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And so, I worked to climb the ladder in my career–never mind that I didn’t enjoy what I was doing–I went to grad school so that I’d have an advanced degree–never mind that it was a boring slog for me–I dressed, acted, and looked a certain way.

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I’m thankful for many aspects of my 20s–finishing school, marrying Mr.

Frugalwoods, buying our first house, adopting Frugal Hound, and perhaps most of all, our judicious frugality.

In my not-so-distant youth, I wasted an inordinate amount of time worrying about meeting other people’s expectations.

I felt legitimately compelled to accomplish certain things, behave a certain way, and adhere to certain life goals.

It was shortly after cresting my third decade that Mr. FW and I realize our early retirement goal is a counter-culture, non-traditional move and it’s not something I would’ve been comfortable with if I still cared what people think.

Frugalwoods and I launched our plan to retire early to a homestead in the woods. Letting go of caring enabled me to figure out what I really want out of life–not what society wants out of my life.I couldn’t celebrate my own achievements, because there was always another goal I should attain.I based my ambitions and plans around a fictional, glorified projection of what a “successful” person was.But, you couldn’t pay me to relive that decade (ok well, you pay me…).I was stressed, anxious, preoccupied with doing “the right thing,” and out of touch with who I really am and what actually makes me happy.I wasted so much time, energy, and creativity worrying about what people might or might not be judging me for.

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