Hello again, patient readers! Life continues to be busy and wonderful and challenging, a kind of organized chaos of getting things done and sucking the marrow out of life.
It occurred to me recently, when I decided to check in on my 2014 goals set waaaaay back in June, that now is a good time to reflect on the massive accomplishments of this year. Because dear readers, it’s been a big year, and I want to take a moment now, before the holidays-and-finals madness descends, that this year was the year of making it happen. Booyah.
It feels like an entire year has passed since June, even though it’s only been five months. But there are, I think, events that make time stretch into infinity, like big life changes and massive amounts of learning. It’s why life felt like it moved slower when you were a kid. I love that 2014 has been a year of so much growth, but I know I won’t mind if 2015 has fewer changes and more everyday moments.
I’m compiling my list of completed goals from this post I wrote in January and a second post I wrote in June about my 2014 goals. So if you want to read the back story here, hop on over to those pages!
* Move to Austin.
Done! Done done done done DONE! This goal was nine months in the making, and looking back now, it feels like it unfolded exactly as it should have. I’m so glad we’re here.
Oh, and isn’t Austin pretty at night? I took this photo while biking along the riverfront trail one evening, on my way home from work.
* Freelancing: stay in the game.
Austin has welcomed us with wide open arms! I’ve been honored and humbled by the number of parents and students who have contacted me for tutoring. I’ve arrived at a point where I have to start thinking more strategically about my long-term goals for tutoring—where I want to focus my attention, which subjects and age groups are the best fit for me, that sort of thing. We’ve also launched the Austin Writing Shop, a one-stop shop for writing students in the humanities and sciences. We’re hoping to do more promotion around the Austin Writing Shop because I really believe that we can help students become stronger, more confident, more persuasive writers. That’s work that I want to do because I believe in the power of writing.
* Get a license, buy a car, become a full-fledged grown-up.
Holy crap, this one is finally done too! I received my grown-up driver’s license on October 28th, and I’m so happy and relieved to have finally reached this milestone. For the past week, I’ve been driving myself to my tutoring appointments and whatnot, instead of dragging Paul or Courtney with me everywhere I go. It’s a huge relief for the house to have three solo drivers, but we still like to go places together to do things. Just the other night, Courtney wanted to go to Book People for a good browse after a hard day, and I got my first taste of driving in the rain and driving downtown. Yay? Okay, so maybe the driving wasn’t super fun, but it is good to get new driving experiences to make me an all-around better driver.
I don’t know if I mentioned it on this blog, but Paul and I bought a car together over the summer, a 2007 VW Passat. We love it. It was a big deal to buy a car together, but I think it was the right move for us.
* Wallet matters: break even financially.
Huh. It turns out that buying a car, moving, and freelancing full time is more likely to leave one poorer instead of richer. In the interest of full disclosure, my debt from 2014 is about $11,500, most of which is due to big purchases, like the car and our tutoring equipment. Essentially, my savings have funded our dreams this year. And you know what? I’m okay with this. I had the resources to get us where we wanted to go, to set up shop in a new city, and to help Courtney make her transition to Austin as well. Transitions are expensive, and although I do get nervous about money sometimes, I am at peace with our decisions.
Would I feel differently if that $11,500 were actual debt, in the sense that I owe the bank that much money? Maybe. If we’d needed to take out a loan to buy the car, I think we would have done so. Our tutoring equipment was a business expense, so it too feels less like a luxury and more like a necessity. My point is that we spent money in pursuit of our dreams, and those dreams are becoming our everyday reality here in Austin. I’d spend that money all over again if I had the choice.
I want to talk more in a future post about our budget choices as freelancers—how we think about money now that both of us are freelancers whose work is seasonal.
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Before Paul and I started dating, I’d never been part of a couple that shared a home, a car, groceries, income, all of that. I’d never been part of a couple that shared a life, and I wasn’t sure I was interested in that path. But there is a real sense of wonder and strength that comes from being inside a partnership. I love being a part of us. I sometimes miss the days when my life felt smaller and simpler, but I can’t deny how good and right it feels to be building a life with Paul (and Courtney, who is like family to us). 2014 was a year of getting things done together, and I am so grateful for how far we’ve come.
Happy November, dear readers.