@Marnie Thank you! That makes sense. I also want to add that I'm doubly impressed with you for living so lean in Chicago. I just moved away from that cold city, and I had a really hard time not treating myself to its many culinary/beer/cocktail attractions. It felt like it was the only way to make the weather bearable. I'm very impressed with your fortitude and self-discipline!
This was so great to read, and I really enjoyed Marnie's final comment about risk-taking as an artist. My debt has made a big impact on the way I've structured my artistic life, and I would love to see how Marnie's post-debt decisions unfold. Maybe we could have a follow-up piece in a year or two? I'm also curious about Marnie's many savings accounts. Was she able to have/build savings while paying down her student loans? I struggle with the question of whether to have savings while paying down debt, and I'd like to know Marnie's method/philosophy on this question.