In a week from tomorrow, I’ll be leaving Portland and moving back to Los Angeles. I say “back” because that’s where I’m from. I’ve been living in Portland for nearly 4.5 years and I’m feeling excited to take this next step in my journey.
Many early readers may know that I didn’t want to move to Portland — I moved for my partner (and we’re still together!), but struggled to enjoy this place.
The rain, struggling economy and the overall vibe just wasn’t me. I know it’s a pretty hip place and I’ve come to like it, but I’ve never felt like it was home. It’s a bizarre feeling to live somewhere for several years and feel like you are just waiting to move on, because it’s not where you are supposed to be.
But as I start preparing for my move, I’m getting more emotional about this place. It’s not so much about leaving, but everything this place represents.
This place ran me through the grinder and then pushed me to the top. When I moved here and struggled to find work, I was severely depressed and doing any gigs I could get in order to get by. I hit a new low and ended up on food stamps.
After living here for a year, I had to find an outlet for myself. Something away from the rejection and everything else I felt was out of my control.
Although I complain a lot about how much I struggled and how much I didn’t like it here in those early days, I can guarantee you that I would not have started this blog without that struggle.
I would not have eventually quit the nonprofit job I found (after 1.5 years of living here) to be my own boss. And I’m pretty positive I wouldn’t have doubled my income or paid off debt so quickly if I would have stayed in NYC or moved to LA right away.
In other words, I was meant to be in Portland for a season. I think I’ve grown and learned so much in the past 4.5 years and have met wonderful, beautiful friends I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Sometimes out of struggle, something beautiful can be born. Even when things are bad, there can be a silver lining.
There are times where you may feel like you are in limbo. A feeling that I’ve been very familiar with for the past few years and am experiencing now. It’s a feeling of being away from where you used to be, but not quite where you want to be.
I’ve always had one foot out the door, wondering when it was going to be time to pack my bags. Now the time has come and there are so many changes on the horizon.
Moving is such a pain and I’m reminded now of just how much there is to do to move your life to another state.
My finances feel like they’re in limbo as well. Earlier in the month, I wanted to boast how much I saved. I felt like a rockstar, investing $2,500 in index funds and saving a few more thousand dollars in my emergency fund, travel fund and moving fund. But then earlier this month, after doing my taxes, I found out I owed. I had some saved, but guess what? Not enough.
Don’t worry, I’m not going back into debt. It just means my “salary” is less this month. But then next month I am going to Italy and I don’t think I have enough saved. Then in another month or two, after I look for a real place (crashing with family first) I’ll have to throw down some money for a security deposit, used furniture and the like.
In other words, I feel kind of stuck and like my finances will just be getting by for the next few months.
Part of me wonders if I was hasty to get out of debt so quickly, as clearly I am lacking in regards to my other savings goals. But I can’t think that way. I don’t regret getting out of debt when I did. I won’t get into debt for any of these things, it just means that I may not be able to be a savings and investing rockstar like I wanted (right away). Life is happening and very quickly at that.
I will definitely keep you posted about all my adventures and financial mishaps, struggles and triumphs. As I said, I felt pretty amazing in February with how much I saved and invested, but this month was a brutal slap of reality.
The next few months will be expensive, there’s just no two ways about it. In a way, though, I’m grateful I can afford these things. These things are happening precisely because I CAN afford them.
The past few years have been stagnant because I was working on the singular goal of getting out of debt. Now that I’m debt-free, life is happening rather fast, but it’s the life I finally want to be living.
I want all of my readers to continue to work hard and get out of debt too, because it feels so good! I’m also pleased to announce that J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy is matching my contributions for my #debtfairygodmother project.
So, every month I’m still choosing a reader/commenter and donating a portion of my blog income to help them pay off debt. Sometimes just a little extra can go a long way and I know that! So don’t ever give up!
Next week, I’ll probably be running around like a crazy person, so will have a week of wonderful dear debt letters! I’m so excited as they’re SO good. You all inspire me every day. Keep fighting the good fight and just remember if you are feeling in limbo or like things suck, that there might be a reason for the season, or a silver lining you can’t see yet. Just keep your eyes open.