Starting over incites a whole mix of emotions. Depending on circumstance, feelings can swiftly change from one to the next, ranging from fear and worry to excitement and freedom. The thought of starting over is a little scary, sure, but also…exhilarating. As I’m currently writing, I find myself ruminating on this week one year ago, when Brian and I were knee-deep in our master bath rebuild.
As a refresher, this is where we stood one year ago:
Even though it was nerve-racking to tear down our master bathroom, it was necessary to start over and rebuild.
The first crack into our shower tile launched us into the point of no return. At that moment, Brian and I were committed to seeing our project through. We agreed on an exit strategy if we got in way over our heads. Luckily, our motivation stayed with us through the entire 4-month period until completion. So, how did we manage to keep going?
- Faith in ourselves and each other
- Guidance and help from dad
- Perseverance and dedication to see it through
- Personal interest in the overall construction and design
- Energy and excitement from the support of family and friends
To be honest, had it not been for the support from each other (as well as others), it would have been hard to keep up the momentum. One year and a ton of sweat equity later, we are loving the heck out of the bathroom we rebuilt. Starting over rewarded us with a significant amount of education, fulfillment, and confidence.
So – don’t be afraid to start over. You won’t know what you’re capable of until you try. Not so sure? Check out the incredible stories below for inspiration.
Fred Vautour: A Father’s Dedication
To better provide for his family, Fred Vautour decided to secure a job that offered benefits over higher wages. After many years working in restaurants, he took a chance on an opening at Boston College.
He started his position as a third shift Boston College custodian more than 25 years ago. This commitment granted the opportunity for Fred’s children to attend Boston College tuition-free.
Contingent upon acceptance, any child of a Boston College employee receives tuition remission.
Fred’s dedication shone through as all five of his children were accepted into the university over the course of 18 years. Fred saved more than $700,000 in tuition costs through Boston College’s tuition remission benefit.
Ieshia Champs: From Tragedy to Triumph
As a child and young adult, Ieshia Champs entered the foster system, experienced homelessness, and dropped out of high school. She became a young mother, giving birth to the first of her five children at age 19.
In 2009, she suffered a house fire, lost her job, the father of two of her children succumbed to cancer, and her mother had an irrecoverable stroke. Ieshia became a single mother, struggling to care for her family.
It was at this time that Ieshia’s pastor encouraged her to get her GED, which lit a fire within her to pursue higher education.
At 33, Ieshia Champs graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law. She passed the bar and is currently the Assistant County Attorney at the Harris County Attorney’s Office in Houston, Texas.
Angela Logan: Saving a Home
Angela Logan was facing foreclosure on the home she lived in for 20 years. In the midst of a recession, she and her three sons were affected by a natural disaster, construction fiasco, and challenging job market.
Angela worked with mortgage counselors to apply for assistance to save her home. However, she first needed to quickly come up with an initial payment to keep her house out of foreclosure. She recalled the popularity of a cake she baked for events throughout the years and decided that was how she was going to raise the money; Buy a Cake, Save a Home became the tag line.
Coined the Mortgage Apple Cake, Angela set out to sell 100 of these cakes at $40 each in 10 days. She spoke out about her circumstances to her church, classmates, and community. Her friends and family rallied around her, and soon her story was featured on the news. The Mortgage Apple Cake became sought after throughout the country.
Angela successfully saved her home from foreclosure and established an official bakery. Now a thriving business, the Mortgage Apple Cakes Bakery & Cafe operates as a brick & mortar location with an online presence.
Cara Brookins: Built by Hand
Equipped with YouTube tutorials, pure grit, and the support of her four children, Cara Brookins left an abusive relationship to build a life for her family. She struggled to find a home in her price range, so she purchased land, bought materials, and learned how to lay a foundation.
Cara adjusted her day job schedule to maximize daylight hours so she could build her home. Along with her kids, she reviewed YouTube tutorials and picked up tips from local hardware stores.
The family dedicated an incredible amount of hours, effort, and energy towards building a home together. After escaping a terrifying situation, Cara and her kids began to feel like a family again.
Slowly but surely, as framing went up and plumbing went in, a house emerged. Cara, a single mother of four, built a home from scratch with her kids, YouTube videos, and a bit of assistance from a helping hand at $25/hour for some of the heavier tasks.
In March 2009, Cara and her children moved into the home they built with their own hands.
If you’re on the verge of starting over, or beginning a new chapter, remember that nothing is permanent. Whether you’re afraid, nervous, or excited, you will experience a change in feelings as your storyline unfolds.
Find the joy and gratitude in change. Where there is change, there is growth. Hold onto your support system and find ways to keep motivated.
The real-life examples above have personally inspired me to keep working towards my own goals. Do you have any stories that help you stay focused and motivated?