Friday, September 04, 2015
The moments before, during, and after this photo were taken are probably the happiest I was all week. Making that final student loan payment... I don't know if I can accurately describe how I fealt. Happy, relieved, proud, excited. It didn't feel real. It still doesn't. I don't think it will until I get the piece of paper that says my loan is paid in full. (I actually changed my account's mailing address to Beijing so the document would be sent here instead of Canada.) I'm contemplating framing it—only half joking—because it represents one of the biggest goals I've ever accomplished.
Paying off the loan brought back so many memories. I remember talking to my aunt Gwen and uncle Carl in Saint John about university, before I had even graduated from high school. I was nervous about how to decide what to major in, workload, etc., but more than anything, I was nervous about how I was going to pay for it. I knew I would have to get a loan, but would the government give me enough? And then how was I going to pay for it when I graduated?
I remember sitting in my kitchen, my mom trying to help me fill out the loan application online. I remember having to ask my neighbour, Ali, to come help us, because he had helped his daughter fill out her application.
I remember filling out the application each year. And then being excited when I found out how much I was being given each year, feeling relief that I could afford another semester. And I remember feeling nervous, because how was I going to pay this all back???
I remember climbing the stairs in George Martin Hall each semester, to where the student loan representative was sitting, so I could have my paperwork validated.
I remember sitting in a presentation during my B.Ed., about teaching in China. I remember thinking, This is it! This is my chance! This is how I'm going to finally be able to travel, to leave North America, and pay off my loan!
I set a goal for myself that I would have my loan paid off in 2 years. A bit of a crazy goal considering I had a $40 000 loan, plus the interest I would have to pay. Well, I didn't make the 2 year goal. But, I paid my loan off in just under 2 years and 9 months, and I got married, and I've traveled to 5 different countries. Thank God for China, I guess.
This week wasn't all happiness though. I mean, most of it was. I had my nails done and went to dinner with friends. I had some cute moments with my kids.
But, I had some sharp pain last weekend. Which turned into a small rash, which turned into a slightly bigger and more painful rash. Which led me to Google. Which led me to self-diagnose shingles. Which led to a call to my vice-principal and a visit to my school nurse, and an appointment with a doctor at a hospital. Which led to a definite diagnosis of shingles.
All I can say is: Ouch.
But, I'm trying to see the happiness in this, too: It's a long weekend so I don't have to use many sick days. I'm resting a lot. As in, I'm sleeping in until at least 9:30 and I'm napping off and on all day, which is very unlike me. But I guess that's what I need right now. Meds and rest.
So yup, that's my week in a nutshell: Student loan paid off and shingles. Wahoo!