A year ago tomorrow, I wrote the first post published on this (second edition of my) blog. I was maxed out. I cried almost daily. And nobody knew but you guys. It’s not hard to see how much my life has changed since then but I would be lying if I said I didn’t carry the memory of that time with me always.
At this point, I don’t need to list off what I have accomplished. You’ve watched the current debt total go down alongside me. The numbers should say it all. What I would like to do instead is tell you some of the lessons I have learned in the last 365 days; many of them taught by you.
You don’t have to hit rock bottom, to know when it’s time to make a change in your life. Yes, that’s how my story started, but I now know that feelings of guilt and my natural instincts were telling me something bad was going to happen long before it did. Always listen to your body.
If you aren’t willing to admit what you really want, it probably won’t ever happen. But even more so than saying it aloud, you have to take whatever action is needed to accomplish your goal. “Nobody said life would be easy, they just said it would be worth it.”
Human beings share many of the same emotions, fears and insecurities. Having the courage to reveal yours is often all it takes for someone else to reveal theirs. It builds a connection and lets others know they are not alone. Be brave for you and everyone around you.
Believing in yourself is not always easy; in fact, it’s often difficult. If you have to remind yourself what you are working towards and why, on a daily basis, do so. There is no shame in wanting the life you’ve always dreamed of. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
There is more generosity in this world than any of us will ever know. I have always felt it in the personal finance community but I could never have imagined receiving support, both emotional and financial, from strangers all over this earth. There is no better way to say thank you than to accept it.
Finally, I may often be broke shortly after pay day, but I am rich. I have a roof over my head. I have a warm bed to sleep in. I have clothes on my back and shoes on my feet. I never go hungry. I share and receive. I smile often and laugh always. I love and am loved. My life is full and fulfilling.
All I have left to say is thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. Thank you for the 10,000+ tweets, chats and Skype sessions. Thank you for being as honest with me as I try to be with you. Thank you for telling me what I need to hear, when I need to hear it.
And most importantly, thank you for humbling me.
What a year it’s been.