It’s been rough dropping to a lower income again. (Ever the rebel/outsider, I decided to resign just after the “Great Resignation” in 2021.) Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret leaving my corporate position for a second – I’ve always known I can’t last long in an office — but not having the same financial security is tough.
I’m grateful that tutoring has picked up and that we had some savings socked away. Unfortunately, we took a big hit at tax time because I switched from a W-2 to 1099 mid-year, and we also had some crypto gains. (But of course we were glad to have the gains!)
So, lately I’ve been reflecting back on the last 40 years and the ride of financial ups and downs. I grew up with some government assistance — but didn’t know until later — and never felt I didn’t have enough. Then after college (paid mostly through scholarships and some financial assistance), I started my teaching career, was living with my parents on a low monthly rent, and felt like I could have whatever I wanted. I paid off my first car immediately and took a tour in Europe. I remember choosing whatever I wanted from restaurant menus and never looking at price. (I miss that feeling.)
Then, I moved out and picked up a mortgage, and suddenly price always came first. Some years later I left teaching, and since then, money has always been on my mind. My family helped me through some of my loans; I briefly went into debt around the time I walked the Camino. And it took me over a year to get back in the black.
At this moment I find myself debt-free, everything paid off, and I hope to never be in that place again. But I also just want to be happy, you know?
I’m still feeling a little lost about where I’m headed next. In the meantime I plan to start doing deliveries this summer to bring in some more income. Tutoring tends to drop off a bit when school lets out, and I’m ready to mix things up anyway.
My dream is to go on walks like the Camino for the rest of my life, and to do it sustainably (financially) from now on. It’s hard to believe it can happen — but anything is possible — and I’ve gotten a few positive nudges from the universe. I’m still feeling a bit in limbo, but I’m hoping some of it is just divine timing. In the meantime, I’m continuing to focus in on the dream. (“Your timing, not mine”, right? But, Universe, if you’d like to move a little faster, no problema here!)