About 5 years ago, while I was doing homework for a class at Millikin University, I got a call that I was officially offered a full-time job as a graphic designer starting a few weeks after I graduated in Louisville, KY. I had worked so hard during this semester to really focus on preparing myself to get a job that was in my field and that would get me out of Illinois. I applied to a minimum of 2 jobs a day (I’m not even exaggerating) starting January 1st of my last semester in college. Ideally I wanted to get out West towards Colorado, but I was open to anywhere BUT Illinois.
The choice to leave Illinois wasn’t hard - it just didn’t offer me the variety in scenery, people, and opportunities that I had thought it would. I was ready to see the rest of the world and what it had to offer and if I ended up back in Illinois, then that was ok. My entire family (immediate family, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great grandparents, great aunts, great uncles, second and third cousins) were all from the area. I was the third generation to go to my high school. But, I was never scared to leave all of that - they have always been so supportive that I knew it didn’t matter where I went.
I didn’t think I would like Louisville. I wanted so badly to move to Colorado or where there were mountains, so to move further away was devastating. But I took the leap and moved to a city and state where I knew no one. In the 4 years I lived in Louisville, I had been in 6 apartments, all due to random crazy situations.
At the end of 2016, I was in Colorado taking some time for myself while I focused in on what I wanted to accomplish for 2017. I made a list of small, ambitious, but achievable goals for the year - to hike and backpack more, to journal every night before bed, to read a book a month, to move to Colorado, to name a few. These goals really pushed me to achieve those things I had hoped life would just hand me. However, the more I worked towards moving to Colorado, the more I was thrown setbacks.
These goals made me realize that I really needed to get my financial goals on track. I mean, student loans are the worst. Ever. And I calculated how much I would have on hand if those were paid off and I was SHOCKED. So, in order to achieve some of these goals, I knew I wanted to ensure that I could afford them. That’s when I started looking at how I could cut my spending down to put more towards these loans. Most of the things I pay for in my budget are things I can’t really adjust - car insurance, Verizon bill, internet, etc. But, if I didn’t have to pay rent, I could put that chunk of cash towards something else.
Another large goal of mine besides moving to Colorado, was to make photography my full-time passion. Not job, because it’s not just a job to me. I knew that if I stayed in Louisville, I would continue to make excuses of why I’m not spending my time on that dream. If I moved away from those distractions, but still have my full-time job for financial support, it could spur me to use my free time wisely.
Then, as if God knew the plans he had for me (which He always does), my parents offered for me to move home to save on rent for a while. My apartment lease was coming to an end, so I needed to make a decision. There was only one thing holding me back: a relationship that I had. But then, he had moved to Cincinnati and became extremely distant, planting the seed for him to break up with me. It sucked, but it was obvious what my next move should be.
So I moved into my parent’s basement.
And now, after a few months of not living in Louisville, I cannot believe how much I miss it. I didn’t expect to fall so in love with the area, but I did. Which is why I am still a Louisville-area photographer, but live in Illinois.
My plans change all the time, because life and God throw you things you can’t plan for, but as of right now, I have a goal. I eventually want to move back to Louisville. I have a budgeted plan for paying off a huge chunk of my loans (I’ve already paid off one - WOOT) and I have a goal to meet before I move back. I want to book 20 weddings in the Kentucky area this year. The wedding doesn’t need to be this year, but I want to book them this year. Then it will be proof enough that I need to move back sooner.
I shall be back, Louisville. But it’s up to you how quickly that happens!