June 10, 2014, was the day that my relationship ended and my daughter and I were on our own. I live five hours from my family and couldn’t just run back to my hometown. The friends that I had gained during that relationship were nowhere to be found. It was an ugly breakup, to say the least. There was nothing peaceful about it. I packed our bags and we left, not sure where to go. My daughter was only 2 months old and it was the first time that I think I ever experienced desperation. I was losing my job and looking for a new one, I was still recovering from a c-section and a breast abscess that was the result of mastitis gone very wrong. The dream I once had was shattered. It was a time that should have been the focus of so much joy but depression took over. I can’t help but cry when I think about the struggle during that time. Man, it was hard. My daughter and I were staying with friends for several weeks before I was able to find a place to live that was affordable once I had found a new job. I am so grateful for their generosity and willingness to welcome us into their homes. My baby would wake up every few hours during the night, but they never complained. I don’t think I could ever repay them. One of the friends we stayed with, Salorya and her parents, were so helpful and her mom was so encouraging and spoke words of hope and strength into me that I carried with me. One of my best and closest friends, Kristyn, was another friend who welcomed us in, and we had several long talks in which she told me that I should feel empowered for being a single mom.
It was soon after that that I started to figure things out and redefine my life. My daughter didn’t deserve to suffer, I leaned heavily on God for guidance and had to trust that He would make a way when I could not see one. Everything fell apart but I was determined to put my life back together better than I had ever imagined before. The job that I was losing before was super stressful and paid less than $40,000 per year. I had just found a new, higher paying job that was a better fit for me. I found a good daycare for my daughter. We went to court. I found an affordable apartment. I was determined to increase my support system, and discovered This Side Up, a non-profit in my area for families and single parents. It was there that I met my friend Diane, who has become a close friend. She is so supportive and awesome! I’m not sure I could have made it this far without her support! She really has become like family to my daughter and I.
It was at the first Single Parent meetup I went to that I met Diane and she gave me a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It was perfect timing, really, because I was trying to take control back over my life and my debt was piling up. I was so determined to being able to provide for me and my daughter, it was the book that I needed to read because it had a plan.
As a single parent, my reasons for getting rid of my debt are part of my story. If I were ever unable to work and lose my income for some reason, the interest rates on my debts would cripple me, and who knows where me and my daughter would end up. And I refuse to let that happen. I refuse to live with the possibility of my daughter having to suffer because of my past foolish financial decisions. I’m getting out of debt once and for all because the amount of money I pay each month could go towards building wealth for me and my daughter. I’m getting out of debt because I want to give back to others that need it.