I have been a bit absent in the past week or so. I have been working (a little), but mainly, I have been obsessed with my latest outlet for money talk…the Rock Star Finance Forums. I have been spending an extreme amount of my time chatting with other money minded peeps, reading all their blog posts, responding to comments. RSF Forums is like having a new job – but a job I really really love and don’t get paid a dime to attend. 🙂
Well, yesterday someone on the forum asked a question in regards to debt:
“How necessary is debt to your wealth building strategy?”
I was the first to respond with “not necessary” in regards to my own tragic story of debt:
And, due to that link, I brought in a new reader and today received the first negative reaction to that post. The reaction I have been waiting for since the day it was published…
Kind of. You see, what this fine fellow wrote (I blurred his name to protect the
innocent awesome) was exactly the way I would have reacted had I read only the first or second post in the series. It is very easy to judge someone when you only see half the picture. To build a case from one end of the line. I appreciate his honesty and his willingness to admit his mistake in judging me – someone he has never met nor interacted with. Here was my response:
I totally get your initial reaction! I am guilty of judgment when I read other peoples spending stories as well. I appreciate your kind words and I know, having read my story, they may have initially been hard to write. Believe me, those words are also hard to accept. I struggle with the character of someone who can go willingly into 500k of debt then walk away from it all in the form of a short sale (or 3) – but now that I have lived it I know better. I have found that many people go into debt trying to fill a hole that is often unfillable (apparently not a word but I’m sticking to it) with money or the things money can buy. Most of the time, that hole is a deep psychological wound. For me, I was trying to buy security. I was trying to buy the “home” I didn’t have growing up. I bought many properties before realizing that none of what I paid for could buy me the feeling I was desiring…or the childhood I didn’t have. Learning this lesson gave me a different lens to look through…
I now see how others buy clothes or pay outrageous prices for grooming to feel pretty when the main issue is their confidence. I see how people buy a bigger home or expensive car but what they are really wanting to prove is their success…but success doesn’t come in the form of a mortgage/car payment. I see it all now – but I no longer judge it. Instead of judging, I now root for every person I see that hasn’t yet realized that hole they are trying to fill. Debt is a crutch for many – but it will never be a lifeline to happiness and fulfillment. Those are the things that money can’t buy. When people realize that, their life tends to change drastically. Thank God mine did.
I tell ya, writing this series helped me to heal from it, but it also helped me to understand the true power that our words have. I have been completely overwhelmed by the support of this community – of people who don’t know me from Adam but have reached out in various forms to thank me, encourage me, and inspire me. I have also learned that because our words are so powerful and our time is so precious, I don’t want to take time from your day to fill space that isn’t necessary. I don’t want to publish fluff just to have a post up. I find I write best when it is an interaction between two parties – my comments are way more thoughtful than some of my posts because the posts are often one sided. So I plan, going forward, to bring you into my day to day interactions with others. I plan to write about the people I am meeting (YOU), what the discussion is behind the scenes, and hopefully give this here blog a pulse beyond the black and white. Don’t worry – I will protect identities the way I protect my own and have no interest in sharing your secrets. Anything told in confidence will remain under lock and key. I do, however, want to make this blog a conversation that we can all relate to. Let’s make this journey that we are all on, no matter what stage you are in, one that makes a difference.
My hand is out to hold yours, either to lead or to be led, take it if you’re willing.
Until next time…