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I saw this image on Pinterest. I’m glad it’s got this man’s watermark cause he deserves the shoutout for the quote. So thank you Zero Dean!
I’ve had this come up a few times in my life. Where people have come up to me and said things like “must be nice” or something else along those same lines. Here’s what those people don’t know. How hard I work my little tushy off to get to where I am. And no, nothing that I have has ever been handed to me. I’ve gone from broker than a joke to where I am without anyone’s help. I want you all to know these things. I want you all to know that my world does not always have rainbows and sunshine.
If I had to do my life over, would I? No. I am happy where I am. I am glad that I experienced everything thus far because I wouldn’t be writing this out to you right now. And I wouldn’t be at this point in my life.
Because I like to be real. And because I want you all to know who I am, here is my story.
1. My hubby and I have chosen not to have kids. We are both extremely honest that we are selfish people. We love our friends kids to the moon and back. We just like knowing that at the end of the day, they go back to your home and not ours.
2. I am okay with not having kids.
3. I don’t typically talk about my hubby on the blog very much. He doesn’t quite get the blogging thing until he sees dollars exchange hands. I very much am the creative type and this here blog helps fuel my creative spirit. I get a lot of flak and grief over this blog from him. I struggle with this every day.
4. I am quiet on the blog on the weekends cause that is when I am home with my hubby. I live and work on the road M-F. My evening times are basically free because I am in a town where I don’t know very many people. Lots of free time = lots of social media/blogging free time.
5. My hubby isn’t all that supportive of me to my face. I hear that he says things to his family that sometimes gets relayed back to me, but he is not an expressive supporter. I know he does support me, he just doesn’t show it. Our love languages are very different.
6. My hubby and I have a great business relationship. And we are best friends. The lovey dovey stuff isn’t our thing. And I am a-okay with that because I’m not a lovey dovey kind of person.
7. My hubby has a Type A personality. And he has addiction issues. Currently we are holding strong at addicted to nothing at this moment. But tomorrow it could be gatorade. (I’ve had the extremes of Mexican food to alcohol to worse).
8. At age 22, my hubby (we were only dating at the time) and I were living in this cute little A-frame farmhouse. I had just graduated college. We were renting it at the time and had decided to try and buy it. Neither one of us had a job. Well, he did…but he was in business for himself. We went 3 months without paying rent because we were trying to save up on a downpayment. We were also renovating the house at the same time. There were these beautiful hardwood floors on the first floor being hidden by the carpet. I painstakingly refinished those babies on my hands and knees with a 2-inch paint brush and 3 coats of lacquer. I think I covered over 1500 sq feet in one coating. We were also renovating the outside. Hand sanding 2 inch wooden slats that were on the outside of the house (think wood siding but the really small stuff). Turns out the bank wouldn’t loan us the money. And we had run out of money. No money for anything. We couldn’t afford to live anymore. We exhausted all of our resources. We moved out in the middle of the night.
9. At age 22, I was broker than a joke. No job. No money. No place to live. But boy howdy I had a college degree that wouldn’t help me get a job to save my life. I seriously had job interviews in which I was told that I was overqualified for the position and that they wouldn’t hire me. Citing that if I found something better that I would leave said job. I now understand their reasoning, but I would’ve liked the opportunity to make that decision on my own back then. My hubby (again only dating at the time) had to pawn one of his hand guns to pay for my first months rent in a friend of a friend’s house. I rented a room from someone I didn’t know. Thankfully there was a friend we did know also living there.
10. After a lot of hard work and living well below our means (he lived with his parents), I bought a duplex when I was 24 years old.
11. At age 24, just 8 months after I bought my first duplex, my mom died. Non-smokers lung cancer. She was 53 years young.
12. A year later, I bought another duplex. And 3 months after that duplex I bought a house.
13. We were living the good life. Had money coming in from all over. Rental money (I bought 2 more rental properties). Motorcycle money (we had our Motorcycle Dealers license at this point). We had good savings. We were young and finally married and it all seemed right. And we were spending so much of that money. So much meaning we had to make $15k a month to break even. I am not saying any of this to be boastful. I am saying this to share how our life got out of hand. Partly because I wasn’t strong enough to say no. Partly because my hubby has addiction issues. Partly because it was easier to avoid the issue and just work that much harder to keep up.
14. We had a life changing moment in which we decided that the stress of trying to maintain that kind life was awful. We sold practically everything that was causing us too much debt. All personal things (vehicles etc).
15. We bought a car lot in 2008. In 2009, we decided to give up the motorcycle license and get a motor vehicle license and move into our car lot. Up until that point we just had the place rented out. It was and has been an interesting ride for sure. No pun intended.
16. In 2010, I had the opportunity to go on the road to help us get rid of the rest of our debt. We decided to put our house on the market and move back into our duplex, where we should’ve stayed back in 2004 until we could’ve paid cash for something.
17. When I went on the road full time, my hubby went a little crazy buying vehicles for our lot. We are still trying to sell those vehicles nearly 2 years later. Me leaving to work on the road really tore my husband a part. He doesn’t do well by himself. Neither of us realized how much stress it would cause him with me being gone. So not only did we not get out of debt faster, he put our business under a lot of debt buying too many cars.
18. In 2011, my brother died. From an accidental overdose of Xanax. I’m left with just my dad and my grandmother (as my mom’s parents passed in 2009, 11 days apart and my dad’s dad passed a year after my mom).
19. Now we are at today. I’ve been on the road full time since July of 2010. There is now light at the end of our tunnel. I am home every weekend. We have new financial goals again. We live in our duplex basically for free. Our other tenants pay the bills for us. Our car lot is nearly paid for and we are putting it up for sale. With me being gone, it’s too much work for my hubby to handle on his own. I try my best to help out but it’s just not feasible anymore.
20. We are getting back to a much more simple lifestlye. One in which we can pay cash for everything.
21. Our relationship and marriage have not always been fun (think addictions to money and the above mentioned things). In my head, we’ve had more bad times than good times. Some of those bad times are my personal losses. It’s hard not to lump them all in with everything else.
22. I’ve wanted to call it quits on our marriage on so many different occasions that I gave up counting. But I didn’t and we’ve worked most of our issues out. (We’ve been together nearly 11 years, married for 7).
23. Marriage is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work. And it takes knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each other. I mentioned before that my hubby and I are great business partners. We went from dead broke and pawning guns to buying a duplex and then another and then a house and so on and so on. We work well together. Not apart. It took nearly 11 years to figure all of this out.
24. If I had to write down all of our mistakes (including the amount of money that has passed through our hands), it is mind boggling and sickening all at the same time. We were so naive and dumb and all sorts of other things. We were and are both to blame for our choices.
But that’s what it all comes down to. Our choices. Most of our financial success came from reading one book way back in the beginning when we were dead broke. Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach.
I say all this because…when you see someone and think “man, must be nice” or “yall are so perfect” please realize that they aren’t. That they probably have a story too.
When I was broker than broke and had no job. And my student loans were coming off of deferment and it was time to start paying my college back. I didn’t have a thought in the world as to how I was going to even get out of my mess. I bought a book. I bought that book mentioned above. And yes, a book is partially what saved me.
The other part. The grace of God. And an answered prayer….a job.
If you want a different outcome, make a different choice. It’s not the easiest thing to do in the world, but trust me…if I can say all that I said up above…anyone can get to where they want to be. Just make a different choice.
This is my story. These are and were my choices.