The thing I realized quickly is that you can make just about anything happen...if you really really want to. I realized that I don't need everything I THOUGHT I needed to get by AND there are a lot of people out there who are willing to help--not just with monetary contributions but with helping you find a space, connecting you with the right people, accommodating your crazy work schedule (thanks MediaPro), or just providing you the encouragement to keep on pushing to accomplish your goals.
Let me give you an example of how to make it work by divulging information about my finances.
Well, I'm not a trust fund baby and I don't have a big savings account (my net savings to date is $.01 plus a few thousand in my 401k.). In fact, my monthly bills including car payment, student loan, credit card (It was so worth that free bag of cookies and Animal House t-shirt in college for signing up for this credit card), health insurance, car insurance, phone bill, and now coaching is $2184/month. That is a lot. I've made some financial mistakes in the past, as most bright-eyed fresh college grads do (I remember thinking OMG $30k/year is SO MUCH money after making $1200/year in college), and I'm making up for them now--slowly, but every extra penny goes into trying to get myself above water.
So how do I get by? I work on the side as an instructional designer at MediaPro--I've been working for them for almost over 4 years now and did a damn good job to enable the perks they provide today. They give me about 10-30 hours a week that I can complete remotely--so if you ever have any elearning needs....And my personal expenses are low! I am a "house guest" in Seattle when I'm actually there. I rarely drink (too expensive and fattening), I shop at Trader Joe's, cook at home, and I rarely buy any new clothes anymore. If I'm desperate for some new clothes, I go to the value village. I FEEL way too guilty paying $50 for a shirt or $100 for a pair of jeans--I think about all the bike stuff I need. My last major purchases were for drink mix/whey, a tire, a leg press and weights on craigslist so I didn't have to join a gym, and new Specialized insoles for my shoes. My sponsor stuff doesn't start till the new year. If I can pocket $2,500/month then I'm golden--living an extravagant life with $200+ for food and gas! (Do you know what you can get at Trader Joe's for $100? Like 4 bags of food!) So that's $30,000/year take home. And the number dwindles, the more I pay off my debts so that's always encouraging.
Maybe you are reading thinking, well, I don't have a job I can work remotely at--you can always get a job at a grocery store or a coffee shop wherever you move. Maybe you are are reading thinking, well, I wasn't an idiot and don't have debt like that, well, what the heck are you waiting for? You should have been wintering years ago!
Anyway, back to my story...
So...when the snow came to Seattle, I thought uh oh--I gotta go. And within a week's time--and a lot of freakin' phone calls and emails and stress--I managed to sell some of my time trial equipment, arrange a work remotely agreement with my job, and set my departure date for Thursday December 2, right in the middle of my recovery week. (Despite all the craziness, you still gotta train.)
Anyway, so on Thursday morning I said goodbye to the bleak "Is it MS?" billboard outside my boyfriend's apartment and hit the road. (All the mornings when I woke up and my emotional state felt a little off, I questioned my state of health--hey if I could be the "Woman with the 8lb Tumor," I could just as easily have MS.)
And what happened next?
Well, you'll have to stay tuned. It involves truck stops and lot lizards, potato chips, sunrises, a knee injury, an animal shelter, redneck flags, and beautiful purple sunsets.
I'm more of a short story author...a novella at best, but not today. This blog entry has gone on way too long already.