My Name Hasn't Been On a Lease Or Bill in Years
I haven't had my name on a lease or a utility bill in almost 3 years.
Yes, you read that right.
2.5 years ago I gave up the stagnant life of just working and paying bills to pursue something different.
I was at my wits end; completely unsatisfied.
Constantly struggling to fit pieces of my lifestyle (travel/passions) into my life was draining me.
I'm talking mentally, physically and emotionally draining me.
I found myself working jobs I knew I didn't want to work but couldn't leave because I had to pay rent at a house I was either never home to enjoy or didn’t enjoy being in anyways.
And on top of rent I had to keep the electricity, water, and heat on.
Please don't assume I'm saying I don't pay rent because I definitely do (rolls eyes).
Living, for me, just looks different than it did before.
3 years ago I was living the life you're supposed to live as a young adult.
Checking off all the boxes on my ever-growing list of benchmark accomplishments.
Job(s). House. Savings. Things. Money for Extracurriculars. Wellness.
All the things and somehow I had no spark for life.
I no longer spent energy on being creative; which used to drive my life force.
Whether is was the 'real word', lack of time or lack of motivation - I don't know.
There simply was nothing to my life but work, motherhood and the weight of lack.
This would soon leave me feeling unfulfilled and resenting the designated path.
It's a sore and painful topic actually.
I had all the things everyone says you should want but I wasn't feeling what they said I should feel.
Instead of feeling like I was accomplished; I felt like I was settling.
Settling for complacency.
Settling for an idea of success that I never even believed in.
Settling for a dream that I never saw myself in.
It all felt sad to me.
I was walking the predetermined path of the typical American chasing the American Dream.
I however, am extraordinary.
The path I was destined to walk on my journey isn't someone else's template.
I was forced to wake up and make changes.
It was either that or lose myself completely and have my son there watching me unravel.
The Turning Point
I remember my boss telling me that she and her husband put off their honeymoon for years because they wanted to save for something grand.
Paris I believe.
While working and living married people life; things kept coming up.
The car needed fixing, unaccounted for bills needed paying; just life.
The honeymoon that was supposed to be planned and booked within a year or two was now long past due.
Years and years into marriage and they'd simply settled into a normal life together.
She's telling me this story to say at some point they had to just 'go for it'.
They didn't have much money to their name but they couldn't keep putting off something they wanted to experience together.
The tickets were bought.
The accommodations booked.
The trip came; they had the time of their lives!
They would have been stuck in the routine of working to pay the bills had they not agreed to just take the trip.
She said when they got back one of the utilities had been cut off.
They didn't know how they were going to pay for certain things to get caught back up from the little time they took off but they were happy haven taken the trip.
Eating ramen but happy.
I learned four things that never left me:
1. Life isn't going to make room for your wants; that's on you.
2. Light, gas and water don't get cut off at the first missed payment.
3. Money is going to be just as much of a problem when you get back from the trip.
4. TAKE THE TRIP
Her story inspired me to make changes.
Not only to my life at the time but to my mindset.
The first step to making changes to my mindset was to understand why it was the way it was.
An everlasting battle with BEING HOME and the accompanying contentment is what kept me stuck for so long.
It wasn't happiness or joy; it was familiarity and ease of life honestly.
I knew all I had to do was THIS and THIS would happen every time.
Home was easy.
And who leaves the #BigEasy for the unknown.
Struggle and hard work doesn't look good on everybody; specifically me.
But something had to shake; my goal was to experience new places while showing my son that limits begin and end in the mind.
So I started with dipping my toe into the outside world.
A weekend away here - a week away there.
I started to really look at how other people lived.
Paycheck to paycheck; just like me.
Not really liking their life but going with it; just like me.
Buying things to fill their homes instead of getting out and doing things they actually want to do - like travel; I couldn't let that be me.
The idea of contentment or better yet COMFORTABILITY began to make me itch.
With my bosses story locked in my head I knew it was time to start addressing and letting go of certain fears (around money and bills):
Imagine stressing about money you don't have as if it's going to magically appear because you need it.
Imagine going through life scared to live because you're worried about bills that are going to be there anyways.
I had to release some of that.
Realizing most people are one check away from not doing okay is what woke me up.
If over 60% of the country lived paycheck to paycheck why be stagnant.
If paycheck to paycheck its what's in the cards; why not live paycheck to paycheck somewhere you actually want to be.
In no way am I saying don't strive to make more, do more, be more.
What I am saying is; what's the harm in trying something different if being in the same place, doing the same thing is yielding no new results?
Its all about releasing attachments. (Pinning for another post)
I made a promise to myself, then, to never shrink my lifestyle to fit into my life again.
Now I live my lifestyle(s) and life has to fit into it.
I don't work and work and TRY to fit a trip in; I travel and plan ways to make money.
Making excuses for being stagnant based on a life I knew I didn't want - couldn't work anymore.
I put everything I wanted to hold onto in storage and packed my car with essentials.
With a destination set in my gps; I left the #BigEasy.
So then the question becomes where and how.
Where have I been living and how.
I'll give the short and sweet and save the expendo for its own post.
Basically, for the past 2.5 years my son and I have lived in Airbnb's.
Everything is furnished and included in the price.
Virginia Beach - Airbnb for a month then #hotellife on the beach
New Mexico Sabbatical - Airbnb garage loft
Philadelphia - Airbnb brownstone
Miami - Airbnb RV
New Jersey - #hotellife
Myrtle Beach - Airbnb beach condo for 2 months then employee housing