First, let me just say that blogging burn out is REAL!
I’ve been gone for longer than expected, but I couldn’t bring myself to make words. Somehow I had lost all inspiration for my blog and financial journey. Maybe it was the pregnancy, dreaded full-time job, staying up late to promote my posts, or trying to stick to a strict budget…who knows.
What I did know was that blogging went from being an escape from my day job to feeling like my actual day job and that was a no-no. To combat the feeling of being completely overwhelmed, I closed my laptop and walked away from it all.
BEST decision ever.
I returned inspired and ready to finish what I had started.
Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty
This debt free journey and I have been hand-in-hand for a little over a year now, and although I’m proud of myself for sticking with it I can’t help but feel like my progress is static. I’ve had some really good days and some really what-the-hell days. Some days when I don’t see the point in trying and some days when I can envision myself living the dream.
When I first changed my niche to personal finance I would spend hours reading about how other bloggers were able to pay off huge amounts of debt in just a short amount of time. The tagline: And you can too! would always sucker me in because if they can do it I can too right? Wrong.
I’d get to the end of the article and think No I can’t or at least not as quickly. There seemed to always be two incomes or one stemming from a high salary job, neither of which I have. I’m stuck working an ‘okay’ desk job with two small children so $50,000 in 12 months? Mhm…not!
I desperately wanted to find someone with a financial situation similiar to mine that I could gain inspiration from, but I never did. It was borderline depressing to read how someone was able to throw over $1000 to their credit card debt and I could barely manage to pay $200. Then let us not forget those friends on social media that seem to have it all together while you’re in the midst of a crisis. While they’re buying new homes you’re calculating how to make $50 last a whole week, and suddenly it feels like you’re sinking in quicksand. No matter how hard you try to pull yourself up you just sink faster.
Been there, done that. Sick of it.
I’m sick of the feeling of failure and frustration that leaves me questioning if what I’m doing is enough. Everyone appears to have it all together. Be in that job position that I’m still waiting on. Have that home I could only dream of. Knocking out debt in months that would take me years.
Shall I go on? I suppose I could, but you get my point.
It’s easy to become envious of what other people have and once you’ve fallen into that sunken place it’s hard to get out of it. When you’re busy living in the shadows of someone else’s accomplishments you forget to spotlight your own.
So how does this all tie in with something grande?
I’m a Starbucks, or Crackbucks, fanatic. Anyone who knows me knows that having that Teavana cup with the green straw in hand is a must, but I wanted to be like other personal finance bloggers who seemed to have sacrificed every form of enjoyment just to free up a couple of dollars. I reluctantly cut off all Starbucks visits and utilized their ways to make nickels and dimes in exchange for my free time (i.e. Swagbucks and Amazon Turks). So how did that all pan out for me?
I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing, or so I thought, and one day it was all going to be worth it because that’s what they told me. Unfortunately, one day wasn’t coming fast enough for me.
Taking away the little joy I had made my journey one that was not worth it. I lacked all motivation to keep going and financial slip-ups were being made regularly. It was like I was crawling through the desert, skin ablaze from the sun, and pleasure was the bottle of water I kept swatting away. What was the point of this great, new venture if it was going to make me miserable?
During my blogging hiatus I was able to take a step back and put some things into perspective:
It’s okay to still be waiting on that dream job.
It’s okay to not have your shit together yet.
Stop comparing your Chapter 2 with someone’s Chapter 13.
Not everything posted is an accurate portrayal of someone’s reality.
And most importantly, it’s okay to not pay off your debt as quickly as someone else.
The wonderful thing about a debt free journey is that there isn’t one right way to go about it. Minus the time frames you set for yourself, there isn’t a specific deadline you must meet. There isn’t a specific amount of money you must pay monthly. You’re in control.
I made the mistake of making someone else’s journey my own and suffered the consequences. I’m finally paying off debt my way and on my time. With that being said, the next time I pull up to Starbucks I’ll be sure to…
“Make that a grande.”