I’ve essentially accidentally given up writing for the past seven months. I never meant for it to happen, but a week long break to get caught up with other work turned into a month, turned into several months, turned into seven months. And holy cannoli, has a lot changed.
Mental health-wise, I was not in the best place to write and I knew it, so I was gentle and graceful with myself, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking that I need to write. My biggest mental block was the fact that I was behind on paperwork for my job; I couldn’t justify writing for myself while knowing that I should be catching up on paperwork, but I didn’t want to do the work and was procrastinating on that too. All of this amounted to me spending more mind-numbing hours than I’d like to admit to myself or anyone else scrolling through Facebook on my phone on the couch. For seven months.
At the same time, I wasn’t happy in my job. The same job I think I remember raving about in a previous post. As it turns out, working in the realm of other peoples’ emotions while barely making enough money to take care of myself created some resentment, and working an opposite schedule of my husband (no quality time together other than when we’re sleeping) happens to be REALLY draining. I was encouraging my clients to find balance in their lives while having little in my own life.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was my car breaking down. In 2016, I sold the car I had purchased brand new three years earlier (young, 22 year old Emilie, who had no other debt and didn’t yet have student loans due because she was still in school, thought this was a great idea. Oh to live in simpler times.). I bought a $3,000, 13-year-old SUV with cash in order to eliminate a $300 per month car payment and pay off debt faster. Great intentions, poorly executed on the part of the SUV that broke down less than a year later. I’m certainly not knocking old, cheap cars – I had an $800 car that ran fantastically for a few years – but this particular old, cheap car was not so lucky.
So here I was, with a master’s degree, $70,000 of student loan debt, borrowing my husband’s car while he borrowed a truck from my parents, no money to replace my car, working a job where I was barely able to help pay bills.
Something. Had. To. Give.
I searched desperately for a full time job, and TLDR: came out with a great position working in early childhood mental health. The $36,000 salary could certainly be better, but I’m happy. I don’t have to worry about financial stability (whether or not I’ll make enough money to cover my student loans this month), and I’m not leaving for work in the afternoon just as my husband is about to come home. I certainly miss my old coworkers and clients, but my work-life balance and happiness have increased drastically.
I’ve also done some things since getting the job that could very well (and understandably so) be construed as hypocritical of someone urgently working to get out of debt:
- I financed a new-to-me two year old car
- We are buying a house (!!!)
And, well, as for seeming hypocritical, I really can’t disagree and I’ve got no excuse. This is what’s right for us right now. In the long run, these are choices that will benefit my family.
My goal is still to get out of debt ASAP, especially the student loan debt. Look out for more posts on the home buying process and why we are choosing to buy right now. I promise I’ll do a better job of updating now that I’m in a brighter place in my life.