Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
When you were accumulating all this student loan debt, is this how you were planning to discharge it or didn't you really give it much thought?
At the time I did not give it much thought, but I considered Teach For America and some other forgiveness plans, though they were/are not as comprehensive as the PSLF program is. The PSLF program did not exist back in my day.

I also had this rationale mostly: "I'll just drag this debt around for life because to live means to be in debt."

I did not know any better back then. I was not brought up in a financially literate way, so I had to figure things out on my own. The process is ongoing.

Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
Serious question. Do you think that psychologically, this could have contributed to your minimalism, lack of interest in the American Dream and fear of having children?
Psychologically it has contributed to my minimalism. Debt is a big part of it mentally and emotionally. But the biggest part is that I have never been much of "stuff" guy. I was always more into having leisure time. Friends got jobs when I was a teenager. They wanted cars and gasoline and stereos and other toys. I just wanted to play guitar, read books, and practice martial arts. All things fairly low on the stuff scales.

Lack of interest in the American Dream? Well, I will say this: Massive debt makes it so I will not even entertain the idea of a big house, 2.3 kids, and a couple minivans.

During all of my adult life I have been either apprehensive about having kids or totally against it, save about six months during my marriage. My then wife and I both had good, steady jobs with benefits. We both just sort of looked at each other one day and thought: "Hey, maybe we should do this! Maybe we should have a baby!"

We thought it over and also considered adoption -- which was more to my preference.

But at the end of the day she decided she did not want kids, and I agreed. Looking back, I am so glad we did not have kids.

I'd be a full time single dad right now -- no doubt about it. Her sister left her husband and gave him custody of the kids -- without a fight. Her own mom is emotionally distant too.

When my ex and I got Harlan he was just a little pup -- ten weeks. I had to take him out a lot, clean up his messes, take care of his kennel cough, worms, etc. And when he would whine in the middle of the night I'd have to take him out to pee.

My ex simply could not handle this stress or the deviation from her interests/hobbies/art. She cried over Harlan and wanted to send him away.

Now, once he was out of the puppy stage she was fine with him and took good care of him. But raising a baby takes much more time and effort than a puppy.

I am sure she would have gotten out of there before the "terrible twos."

I remain apprehensive and/or against having kids now because of all the horror stories people tell me about kids going berserk, getting addicted to drugs, involved in crime, having babies when they are like 14 years old, and because of all the unfortunate tragedies that can happen -- car accidents or cancer of the everything, for examples. Also: The environmental impact. And how could I shield the kid from advertising, religions, and other social problems? I could not.

Also: I am not married or life partnered now. And I am dubious I will ever be married or life partnered again. I am a difficult man to love. hahaha

And I would not want to raise a kid in one of those broken, split up, splintered families.

Make sense?