I'm a Texas bred 22
I decided to start completely fresh, and pay a little back to my country, by enlisting with the Navy. I wanted to do meaningful, hands-on work while protecting the people and freedoms that make America great. Something different than teaching people how to sell things that no one actually needs. I could have cared less about how much money I pulled in.
My goals became more defined. I began thinking more about what I wanted out of my life, rather than living up to the expectations of others (which I learned quickly that it really doesn't matter).
I learned to live without. Small living spaces meant less room for stuff. A smaller salary meant more dedication to money management skills and frugality. Because success at my job requires me to stay fit, health became a major priority in my life. And since I may have to face death head on, I've come to terms with the fact that my time is truly finite and valuable.
When given the option to acquire and consume once I was out of boot camp, I chose to stick with what I had, while many of my brothers-in-arms went on shopping sprees. Even after taking a pay cut with this new path, my savings per month have increased tenfold. And my quality of life has become better.
I hit my year mark this past August, and there have been noticeable differences from who I was before and who I am now.
I don't own a car. I walk or use public transit.
I don't bodybuild. I train for function.
I don't memorize textbooks for degrees. I read library books and websites to learn applicable skills.
I don't make rash decisions. I wait for emotions to subside and go with logic.
I don't seek shallow acquaintances for networking. I build lasting relationships for enjoyment.
I don't yearn for acceptance from others. I do what's important to me, and let the rest take care of itself.
I've been told I'm sacrificing a lot by doing what I'm doing, but I have never felt more free. The plan is to be financially free by 30, but who knows what life may bring in the rest of my 20s.
I am by no means an expert (although I like to think it sometimes). Whatever I write has come from my own personal perspective and experiences. My life has been a deranged, misguided, unapologetic mess. And I've loved every minute of it.
If you take any of this material as advice, understand that you are making a conscious decision and must live with the consequences. Individual responsibility is huge to me; if you can't take the bad with the good... well, you're an empty carcass of a person.
I also can't help it if this blog inspires or liberates you.