Affording a life you love
There is something to be said for getting everything taken away from you, that allows you to refocus and reset on truly what’s most important.
When I first learned that my ex husband had been cheating on me, I called my mom and said a phrase I will never forget: “I couldn’t leave if I wanted to-- I can’t afford to be on my own.”
Y'all, in order to truly grasp this statement, I need to fill you in on my family a bit more.
My mom was one of 7 kids, and her dad passed away suddenly, when her youngest sister was six years old. My grandmother was a single female business owner and the mother of seven kids. My dad left us when I was 11, and my mom continued to raise a know-it-all pre-teen while running a business of her own.
I went to college on a full scholarship, and each time I wanted to study abroad or apply for a new opportunity, the answer my mom gave was always yes-- provided I could obtain the scholarships and funding to do so.
All of that to say, I don’t come from a fragile stock of women who shied away from challenging times.
And then I married a man who told me I needed to spend more time at home, and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t stop “my little business”, because he could afford to support us both. For five years I was told that my dreams and aspirations were ‘too much’, so I worked to make myself smaller. And after a while, I started to believe that it was true.
After he initially told me that he cheated, I spent a few months trying to get my bearings, but it wasn’t until I had a conversation with my former college roommate, that truly made me take action.
I’m paraphrasing here, but basically what she said was, “Meagan, when we were in college, you worked 4 jobs and did whatever it took to pay for school-- what makes you think that now would be any different? You’re still in there.”
I was an RA in college, and although our room and board was paid for and we had a meal plan-- our take home pay was something like $150 a month. A MONTH.
Her point was, when I was a poor college kid who had to work 4 jobs to have any semblance of spending money, I made it work. When I married a man that allowed for me to re-invest all of my earnings back into my company, I did that. But that didn’t mean that I couldn’t re-adjust my life and my spending habits again.
If you saw the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, you may remember the Occamy, which was the snake-bird creature that would grow or shrink to fill available space.