Paid in full
My path into adulthood has been characterized by twists and turns, and here's a preview:
Eight years ago, after moving away to college in Central California, I woke up from a dream convicted to change course completely and attempt to transfer to a new school. With two weeks left until the Chapman University deadline for a highly selective program, I pulled my application together and followed a literal dream into a brand-new life. I met my husband-to-be a month after moving, became an award-winning student, made my home and career in Orange County, and here I am today. But in making those risky life decisions, I incurred significant student loans that added up to a number that was more than my annual salary for at least the first four years after graduating.
I chipped away at that number with everything I had; it felt just like climbing a mountain. I was inspired by Dave Ramsey, slowed down by a wedding, and somehow became a homeowner along the way. But what I am most proud of is that I paid every dollar of that mountain of debt off by myself, on what was mostly a fresh-out-of-college salary.
And today, I made it to the summit of that mountain. My student loans, the burden on my back for eight years, have been completely paid off. By me. Captured in this photo. And that is the latest on that. Amen.