So I’m in the middle of slogging it through paying off my student loans. It feels Sisyphean. Like, I even know my potential payoff date (which is in November!). But that day seems forever away and almost impossible. I feel like I’m throwing my money as quickly as I’m making it at this danged loan. This is the hard part of the financial independence journey, right? This is the part where I look back in ten years, beaming with pride that I made it through?
It’s hard. Mr. Smudged and I both have aging cars. Cars that are now throwing lights. Cars that need some expensive love. Expensive love that could throw a wrench in my plans for getting these stupid loans to go away. I have an emergency fund, but I’ll need to refill it if I use it all up. And that would have to come from my student loan (over)payments. Depending on the cost to fix, it could push me back two or three months.
When I was a kid, I would get scared every time we went for a ride in the car for longer than ten minutes. What if I had to go to the bathroom? Genuine terror would fill my heart. It was silly. It was ridiculous. But that same dread fills me up now, what is two months? Hardly anything! My heart was set on November.
I’m trying to remind myself why I want to be financially independent. Like it will make me feel better, instead of reminding me that my goals could be facing a setback.
I have a dream of all the things I want to do if I can only retire early.
I want to learn art and make art and spend so much time looking at art.
I want to learn other things, like how to play guitar or how to fix a car.
I want to (assuming we have kids) spend so much time with potential future children.
I want to wake up without my alarm clock and ease into my day as slowly as I please.
I want to have the time and energy to cooking a dinner exactly the way I want it.
I want to hang out with friends and still have energy because I didn’t use all of my energy talking to co-workers (who are fine, but it’s just so exhausting).
I want to seriously commit to making my own clothes.
I want to learn how to knit.
I want to spend so much less time in my car.
I want to make plans, see that it has snowed, and delay them because I have power over my time and don’t have to risk my life in cold weather.
I want to volunteer and help people and be able to be there at a moment’s notice, not trapped at work.
I want to spend so much time with my husband.
I want to teach potential future children to be compassionate, independent, and to know themselves.
And then there’s the don’ts:
I don’t want to hear an alarm clock ever again.
I don’t want to feel stressed about taking a day off because I am the pin that holds everything together.
I don’t want to have to report my time and activity to anyone. (Seriously so glad to be done with high school where I had to ask to go to the bathroom).
I don’t want to waste my time feeling miserable doing a job that doesn’t appeal to me. I know your job doesn’t have to fulfill you, but it shouldn’t make you miserable either.
I don’t want to have a heart attack at work like my father.
I don’t want work to make me into a grumpy, irritable person.
I don’t want to waste my youth doing things I don’t care about.
I don’t want to feel controlled by the whims of the world and the problems it throws at people who can’t handle it fiscally.