First Day of the Rest of My Life
It’s just your average Monday and I’m not at work. I have to stop saying that. I’m still working…but at home. It’s just that my new “work” doesn’t feel like “work.” They say that’s when you know you’ve found the perfect profession! That’s what I’m banking on at least.
What am I talking about? Here we go. Confession time: I quit my steady, stable, well-paying job with benefits to follow my dreams of becoming a commission-only Disney travel agent and personal finance blogger.
The Start of My Journey
Cue the snickers and scoffs and “she’s crazy” remarks. A couple of years ago, I would’ve been one of the critics. I prided myself on my stability and survival. One good friend referred to me as “the most practical and responsible person” she knows. A reliable creature of habit. Super low risk (well, except for my 100% stock portfolio). It’s unthinkable to choose a life of variable income when you could have a cushy corporate job, right?
Follow the crowd. Live below your means, budget, save, save, save and in 40 years you can enjoy all that you’ve worked for in a job you’re not completely passionate about. That’s what we’re supposed to do. It’s the rule! And I NEVER break the rules. (Though technically the whole living below your means and budgeting and saving is already pretty weird in America, I guess I should’ve seen the writing on the wall with that!)
I was super skilled at SURVIVING. But in August 2016 I was invited to an eye opening leadership workshop with Amir Ghannad. Amir has a ton of great insight that is not so earth-shattering, but can still change your life. He told us all that humans are wired to SURVIVE, not THRIVE. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to thrive. I realized I wanted to stop surviving and start thriving.
Admit the Truth
I finally admitted to myself that I had not one, but TWO passions (lucky me) – Disney and personal finance. Somehow just admitting that was a huge step. And then I started to get antsy when I realized I wasn’t spending a good portion of my waking hours pursuing those passions. I started a finance Facebook page in November 2016, then bought a URL and 3 years of hosting services for this blog in June 2017.
In the meantime I was also taking annual trips to Disney, and purposely staying at different resorts each stay to fulfill the requirements of a very competitive Disney travel agency. It was a longshot. In January of 2018 I met those requirements and asked for an application. The application was insane, but I spent about a month working on it and it helped to start convince me I might actually have what it takes. Submitted in February. Made the first cut – they didn’t throw away my application! After 2 phone interviews and a test, they offered me the coveted position!
I was so excited…NOT!! I was in shock? Maybe a little. In reality, I was…scared. I had a bad feeling in my stomach. I now had to make a CHOICE!
I realized how often in life I actually shy away from choices. I’m really good at having my cake and eating it too. I mean, I LOVE cake, so that makes sense, but I digress. Oh crap, I had to choose between my steady job and my dream job. I came home that night and talked to my husband. After a lot of hemming and hawing, I asked myself the question – what would I do if I weren’t afraid? I would accept the offer in a heartbeat. Mistake or not, I HAD to do this. I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t go for it. I might actually experience failure…which I had spent so long avoiding just trying to be safe and secure.
Thankfully I had a few months to cope with this huge change and come to terms with it. It also helped that my company was in bad shape and not a fun place to be at the moment anyway. I had my ups and downs and way too many thoughts in my head. I had a ton of ideas for future blog posts about the emotional and mental journey. But overall things were coming together. I started training and felt ALIVE because I was using so many of my talents – my superpowers, really. And life is really really good when you’re harnessing your superpowers, financial follower friends.
I can’t emphasize that enough. It makes me so excited for the future. It makes me feel like I’m on the right path. And now I’ve gone off the deep end and become a self-help junkie. I want to help other people do what I did!!
Money is a Tool
By now you’re thinking, “isn’t this a finance blog, MerNe?” Yes! But money is just a tool to help you achieve your dreams. I want to help people improve their finances…and also go on amazing Disney vacations. I want you all to get your financial lives together, realize your passions, and have the financial means to pursue them! I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t worried about money with this transition. I had plenty of negative “lack” thoughts. But I remembered a coworker telling me earlier this year “if anyone is going to do something like this, it’s you.” Because I’m financially prepared. I know I am in good shape.
Who knew that all my saving and scrimping was preparing me for such a time as this? Our only debt is our mortgage, my Roth IRA has been compounding since the age of 17 (omg, I just realized half my life!). We live well below our means. We have an 8-9 month emergency fund. Since the summer I’ve been putting extra funds into an “opportunity fund.”
I’m ready. I don’t have time to worry, I’m too busy following my dreams!
Are you feeling inspired to pursue your passions? I bet money is a tool to help you get there in some way, shape or form. How can I help you take the next step on your journey? Make today the first day of the rest of YOUR life!