About 10 years ago, I found myself living alone for the first time in my life. Growing up and throughout college, I had always lived with family, roommates, or my partner.
I had just gone through an unwelcome divorce, and I wanted to bounce back and land on my feet. I wanted to prove to the world, and to myself, that I could be successful—after feeling like a total and complete failure while my marriage collapsed around me.
I was struggling in all areas. For the first time in my life, I felt 100% alone. My self-esteem plummeted, and I was figuring out everything from how to install kitchen shelving in my new apartment, to managing my meager finances (and paying for 100% of household bills with no one to share the cost with).
I was overwhelmed. I felt scared inside that I wasn’t capable of taking care of myself.
I moved to the nearest city for a change of scenery, but the biggest change from that was my commute length, which turned from 15 minutes to one hour each way to and from work… to a job that I didn’t want to be in any more. I spent 12 hours a day (half of my entire life) working or driving to/from work, and unsure of how to regain my mojo.
One day, I was sitting in traffic on the 2-lane highway commuting into work around 7am. I was totally depressed. There had to be more to life than this. And it suddenly dawned on me… this was going to be my life forever if I didn’t do anything to change it.
It was an ‘aha’ moment. If I kept doing what I was doing, this is how I would spend the rest of my life. If I wanted something different, I was going to have to step up and make some changes.
The flash bulbs kept coming
Soon after, I watching a TV show, Monk, and I saw the scene unfolding on the streets of San Francisco. Another ‘aha’ moment came.
I had always wanted to live in that city. It was a bucket list dream of mine.
I realized if there ever was going to be a chance to make this dream happen, this was it.
So right then and there, as Adrian Monk was pursuing criminals through the streets of San Francisco, I decided I was going to pick up and move. I was going to fulfill this bucket list dream and rebuild my life on my terms.
Not knowing where to start… I decided that somehow the first step should be to put my furniture up for sale on Craigslist. In hindsight, there might have been other logical first steps, but well… action is action. 🤣
I quickly reached a point where I didn’t have a couch to sit on… and I realized… my choice now was to either a) buy a new couch so I’d have somewhere to sit or b) pull the proverbial band-aid and do the scary thing of actually quitting my job and moving.
The very next day, I went into my job and told my boss I was quitting to pursue a dream. He was totally supportive, and as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew there was no turning back.
A short time later, I landed in San Francisco and began hustling from day one. I was building a freelancing business in a new city where I didn’t know a soul. I was so focused on proving to ‘the world’ that I was o.k. On the outside, people were cheering me on… ‘So cool that you are starting a business in San Francisco. You go girl!’. On the inside, I was unsure of how to make it all work… no contacts, no “real job”, no mojo… in one of the most expensive cities.
And when it came to money, I was truly overwhelmed and didn’t know how to deal with my finances (something my ex had always taken care of)… so I didn’t. I was winging life at the time.
The struggle is real
Soon, I found myself alone in a new city, surviving paycheck to paycheck as a freelancer. It. was. stressful.
I was introduced to a class called Financial Peace University, which teaches people how to get out of debt and manage their money. I knew I needed help, and I didn’t know where to start, so I committed to following the steps I learned in class.
The class was focused heavily on families and budgeting, and as a single gal living in the city, I felt a little different than the rest of my classmates. The information presented was good, but I needed to customize a plan that worked for me. So I did. And then an amazing thing happened.
I was able to clean up my financial mess and get clarity on my money situation for the first time—ever.
With my personalized plan in place, I was finally not only able to have a clear picture of my financial situation, I was able to take major steps to improve it, faster than I could have imagined.
Light at the end of a long, dark tunnel
Today, I know exactly where I stand financially, and I feel good about where I am.
A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t realize how much the constant financial stress impacted all areas of my life. It was like I was living in a pressure cooker. Once I saw a vision for my finances and had a system in place, the pressure slowly released. I felt relief.
I am now able to enjoy life more, without worrying every day that the other shoe will drop.
Today, I am working towards my next financial goal of buying a house, something that was not even a reality in my head a few years ago. With the tools I’ve learned and the systems I’ve built, I feel confident, capable and in control of making my dreams a reality.
This journey has made me passionate about helping as many people as I can to find financial relief. I started this blog to share the lessons I’ve learned along the way and to share my journey as I continue towards my next financial goals.
I invite you to join this journey with me!