Money Presents Opportunities You Aren’t Expecting

For years, thoughts of money consumed me. How much did I earn? How much did I save? How much did I spend? I thought about money every day of my life. I ran calculations to project my future salary and worked as hard as possible to achieve the highest promotions and raises. 

In my twenties and early thirties, I worked ridiculously long days. I stayed in the office long after my coworkers left and stayed online until the wee hours of the morning when I worked from home. 

Obsessed with Money

I didn’t just think about money. I wrote about money and generated spreadsheets and colorful graphs to prove my investments were growing. My husband and I hosted annual financial meetings and reviewed our numbers. 

We sat back and admired our progress and thanked our lucky stars that we landed jobs in high-tech careers. I felt grateful for my place in the world and didn’t want to take a lick of it for granted.

Financial Opportunities

In my mid-thirties, I left my high-paying job to stay home with my first child. I jumped out of the rat race but struggled to figure out who I was and where I was going. I may have floundered to find my lost identity, but I also cooed at my baby and relished the moments of young motherhood.

Back then, I didn’t dream of early retirement. I didn’t have a plan for a second career. I saved without a real goal in mind. As I snuggled my little one, I realized I had no idea where my money would take me, but somehow, the universe brought me right where I wanted to be. Money presented me with an opportunity I wasn’t expecting.

We had a decent chunk of change in our bank accounts before I stepped away from work. Some folks would say we had enough to retire way back then. At financial conferences and money meet-ups, I meet individuals and couples who leave their jobs with far less money than we saved.

Jumping Out of the Workforce

I felt torn about leaving work in my mid-thirties, but when I look back on that decision, I realize it was the best choice I ever could’ve made. I don’t regret quitting my job to be a stay-at-home mom. Sitting on my rocking chair in old age, I won’t feel bad about leaving corporate America to make the most of those first few years with my children. Instead, I will feel grateful for the opportunity to be with them.

I am thankful that my husband encouraged me to stay home and that he still enjoys his career. Although he can quit anytime, he relishes in solving problems and writing code. His magic financial number far exceeds mine, but his job is incredibly flexible, and he doesn’t mind continuing to work.

Thanking My Twenty-Year-Old Self

I often reflect on my twenty-year-old self. I think about that young girl sitting at a desk writing code, striving to earn more and improve. Back then, I had no idea where I would go or what I wanted out of life. I’m still trying to figure it out.

If I could go back, I’d thank my twenty-year-old self for her hard work and dedication. I would tell her that the power of compound interest would propel that small pile of money into a mountain of wealth. That one day, her financial stress and anxiety would disappear. 

I would tell her that as inconceivable as it may seem, one day, she will stop thinking about money altogether. Of course, there will be other struggles in life. Infertility, pain, and illness, to name a few, but money won’t be one of them.

Future Opportunities

Money provides a wealth of opportunities. While many people my age are burned out and ready to retire, I am reinvigorated and considering a new career.

I enjoy going to school, and I’m considering returning to college to earn another Master’s degree. Last year, I worked as a substitute teacher and realized I’ve always had a passion for working with children.

What is in store for me next? I have no idea. These days, money allows me to follow my heart. Money doesn’t provide the plan, but it does offer opportunities I never expected.

2 thoughts on “Money Presents Opportunities You Aren’t Expecting”

  1. It’s inspiring to see how your relationship with money has evolved over the years. While financial stability is important, it’s also crucial to find a balance between work and personal life. Sometimes, the most fulfilling opportunities come when we least expect them. I wish you all the success in your future endeavors!


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