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Enlightenment

Samantha Carmona

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Jan 13, 2019
3
6
Who am I? Pretty deep question. Probably not the intention, but hey let's go with it and add on "Who was I" and "Who do I want to be" to that too.

After reading TMF it's apparent I'm sidewalker. One that has been struggling (and mostly failing) to become a slowlaner. I say struggling, but the truth is I struggle because I utterly and completely resist it. Looking back now I realize I've been resisting it since I was a teen.

  • I remember being 16 with my first job and constantly calculating how many hours I would have to work to buy something- I measured stuff in time, not money.
  • I remember being 19 seeing the .02 and .03 interest deposits in my savings account every month knowing it was never going to amount to anything or I'd be 90 before it did.
  • I remember being 21 and always having these crazy ideas. Things that most either didn't think of, or at least never vocalized and acted on. My mother-in-law at the time would tell me at least 3x a week, "you should patent that!" It happened so often it became an inside joke, something we would banter back and forth about. (If I could only remember that stuff now!)
  • I remember being 23 starting my first 401k and thinking the odds, probability, and risks of it actually working to my benefit was ridiculous and just didn't make sense, comparing it to winning the lottery. My employer was matching it .50 on the dollar and a friend of mine said "anything extra has to be better than nothing, right?" I knew it was without question a gamble- but everyone was doing it, saying we would never have retirement, pensions/retirement were being phased out, social security would be gone, and no one talked about other options- what choices were left? I had to do something.
Then of course life happens. I was married, had a kid, well on the way to divorce after my then husband slipped into the opioid epidemic, leaving me a single mom with lots of responsibilities and no help from him, and family that was worse off than me. It was time for survival mode- just survive.

I remember knowing I didn't think like other people did. Intuitively I've always gone against the grain. I also knew if I wanted to survive I had to make some changes. So I started doing what others were doing. I would have to start planning for me, my kids, the future, etc. I remember watching and taking note of what others were doing and trying to follow it. Go to school (like my friend), get a good job and retire with a pension (like my grandpa), work for the state for retirement (like my mom), use the stock market for dividends (like my grandma), have a good credit score, get credit cards to keep the credit score high, etc.

Fast track to now 39, remarried, three kids, bound to a job by debt, unhappy as hell, depressed, overwieght, and full of anxiety, constantly trying to figure out what is wrong with me, knowing I'm doing it wrong but not knowing how the hell to fix it. (Smh, and chuckling.) If only I knew then what I know now!

I know this seems like a pity post, or that I'm complaining or making excuses but it's not that really- it's more enlightenment. I know my mistakes. I see what I did. To think that moment I decided to turn right and follow everyone else out of pure desperation and fear, instead of turning left and sticking to my beliefs, could of been the tipping point to everything I was looking for. If only I knew there was another option.

I'm half way through Unscripted and just want to say thank you MJ for making me feel like I wasn't the odd one- that I wasn't just being defiant, argumentative, or negative because I didn't agree with everyone else. Thank you for showing me there is another way. Now, I just need to use those same intuitions and beliefs, but follow and learn from the right people!

PS- My husband and kids are reading TMF now. I refuse to let them think they are stuck with no direction or way out.
 
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MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
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Jul 23, 2007
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No pity post, I thank you for the introduction and recognizing some of the issues. Glad the books are helping.

Welcome aboard Samantha.
 

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