I think so much about my future. About our future…J & I, and our three fabulous children.
I talk so much about my plans for us to be wealthy and the adventure I think our life will be. And while I’m sure so many of you roll your eyes (just like the people in my real life do), you need to understand that I’m serious.
And you need to understand this because it applies to your life too. Are you happy with things? Do you feel stuck? What are your dreams?
Because let me tell you, you can get anywhere you want to go. I don’t want to be just the girl who lost 100 pounds. I want to be the girl who felt lost, depressed and insecure, turned her life around, and ends up living the life of her dreams.
And it will happen. And trust me, if I’m willing to make that declaration, it’s because I mean it. I hate being wrong. Just ask my husband.
Why do you think some people are crazy rich and others struggle so much? Of course, some of it is pure circumstance. But we hear time and time again about rags to riches stories. So I have every reason in the world to believe that we can really live a life of luxury.
When J left active duty and we moved home, I knew from the get-go that the chances were slim that Indiana would work for us. I tried to let our parents know that we would definitely try to stay here, but that I wouldn’t be happy if we couldn’t live a comfortable life.
And as I figured, J’s (future) career doesn’t seem to fit in Indiana. And that’s okay for us. Of course, we’d love the kids to be near the grandparents. But ultimately, our family of five is what matters most. And I want us to prosper.
We have lived an interesting life so far in our marriage. J was on a submarine for 5 years in Georgia, and that was hard. But it was also kind of neat because every time he came home, we got to be newlyweds in a way. I miss that sometimes. But not enough to actually go back to it!
After the sub duty, he changed jobs so we were back together again for the second part of his enlistment. His hours were awful (2 twelve hour days, 2 twelve hour nights, 4 days off) and it wreaked havoc on our life. And although I was on Wellbutrin at the time, my depression was really bad. Which meant I started spending money to make myself feel better. And that is where we earned most of our debt.
Now, we’ve been back in Indiana for 3 years, and he has been working on his bachelor’s degree nearly the whole time. I worked full time for a while and he stayed at home with the kids, and now we’ve flipped that. And although I don’t see myself as a stay at home mom forever, I do feel like it’s where I’m supposed to be for now. I really want my kids to be homeschooled. And for now, I’m the one who is doing it.
Why did I share all of that? Well, I just feel like the first 11 years of our marriage has been the prep work. I feel like we’re closing in on our time to shine. And that doesn’t mean we haven’t had any joy in the prep work. It just means that it’s been a lot of ups and downs. And I know that it’s just life, but I hope the future will be more secure, and less scary.
It’s funny when I look back. When we first moved home, it was devastating when J didn’t get a job immediately. And then a month went by, and then another, and another. And then I had to go back to work so we could make ends meet. And I was so not happy about that.
But ironically, I think it saved my life. I think getting back into a routine and gaining that confidence in myself (that I wasn’t JUST a mom – I could contribute something in the workplace) made a huge difference in my journey. Afterall, I quit smoking AND lost the first 30ish pounds all while working full time.
And since then, J has been working full time and doing the full-time school thing and he is just exhausted. And I’m so proud of him but I’m ready for it all to pay off. And that’s I guess why I’m so certain that it will. If it doesn’t, I could very well be heartbroken.
But, sometimes we just get this feeling in our gut that tells us what will happen. And that feeling says that we are going to have a great life. We literally have NO limitations! We are willing to move (just about) anywhere, and we are willing to try anything. I’m not quite 30 and I’ve lived in 4 states as an adult and accomplished so very much. I have changed my life in a million tiny ways and few big ones too.
So why not? Why can’t we take vacations to Tahiti or spend winter break in Aspen or live in an amazing and gigantic home or have a gardener or a housekeeper? Why not?
Well, the answer is, we can. Because we’re willing to follow J’s dream, which thankfully could lead to big things. (And if it doesn’t, I’m honestly okay with him just doing something he loves.) And someday I’ll figure out what I’m going to do and maybe it’ll contribute to our household income. Or maybe it won’t.
And maybe we’ll get there and realize that none of it is even important. I’m smart enough to know now that those things aren’t the MOST important. I don’t want J to travel as a permanent job – it’s more important to me that he stays home with us. Even if it means we have to give up some things.
Who knows what will actually happen. But I feel great dreaming. And I feel like so much in life is temporary. We’re all a few decisions away from luxury or poverty.
I have made a lot of not great decisions in my life. With my kids, with my husband, with food, with smoking, with money, with my behavior. But I am on my way to turning it all around. In a lot of ways I have already done a 180 – but of course I’m still a work in progress.
I just want you to remember that it’s okay to believe that you can have something different. No one deserves it more than you. Or me. Celebrities have a lot of money. Yay them. Are they special? No. They just happen to have a job that pays more than a teacher’s salary. But they are absolutely no different.
So whether your dream is to change careers (even if it’s LESS money!), or travel, or finally get your health in order, or become a better parent/spouse/friend/etc. It is never too late and it is ALWAYS okay to reach for the stars. And when people roll their eyes and they don’t believe that you will do it, that’s okay. I’ve known for years that I would lose my weight. And I did it. To anyone who didn’t believe me – ha.
We are all made to be someone different. I haven’t quite figured out what I’m cut out for – except talking – but I have found a thousand things that don’t suit me. And sometimes, that’s just as helpful.
If you feel stuck or you feel hopeless, just know that a) you are not alone and b) it is not forever. I know that feeling all too well. And the main difference in the Nicole from then to the Nicole now is that I have hope. I have hope that while I’m not there yet, I will get to where I’m going. Because I want it badly enough. And I have a husband that is driven and wants to have a great life as well. Which helps, clearly.
But you have to give in a little and find your priorities. If our priority was to live here in Indiana, things might be different. We would have to re-evaluate our plans. But ultimately, I want us both to do what makes us happy. And since J has found that, then I’m happy to follow him and figure out my stuff later.
I don’t know any other way to live really. I crave change, and I have to say that I’m antsy after 3 years of living in Indiana. I feel bad thinking that, let alone saying it, because it sounds like I’m itching to get away from our family. But it isn’t that. It’s just that Indiana doesn’t feel like home. And I’m ready to set out on our adventure! I’m ready for J to be less stressed and I’m ready to see new parts of America.
I am so very excited. Some days I’m so excited I literally feel like my heart could burst. And that is something I definitely did not experience before I found the hope. I still struggle some days. Of course! I feel sad and depressed for absolutely no reason. But those are the exception to the rule these days.
If you do not ever feel your heart bursting with excitement, I want you to think about your dreams. I want you to truly ask yourself if you are living the life that you envision for yourself. And if you aren’t, what steps can you take to get there? And if you are, I’m so happy for you!
I can’t think of a good way to close this blog post. Mostly I just don’t want you guys to ever get annoyed with me (and leave!) for feeling “entitled” to my dream life. Because I feel like anyone can have whatever life they want. Even if it takes a lot of hard work to get there! So you can do it! Or maybe I’ll be back in 5 years saying that I was wrong lol. Buuuuuuut I don’t think so.