This is the Turning Point Series where I recall events in my life that changed the course of my journey in some significant, impactful way. I almost entitled it the TP Series but then thought better of it. Given the state of our world with covid and everything, I didn’t want people to wrongly assume this was the central spot to find the best toilet paper sales in the north (it’s not, btw).
In my late 20s, I found myself sitting in my ratty, old Toyota Corolla in the parking lot of an amusement park with ‘my Little’ waiting for the call. I had been volunteering as a ‘Big Sister’ for the organization Big Brother, Big Sister of Toronto for a couple years and this was one of our special bi-weekly outings. We were ready to head into the park for an afternoon of fun and thrilling rides when the call came.
“You got it.”
In that moment, those were the best three words I could have ever hoped to hear. Although, I realize it would be very unfortunate words if they, perhaps, came from a doctor calling about your confirmed diagnosis of an inconvenient viral illness. Then, of course, you wouldn’t want to hear “you got it.”
But, in my case, I did want it. I wanted it more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life (up until that point). Everything I worked so hard for those last few years had finally paid off.
When I got my first real job after graduating university, something clicked for me overnight. I knew the only way I would be able to get out of the situation I was in (miserable and living at home) was to remove myself from it. I had resigned myself to the idea that no one else was going to come save me or miraculously pluck me out of my plight. I knew the only way I could be successful at living on my own was to save up as much money as I could.
So, I started tracking my spending and budgeting in my sleep. I became obsessed with crunching numbers 24/7- especially as I saw my net worth grow at an exponential rate due to the fact that I spent very little and lived at home rent-free. I’m not a math wiz (surprise, surprise) but I started planning out where every earned bi-weekly dollar was going to for the foreseeable future; this helped me envision where I could be (financially) in a few years if I had saved x amount. This was tremendously valuable as I am mostly a visual learner. At once, I found myself hopeful and able to grasp on to a goal that was no longer “impossible” but within reach. I was passionate, enthusiastic, dedicated, motivated and more focused than I’d ever been. I only had one objective in view: save the amount of a 20% down payment for a mid-town, one-bedroom condominium (and then some- for the miscellaneous secondary costs associated with home-buying).
I still had a decent student loan to hock up, so the initial rapid savings was on pause while I threw most of my earnings into my debt load and squirreled away a small percentage into a retirement savings account (meant for first-time home-buyers) until the debt was cleared. But I was finally on a conscious, guided path. I knew where I wanted to be, and I had less than a handful of years to get there (I wanted to move out and buy my first home before I turned 30).
Even though home ownership was a big dream of mine, I had small dreams too. I couldn’t wait to sleep in my own room, cook my own food in my own kitchen, keep my place the way I fancied (clean and tidy) and do as I pleased- a place to call my home. During those few adrenalized years, all I kept thinking was, “I want this so bad.” And after viewing 20-some-odd condos, and negotiating back and forth for a reasonable price, it finally happened.
“You got it.”
That’s all I needed to hear.
After I hung up with my agent, my ‘Little’ and I cranked the windows down in my car and screamed as loud as we could to bewildered passersby.
Did you ever want something so badly? And when you got it, was it as good as you hoped?
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