Shelter in Guilt.
One of my biggest regrets in life – yes, even more than answering a certain phone call or returning that text, is credit card debt. It all started in college when I used my credit card to book a trip to Miami for me and three of my friends. They gave me cash, but being 20 years old and dumb, I didn’t use it to pay my credit card bill *Insert downward credit card debt spiral here*. Since then, I have always been in debt for one reason or another. When I paid off my car, I still had my credit card bills, and when I paid off my credit card bills, I still had my school loan.
That is, up until last week. Your girl finally paid off her school loan, and is now completely debt free. Paying off debt is probably the only time it feels good to lose money. While it cost me thousands of dollars, the peace of mind I received and lesson I learned was priceless. So then why did I almost feel bad about it?
Having the luxury of being able to spend money during a pandemic when small businesses are closing and friends and family are getting laid off, is bittersweet. I went back and forth about posting the accomplishment on social media. It wasn’t necessary to tell the world, but had it been any other time I wouldn’t have thought twice. I don’t consider myself empathetic, but I wanted to be sensitive to people who might be watching my stories and struggling. I already felt guilty for being employed and able to safely work from home. I told my best friend instead, and she was my biggest hype man. I shared my achievement on Instagram the next day.
I’ve learned that being proud and being compassionate does not have to be mutually exclusive. Just because you post a photo of your kids, it doesn’t mean you don’t feel for those who can’t have any. Working hard and being disciplined is not something you should feel guilty about. It’s OK to be happy during a not so happy time – it’s OK to be happy PERIODT. Besides, the world could use some good news right now.