I love a good reflection. While looking back at the most noteworthy moments of 2019 earlier today, I realized that it was a year of tremendous growth and new experiences for me. To be fair, I know that a lot of it can be attributed to 2018 being full of quite a bit of heartache. When you have a tough year emotionally, you're bound to become stronger. But a lot of it was also because we had slowly been setting the stage when we began making pretty drastic lifestyle changes in recent years.
Somewhere along the line, I discovered Dave Ramsey and his classic wisdom of paying off debt. His motto is to live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else. Jared and I started our debt free journey after our time in Alaska, and it was by no means easy. We definitely had more naysayers than cheerleaders along the way. But when I look back at this past year and all the things we did, I am overcome with gratitude.
Because we had paid off all of our debt and built up an emergency fund, I was able to resign from my job as a teacher at the end of the school year in order to pursue this passion project called The Orderly Nest. This passion project would ultimately lead to a more flexible schedule, allowing me to make more time for my family during a time when I needed that more than anything. It would also allow me to help countless other people to free up space in their homes, their schedules, and their lives for what matters most to them as well.
Not only did becoming debt free allow me to switch career paths in 2019, it led to lots of (mostly stress-free) travel and fun. I spent a weekend in NYC with my mama. We stayed overnight in an amazing shipping container house in Hocking Hills. We rented a car, took our time, and drove 5,000 miles across the country. We saw the Red Rocks, Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and countless other parks and monuments. We spent a long weekend in Vegas with some of our best friends. We traveled to Canada and spent the weekend at Niagara Falls for my 29th birthday.
I am not writing this to push a debt-free lifestyle on others... although I do highly recommend it. I am writing this to remind you that if you have goals, even if they seem impossible, push forward. Like they always say, the time is going to pass anyway. Set the stage for how you want to live your life. MAKE YOURSELF PROUD!
Happy New Year! xoxo