I sort of introduced myself the other day but I feel like my motivation for writing this blog may not have been construed properly – so let me give it another go. You see, this isn’t my first rodeo…
My first blog was littlebrickranch.com and focused on our (my then husband and I’s) newly purchased (completely outdated) 1950s brick ranch. I wrote about our many home improvements, frugal quick fixes, recipes, and the huge organic vegetable square foot garden that I built and nourished until it could nourish us. It was grand…and then, just as quickly, it wasn’t. Managing the blog (I posted 5x – week), all the home improvements, the garden, and still maintaining a full-time job was time-consuming – but don’t get me wrong, I loved it! Living a full life – seeing things grow which I had planted, being busy…It gave me purpose.
When the blog started to grow to a wider audience, I realized I was helping people who were going through similar projects and experiences. I was making friends with other lifestyle bloggers. I felt like everything in my life was on an upswing…well, except one thing… Our marriage wasn’t working.
My husband and I had some major disagreements when it came to our future – things I thought had been worked out prior to the wedding day. But, as many know, things change and people change and I soon found myself leaving the house and my husband behind. Once I moved out, I realized I no longer lived in a little brick ranch, I no longer had a garden, and I no longer had the life that I had been writing about. My entire existence had changed and, in turn, my writing came to an abrupt halt. I moved back to the city in the building I had lived in prior to my marriage and immediately went into survival mode. I figured if I was going to get back on my feet, I had to be where the action was. Where I could meet new friends and be outdoors. Unfortunately, at the same time I was starting over mentally and physically, my financial past caught up with me. I was 500k in mortgage debt and about to endure a lengthy process to get out of it. Meeting new friends and getting outdoors was no longer on the agenda.
By the time I resurfaced, a year had gone by and I didn’t know what to focus on. I took a lot of time to figure out what my next steps would be. Without the house, the garden, and my blog, what would I do with this new windfall of time? If I decided to start over, what would I write about? The thought completely overwhelmed me. Actually, anything in those first six+ months overwhelmed me. I had uprooted my life and everything that had been familiar. Thank god for that condo (and Bubba :)) as it was the only thing somewhat familiar to me. But when I thought about writing, to begin with, a new base and work it up again, all I can say is that I was tortured by the idea!
And then it happened. As quickly as the urge had left, it finally reemerged like a groundhog looking for its shadow. And when it I did, I realized I had lost my focus. I wanted to write about travel, I wanted to write about money, I wanted to write about my frugal lifestyle and my drive to financial independence. I wanted to write about it all!!! And so I didn’t. 😉 I figured I needed to zone in on one little niche to get things going. I thought up ideas and bought numerous blog names and wrote absolutely nothing. Not. One. Word. My head was churning but the jumbled up strings of thought were in an endless knot – similar to last years Christmas lights.
Then, again, last week something shifted. If you weren’t already aware, I am a flight attendant. I work in an industry dominated by women and quite a few who choose this as their lifetime careers, myself included. We started young with the idea of it being a part-time short-term gig and just kept on going…I’m now 15 years into my summer job. 😉 I work at a great airline who treats us good and gives us many financial benefits including profit sharing and a hefty 9.6% 401k match…yes, and free flights! I know – it’s amazing!!! Anywho, I was working with a girl who knew me by reputation as “the girl who knows about financial stuff”. I’m not sure who she heard that from or why, but it wasn’t surprising. I talk to a lot of people at work about finances because many are unaware of just how fabulous our benefits are. So, this girl was curious about our 401k and what I had invested in. We chatted for a bit about the options our company gives us and then she looked at me and sheepishly asked, “is it really that bad to take a loan on your 401k?”
So here we are again. The urge to write is ever present and it seems I have gained a bit more control over my focus. I love to talk finance and help others but in no way am I an expert on the matter – I only know where I started, where I stumbled, and where I am today. If that helps one person, I will be thrilled! Don’t get me wrong, I still have a ton of non-finance related ideas that, I want to write about but after much reflection, I realize that is not such a bad problem to have. Similar to my first post, I feel like I have to stop thinking about it and just jump in and do it. Stop thinking and start writing!! The rest will happen from organically from there…I hope!
Stay tuned for my answer to her hair-raising question…
**So what are you known as at work or in your family? I’m also known as “the girl who always brings a food bag” and “the girl who walks across Spain” so I get random questions from people I don’t know quite often! 🙂 **
Until next time…