There are insightful posts floating around from bloggers who are in debt and are dreaming of what their lives might be like after they’re finally debt-free. Some jokingly say they’ll be thinner and others consider getting their regular massages again.
The best part about their posts is that none of them say they’ll go back to their old ways. You don’t see any of them saying “I can’t wait to go blow all my savings on clothes after I’m debt-free!” or “I can’t wait to max out my credit cards again!”
Debt, lost. Happiness, found.
Lucky for me, something happened along the way. Something I’m very grateful for — more, even, than every Mark Wahlberg movie that was ever made (and that is seriously something we should all be grateful for).
I learned that I was much happier. That’s right, I was happier living below my means. I was happier enjoying activities that didn’t cost money. Once I cleared away the fog of spending and living lavishly, I got to know myself.
In the original draft of this post, I listed all the things I learned to love (like writing, being more active, being more social, an uncluttered life, etc. etc.), but I won’t bore you with the full list. I never would’ve discovered these things had I continued my debt-producing habits – shopping, spending, and looking for happiness through materialism.
Basically, my debt pay-off journey smacked me upside the head with a dose of reality. Sure, I’d have fleeting moments of material happiness when I was in debt, but not the kind I have nowadays. You know, the kind where you get way too excited about running outside on a sunny day or going on a walk with some stud named G or cleaning out your closet in an effort to be more minimalistic or a blog post that you wrote that you thought was hilarious and didn’t care if anyone else got it (heh).
My new habits
Of course, I still get super excited about (very few) material items. And I still love going out to eat with my love. You may know him? He goes by the name of Pinot Noir. Oh yeah, and it’s fun when G tags along as well…
But really, my debt pay-off habits are engrained in me for good and I’m totes okay with that. It’s no longer a battle. It’s simply easy. I still go shopping, but the occasion is rare and it’s never mindless. My debt pay-off habits have even spawned a bit of minimalism in my life.
As it says on my About page, you choose your happiness. That’s what you’re doing when you pay off debt – choosing happiness. You have the ability to choose your life, it doesn’t choose you. And, unfortunately, that’s a misconception that many (unwealthy) people can’t break free from.