Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Four Years of Debt Freedom

Warren, you had one job!
Greetings from La La Land (or is it Moonlight?)! :) I couldn’t resist.

It feels like it’s been forever since I updated my blog! Thank you to everyone who emailed me or left kind words in the comments. It really helped lift my spirits since my last depressing post.

I figured that even though I’m still struggling with life here in the city of angels, I have much to be thankful for. To wit: March 2nd was our fourth anniversary of debt freedom! It’s surreal to think about because so much has happened since then. Here’s a recap of
everything we’ve been through in the years since we sent in that last payment to Big Bertha.

1.    For the next few months after we became debt-free, we completed Baby Step 3, our six month emergency fund.
2.    A little over a year later, we purchased a house. We loved that house. It was tiny, but it was close to the beach and it had a yard with fruit trees. It didn’t take long for it to feel like home.
3.    I quit one of my jobs and went down to part-time work so I could focus on writing, which turned out to be amazing because I actually finished my first novel!
4.    Less than two years after living in our lovely little home, my husband got an amazing job offer in L.A. and we sold said home. It still pains me to think about, but it went to a really nice couple who I’m sure are enjoying some delicious pears as we speak.
5.    About two months after we moved to L.A., I got a literary agent! I was so excited and humbled and anxious about embarking on a bona fide writing career. I had no idea how nerve-wracking it would be to go on submission to publishers, but that’s where I am right now – a bundle of nerves, obsessively checking my email fifty times a day, hoping an editor will buy my novel.

It’s been a great four years, but things haven’t been perfect. I have doubts that I’ll ever be a professional writer, and I still struggle with family issues. My dad is nearing the end of his life and I don’t think I’m ever going to have closure with him. It’s been five years since my mother died and I still have moments when that fact sneaks up on me and I find myself crying. But that’s for another blog post.

As for my law career, it becomes more of a distant memory each day. Now that my law school loans are paid off, I don’t think about it as much and I don’t look at my legal education as a mistake. It was a life lesson, I guess, the way everything else turns out to be once enough time has passed. I still get little reminders every once in a while of how na├»ve I was all those years ago, though. For instance, a few months back an acquaintance of mine posted a Facebook status about how she failed the bar exam. This was one of the women I had tried to talk out of going to law school in the first place, but she ended up going to a pricey, for-profit outfit that I’m sure sucked her dry to the tune of $150K or so. Reading her status update didn’t bother me that much, though, because I realized there was nothing I could have done to make her change her mind. Numerous lawyers tried to talk me out of going to law school many years ago, but I didn’t listen. Sometimes people – especially young twenty-somethings – have to learn the hard way. I’m just glad Nando is still busy doing God’s work.

And as for Los Angeles, well, what can I say about it that hasn’t already been said by a million times before (mostly by the Red Hot Chili Peppers)? It’s temporary. I have a couple of “friends,” but we’re all basically counting down the days that we’ll need to be here (three years and three months left for me), so it’s not like we’re forming deep bonds that will last forever. I suppose it’s like anything else in life – here today and gone tomorrow. The good news is my husband has put me in charge of our next move, so wherever I pick, that’s where we’re going. I know it’s still a ways off, but I am so excited at the prospect of moving to a quieter place with less traffic, crime, and people. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

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