You never know where life is going to take you when you least expect it. In August of 2011 my husband and I were miserable in our jobs, frustrated with our bad attitudes and were overall agitated with the perfect life we’d worked so hard to achieve. (first world problems, amirite?!)
We had just enjoyed a sweet wedding by the river to celebrate our 11 years together, taken a 3 week walkabout in Italy, had the good jobs, the new home, the nice cars, the big TV, the newest electronics, you name it – we had it. But even though we had the epitome of the safe, comfortable, coveted American Dream we were miserable (as I’m beginning to believe a lot of Americans are anymore). We had each other, and that was about the only happy constant we could rely on.
Something snapped and we started making big changes; taking some big leaps. We were getting so depressed that we no longer cared if we lost everything. We had been living for the destination -not the journey- and we needed to start over. We figured we had started life at our parent’s houses so we could do it all over again if need be!
A little over a year later we’re thankfully still madly in love, we paid off all debts sans our mortgage, Jason quit his frustrating job and landed a dream job at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and I quit my tech job to pursue a more creative path of freelance photography.
We’re extremely tight on cash since I have a much smaller income for now and we no longer charge anything unless we can pay it off the next month, we shop at next-to-new clothing boutiques and frequent craigslist for all our other needs, we allow ourselves 4 nights a month to go out for dinner….. yet, even with all these seemingly difficult restrictions we are now happier than we’ve ever been. The new DIY proactive lifestyle somehow makes us feel more alive and more appreciative of what we work for.
We are now looking to trade out our new home with a small yard for a vintage fixer-upper in the historical part of town so we can learn to do home repairs for ourselves and so I can have a big yard to play in and where I can set up my shop. We’re going to lease out our current home and see if I can handle being a landlady to help us gain a little extra income while I get my photography business off the ground.
So, welcome to our new adventure. This is the spot where I’ll be gushing and cussing about all the new paths life pushes us down as we seek a fresh start. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey as much as we are!
Cheers to second chances and new beginnings!
Alanna Brake – a.k.a: Lucky Girl Brake