Ask Mikey Michelle Arana

Dear Mikey: I just turned 25 years old and I got myself in a situation where I had to file bankruptcy a week before my birthday. This is not at all where I expected myself to be when I turned 25. I thought I would have my career launched already (just got laid off), have my bachelor’s degree by now (still have 21 more credits to go), be married by now (girlfriend and I just broke up a month ago), having kids (not even close), and a house (can barely afford the rent in my apartment).

Did I just ruin the rest of my life because I filed bankruptcy and lost everything in a matter of a month? That bankruptcy is going to stay on my credit until I am 34 years old. Who is going to marry someone that is job-less, degree-less, house-less, and broke?

— Disappointed in Ahwatukee


Dear Disappointed in Ahwatukee: We often have self-predictions of ourselves years from now of how we expect our life to be and where we will be in five years, 10 years, and even 20 years down the road. I can tell you this, however, that about 94 percent of the people that I have come across in my own lifetime have never hit their self-prediction that they made years prior 100 percent. Perhaps they had one or two predictions come true such as a spouse and a child, but very seldom does anyone come across a person that is living their predictions.

Why? Because no one on Earth can predict what life will bring us.

Life tends to throw unexpected events our way, that there is no humanly possible way that we could have ever seen certain events coming.

I think you can relate to this.

Back in high school/after high school you probably set yourself a timeline of goals, which is very common to do. However, you set yourself up for disappointment I’m afraid, by not preparing yourself for unexpected events that could come forth that would in turn possibly alter your goals or even postpone them. It’s OK, as it should be taken as one of life’s many learning experiences; one that many of us have experienced the hard way.

If you look back at the very moment when you “predicted your future,” and then followed your timeline of events that have led to your life present day, surely you can circle a few events that came up along the way that altered your plan. Perhaps a job loss a few years ago lasted longer than you had hoped for, and that is what caused a strain in your relationship, thus ending it altogether. Or perhaps you lost a family member unexpectedly, to where you had to drop out of college to take care of your other family member left behind, and that is why you are not done with your bachelor’s degree yet. How would you have ever been able to predict that those events were going to happen?

That’s just it. You wouldn’t have been able to because those events were out of your control.

What you do have control over is learning from these life experiences that have been shaping who you are. Appreciate and be thankful for these difficult life situations as they are opportunities for you to grow as a person. Although you may not understand why you just went through everything that you did, trust that it did happen for a reason. Although you may not understand why now, perhaps you will find out later.

It is also a time to start thinking positive. Instead of thinking of what you don’t have or what you just lost, start being thankful for what you do have. Think about it. You are currently 21 credits away from earning a bachelor’s degree. That’s only seven more classes and then you will be a college graduate! That’s something to be very proud of. You are currently looking for a new job and a fresh start. That’s exciting! You just filed bankruptcy. You now have better credit than all of us because you have no debt! You are currently single so that’s exciting for that wonderful special someone is headed down your path for you to connect with someday. That special someone will give you the gift of having kids someday as well. What a blessing! You also just turned 25. Be thankful, for some have never made it to 25.

I’d say you have a wonderful life right now and you have so much to look forward to. Now, it is your turn to see the same thing.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at or visit

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