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Something that I've been trying to push in my own way on my social media channels over the last handful of years are my own narratives about personal progress. This has come about for two reasons- one, I had and have a lot of younger friends who feel unjust amounts of social pressure to be "accomplishing" x, y, or z "before a certain age" or similar branches of that story, and two, I myself have been guilty of feeling down because my personal "progress" isn't that of what my peers show off despite knowing full well I'm comparing my full narrative with someone else's highlight reel.
There's a lot of insecurities when your closest friends work in medical fields and make money beyond anything I could hope to achieve in education across a similar time span, and it's compounded when a few of them aren't shy about showing off the fruits of their labor in a bit more showy or humblebraggy ways. In a way, it's gotten me to think more critically about how to take in and perceive information I get from others, and it's reframed how I look at accomplishment, "performing" accomplishment, and comparing it with reality.
The larger conclusion that I've come to is that there are probably ways that are better and worse for conveying information about your accomplishments and the channels you choose to do that in. But if you never take a moment to celebrate your own accomplishments in a way that makes sense to you, you end up depriving yourself of something, and altering your own behavior that drastically because of patterns you see in others isn't the best thing, either.
This is a long, drawn out way of saying, I want to share that as of last Monday, I paid off my car loan. It took 4 years and I paid it off a year early. The three years prior to that, I was making car payments for my dad so that he could have an operable vehicle for his job (that requires him to drive to his clients). I cannot emphasize enough how much this means to me to be free of car debt. It's like a giant weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I've been making car payments for the greatest majority of my post-college adult life and at least until my car dies (which hopefully will be a very long time), I am free from it. Next stop, being completely debt free. Student loans should be covered in the next year.
It's a damn slow march to financial independence. And I want to keep pushing the story that you make the progress where you make it, and you can make moves to make it faster or slower, but what matters is you getting it done, not how fast or how slow you get it done compared to other people.
"Sa taong walang takot, walang mataas na bakod." "To those without fear, there is no such thing as a tall fence." - Filipino Proverb
Hey, congrats! Financial independence is a long far-off goal for me as well, and paying off a debt is so satisfying and is a nice hurdle to clear on that journey. I completely agree about that feeling of being free after paying off a debt.
"I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific."