Being broke is a state of mind


I guess I have to explain the start of my new life. My wife and I married five years ago in July. We were living in a condemned house, eventually taken by foreclosure and we were trying to find a place. The perfect Bon Jovi song. 

We moved into a studio, the only size we could afford at the time. Eventually my wife was allowed to be a guardian of her child, and after a few months, we realized we needed at least a one-bedroom place. It was tight and we learned to live on top of each other, we learned what it was to be broke. I was never poor — that is a state of mind. 

Today I live in a three-bedroom mobile home. I have fought tooth and nail, clawed my way up from the poverty I once lived in, and we are in the process of closing on a house due to our hard work. We never took from the taxpayer; as a matter of fact, the one time we applied for assistance, I was told I need to work less.

This drove me further from government; this made me my own man. It made me realize what going sovereign really means. I may be an American, but I claim no hold to our government or what it’s become. Instead I cling to the Constitution and the belief that my creator gave me those rights, not government. 

My daughter recently told me how embarrassed she was of where we live currently. I can’t explain to her the hard work it took to get here. The bloody knuckles and the days and nights spent doing drywall or electrical work. The days at work where even thinking of 10 more minutes of it made me want to cry. The pain in my feet or the joints in my hands hurting.

It is something I don’t expect most children to understand. Even at the ripe age of 15, I don’t expect her to understand that anything in this life shouldn’t be taken for granted. Life is all about growth.

I can’t express how grateful I am for how far my family has come. It hasn’t come through anger, it hasn’t come through presidents, and it has come through anger and unwillingness to return to where we once were.

I am not an immigrant — I am just an American seeking to do better than I did before, seeking to move forward. I understand how hard it is, but still, the words ring in my ears that my father spoke: “Whatever you try to become, you will. America is a country that rewards the hard working, the disciplined and the hungry. Never let anything hold you back from your dreams.” 

It doesn’t matter who is president; it doesn’t matter who is governor; and it doesn’t matter who is mayor. You are in control of the situation you find yourself in. If you are broke, change it — there is always money and growth out there.

Patrick Ballinger



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