Sometimes the God gives us small nudges to remind us of why we’re going down a particular path. One thing I always try to tell myself is that “the fight is fixed” and this process is to prepare us for the end point. Lately, I’ve been in a funk. I’m not sure if it’s the whole trying to figure out “what’s next” thing after graduation or if my chakra’s or out of balance but I just can’t seem to find the energy to press go on a lot of the projects that I had outlined to start/finish after I defended my dissertation.
I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m completely and utterly over paying off debt. I feel like I’m losing my steam especially when I think about how much debt we have remaining. I’m going to be 100% real with yall. The only thing exciting about this whole process is watching our debt go down every month. Yea, we’re making progress, and yes we’re slowly getting our lives back but it sucks and it’s both mentally and physically draining. You’ve heard me say that several times before and I’m never going to sugar coat that. There is still $132,109 to pay off which may take another two years if we continue at the rate we’re going now. With a new job and a pay increase things will change but for right now all that is still up in the air. Plus, every cent of that is our remaining student loan debt, and I kick myself when I think of all the times I’d look at my student loans and then walk away because I wasn’t strong enough to face the total amount. If we’d just took paying our loans off seriously years ago we wouldn’t have had to waste over $18,000 on paying back accrued interest.
Deferments and Forbearances are both a gift and a curse. We’ve learned that the hard way.
In my funk this week I stumbled across an old journal of mine from 2006 where I chronicled my experience living on my own and dealing with the stress of debt and finances. Reading through this journal brought back so many real and raw emotions because that was such a hard time for me. I was in a much worse situation back then, and yet I still managed to find the motivation to push through and pay down my credit card debt. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn my lesson from that experience because I allowed situations and feelings to cause me to fall back into a downward spiral, but I now firmly believe that God uses our mistakes to help us realize what we’re truly capable of. As I thumbed through this journal, it reminded me of all the grand plans I had for getting out of debt. I had entries on investments, plans for savings, purchasing a townhome, and I saw that I was doing the money envelope system without even realizing it. Maybe that’s why it’s one of my favorite ways to budget.
One of the entries in this journal was a letter I’d written to Money. In this letter, I was honest about why I’d let myself get into debt. As I read this letter aloud on Instagram live a felt like I was propelled back to that point where I decided that enough was enough. It was if God lead me to the journal so I could be reminded of my “why” again.
I never really understood your power until I was in middle school. I realized then that I was not in a class like everyone else. Most people were wearing Tommy and Nautica. I, on the other hand, was wearing Wal-Mart. I was usually teased because my birthmark and my clothes so in my head I vowed to be with the in crowd and afford everything that everyone else had. I remember my first paycheck. I blew it on clothes. I maxed out credit cards on clothes. I long to belong. The more money I got the more I spent. My wanted has ruined my life. I didn’t realize how content I was wearing Wal-Mart. Iw ould go back to wearing Wal-mart to get out of this mess. Money. I don’t need you to belong and I don’t need you to be happy. I need to take the control you have of me and flip it so that I control you.
I’ve decided that I’m going to write another letter to Money in this same notebook. I’m a firm believer that words give things power and that by writing out my feelings it’ll reaffirm my stance to see this debt payoff journey to the end and God willing to never go back down this road again.