I’ve always wanted to be very independent. The ideas I had in my mind, I wanted to make a reality and whenever those dreams felt out of reach or taken away, I would find myself crushed and my confidence fading away.

A Little History

Jaime in college with her hand on her chin

In college, I really wanted to study abroad. It was a dream of mine to live somewhere else. I wanted that experience more than anything. I struggled with my grades and wasn’t able to apply. I tried looking for other alternatives, but I was navigating it alone and kept hitting roadblocks. Studying abroad never happened. I eventually thought I was never meant to travel.

In my senior year of college, I wanted to buy my own car and my parents surprised me with a red SUV. I was really excited, but a part of me also felt like a growing experience had been taken away. I wanted to have to go to a car dealership, figure out how to navigate that situation (Chris said he would go with me), and come out on the other side, even if that meant a loan.

When I became a personal trainer, I thought I would pursue a full time job with a PT specific company. It was a bit daunting to think about navigating - creating a resume, going to an interview, etc. But it was the next step and I was going to push through and make it happen. Then my parents opened up a gym where I could help manage, personal train, and hold classes. It was awesome, but in the end I wanted (and needed) my own identity, something that I created and wasn’t handed.

I probably sound completely ungrateful. Maybe spoiled. And I won’t fault you for judging me. I am grateful (and spoiled), but I also need to be me. I need to know that I can do things on my own. That I am strong. That I can make my dreams a reality. That I can persevere through the tough times and find success on the other side.

Gaining My Confidence Back

Jaime sitting with our three kids when they were younger - a toddler and two babies

My confidence has been lacking for a long time. You can ask Chris - I’m always talking about how I can’t do something. When I became a stay-at-home mom and left the world of personal training, I put all my energy into my little ones. Their identity became my identity.

I remember when N was about to go to Preschool and I panicked - All three of our kiddos would be in school soon. We need to have more babies! Chris went white in the face when I said that, haha. We didn’t need more babies. I needed my own identity.

I needed to find me again. I needed to gain my confidence back and start pursuing my dreams. That’s when I started remodeling our house. I didn’t have the skills, but with Chris’s support, I took it one step at a time and figured it out. My confidence grew a little and our house transformed.

I also started decluttering, realizing that I didn’t need to fill the void I felt with stuff. We saved money and we found that our home was too big. We talked about downsizing and Chris stepping away from his corporate career to pursue his own dream of working for himself. And if we could make an income remotely, then we could live where ever we wanted. I had always dreamed of experiencing life somewhere else and never thought that would be an option. And now it might happen!

Chris and I are here, working on Keep Thrifty every day (well, 5 days a week) and love what we do. Chris gets to work on growing his coding skills, and talk finance. I dreamed up our Freedom Story Series, put it out there, gotten the chance to meet so many awesome people, and am starting to network with companies that bring you awesome tools to help you accomplish your dreams.

I’m being me. I’m dreaming, pursuing, not giving up, and building my confidence. My dream of living somewhere else is in the works and Chris is by my side, supporting and navigating with me.

I shared a bit of our journey and our plans for location independence with Laurie at The Three Year Experiment. Check out it!