Friday, November 16, 2007

Feeling Hopeful

Last night Justin and I met with a financial advisor, and I just feel like celebrating how far we've come. When we met, I was a grad student and Justin worked part-time at a video store. We didn't have much, but we were so, so, happy. We met when Shannon and I were clubbing. All of our lives were really at the club. Daytime was really just time to plan what you were going to wear. Those were the nights of getting in before cover and buying one beer for $2.00 and then dancing the night away.

When I left graduate school, I had a student loan that I thought would never get paid off. I couldn't imagine it would ever be possible to buy a house. For a time, I'd even messed up my credit rating. And the hardest step, and the most important, was finding the courage to get real with where I was at - to know exactly what my debt was, to request a copy of my credit report, to stop imagining the worst and to find out the facts.

We were eventually able to invest in a house, and this year I paid off my student loan (yay). And the reason I'm posting about this stuff is one, to celebrate and two, because I want other people to know it is possible. Things change. You can turn things around. Things you can't afford today can become a regular part of your life in the future. It takes honesty (with yourself and with your partner if you have one). It takes courage. And it takes hope, hope that things can change. It takes believing it's possible. It takes belief in yourself. You can change your life.

As we start considering our post-loan budget, new possibilities open. And as much as that loan cost me, it did give me something - I gained the confidence of knowing that I could rise above it. You can too. I believe.

12 comments:

Marilyn said...

That IS a hopeful post! Congratulations!

Thursday's Child said...

Congrats! I'm going to be finishing my undergraduate work soon, followed quickly by graduate school. I'm not looking forward to having to start repaying all those loans, but it's good to hear that it's possible.

Thanks for sharing!

Jana B said...

Thanks SO much for reminding me that there is hope. SO much. This post was so meant for me today. Thanks. *hug*

rebecca said...

Congrats! I'm working on paying off a (probably much smaller than your loan) looming credit card bill. I think about how overwhelmed I get with that task, and then I remember that so many people are able to rise above so much more, and it stops me from crying because my boyfriend is paying all our bills right now to help me out. It stops me from thinking I'm never going to finish paying it off.

So even though my daunting task is much less than yours was, thank you for the inspiration that it can happen.

And super super super super congrats!

Sacred Suzie said...

You are Justin have done AMAZING Jamie! You really are an inspiration. I hope you're right about turning things around. It's hard when I can't work, it just seems impossible which is why we're moving. If we want to turn things around we have to jump big to prove it. I just hope it's the right decision.

Thanks for the inspiration and congratulations again!

daisies said...

its so true ... my husband and i never thought we would own a house and though he's a musician and i am still paying off student loans, we somehow managed and are managing, its amazing how far we have come :)

we met with a financial advisor this past month too :)

Jenn said...

So inspiring! Congrats again. and thanks for sharing your process. Finances are definitely an area that I love to avoid. I've had it on my list to look at my personal and business finances for several weeks now and somehow something else more interesting always comes up ;). The good thing is I have a meeting with my colleagues at The Fearless Entrepreneur to go over what came up for us in looking at our finances, so I have accountability. And I appreciate what you pointed to in your post. Reminding me, it's not about the numbers, it's really about what you get from it, what you value - a home, freedom, or perhaps some cool boots, etc. Now that, I can relate to!

Tammy said...

Thank you for this post!! I am mired deep in heavy student loan debt. But, I pay extra every month, and I'll get there. Knowing you've made it helps!! :)

Shannon said...

That is so amazing Jamie! it is great to know that it can happen, and it is so much better knowing where you stand !

hello, my name is danny. said...

CHEERS!

there is always a better future if you just believe in it!

Melba said...

YES!
What a great post Jamie ~ gave me thrill bumps!

Jessie said...

ok...i just planted a big sloppy wet kiss on your cheek because i love you so much and i loved reading this. i'm smiling right now because this feels so GOOD to read! :)

congrats on getting your school loan paid off. that is, indeed, a reason to celebrate! :)