not believe I would stay long. (I have to wonder, though, if turnover in retail is high anyway, doesn’t my CV reflect perseverance and dedication? good work ethic?) I even looked into selling my eggs—but I am too old (and, even more offensive, too short).


I am 32 and find it is the most humiliating thing in the world to ask my dad for another loan every time I get a bill I cannot pay. Equally humiliating is seeing younger family members and friends who have been in the workforce for years and have bought their own homes and cars. Though I feel successful when I read my CV, day-to-day living appears the ultimate failure. I have over $180,000 in federal student loans.


(excerpt from Ph.D. Poverty post @ ‘The Professor Is In’ blog)

Yeah, I’ve also written here before about having to see or hear about younger family members who have their lives together.


PAINNYC is a blogger who spent too many years studying and is now trying to start a career behind the curve ball.

I am typing this from my latest temp gig. …


Someone went on vacation and so I was hired to do this thing, which that person could have done on a Smartphone during their 30-minute subway ride downtown before hitting the beach. …


That’s what is getting to me this week, as I continue to come to terms with the fact that I spent ten years preparing for a career that no longer exists and that I do not want.


I am old. …


But when I first arrived here at The Non-Profit, I noticed that all the employees are in their 20s. Early 20s. I think they’re all fresh out of college, and this is their first job before they go off and actually make money, or get bored enough to quit and go to law school like their parents want.


In fact, the worst part about it is that my supervisor, the one who explained the monkey’s job to me, is around 22-years old. She looks about 15 though.


I keep thinking: how did I get to the point where I am being bossed around by a mere child?


(abbreviated excerpt from ‘Aging and Humiliation’ post @ PAINNYC)

Something like this happened to me when I (finally!) graduated in the middle of the Great Recession. I was on the job market and down to my last dollars when I found a temp job via Craigslist working at a very small start up doing basic internet searches and categorizing information for near minimum wage. I was literally working for food and did so for about 1.5 months there. I was surrounded by the well-paid regular employees who were, in typical start up fashion, almost all 20-somethings.

For one task I was being managed by a 20-something young girl who looked like she was all of 17. Unfortunately I misheard part of her instructions for a task and she gave me an exasperated (albeit mild) reprimand. And I remember thinking, I can’t believe I’m being bossed around by a college kid. Luckily for me I had just gotten a semi decent job offer elsewhere so I left that temp job a couple of days later.

Post-script: that startup ended up being bought by a very large tech company a year or two later and those employees got fat checks. Lucky them.


Go check out these blogs. It feels good to commiserate.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)


  1. VickieTori · September 16, 2015

    I just found your blog a couple of weeks ago and am so glad I did! I’ve read all of your past posts and can totally relate to SO MANY of them. And this one for sure. I went into $60,000 debt for a Bachelor’s Degree (long story) so I could leave the soul-sucking industry I’m working in. 6 years later – still haven’t found a job that pays enough for basic living expenses plus the student loans (and credit card) debt payments. I despise the job I have yet I have to “be happy” that I have it since I can’t find anything else. It’s so very depressing. Good luck to you – I look forward to keeping up with your journey and am sending good thoughts for better health for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anon · September 19, 2015

    Yes, it can be really tough, but it is much, much harder with a negative outlook all the time. Somehow, efforts must be made to have a more positive attitude. I have found that this alone is about half the battle. And people really pick up on the negative vibes, and it’s like they just want to get away from that.


  3. Maria · October 18, 2015

    I hope you’re doing ok these days, all things considered. I’m rooting for you!


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