Anyone who checks in regularly can tell that things have been shriveling around here for months. I know it is not out of the ordinary for a blog to disappear into the internet graveyard with barely a whimper, but I still really like this blog and thought things needed a little bit of an explanation.
The New Red Huffy
Picture a 4 year tearing the wrapping paper from a brand new bike on Christmas morning. He jumps for joy and hugs anyone in sight. He rushes out and spends some time learning how to ride. He is grateful for the training wheels as he totters around for the first few months. He spends the next year riding his bike everywhere. He can’t walk out the door without trying to convince his parents to let him go for a little ride. It is even cute watching him try and convince people who have no interest in biking how great it is.
Gradually though the circumstances begin to change. He gets older and bigger. The bike starts to get a little rusty and just doesn’t fit as well as before. New toys, friends, hobbies, and responsibilities enter into the picture and in a few years the bike just sits around and collects rust. He occasionally watches kids on their bikes zoom down the street laughing, doing cool tricks, and getting air of sweet jumps, but it only moves him to lament rather than to action.
Eventually one spring Thursday his dad puts the bike out to the curb for donation pickup. The son sees the bike in its sad shape and all the memories come rushing back. He argues with his dad to keep the bike, but his father knows that it will just be right back in the shed. Dad lovingly suggests three options. They could take the next few weekends and work on a special father and son project together where they would clean the rust off the bike, replace some parts, and take off the training wheels. The bike would then be ready to be useful for the next few years. The other options are to give the bike to someone who would love it like he used too or let it rust away in a landfill in Topeka.
That is where I am at. A lot has changed since I started this blog. I have become 100% debt, adopted two children, sold a house and moved, finished my MBA and grown quit a bit. Things look much different than they did three years ago and I am asking much different questions in my life:
- Three years ago we were fanatic about getting out of debt and were a few months away from kicking $70,000 of debt to the curb. Early on I was eager to write about debt reduction and those type of thoughts swirled around in my head constantly. After the debt was gone and I had an emergency fund, I had a hard time writing about that stuff with a fresh perspective. Now, money isn’t an issue. It is amazing how much things looks different with absolutely no debt, 1.5 salaries, and safety cash. You are free to move wherever you want or take whatever job regardless of pay. You can start asking the Why questions of life rather than being stuck on the How questions like how to I make more money or get out of debt. It is an awesome yet uncomfortable place to be.
- Before I was asking how do I create a successful blog and make some money off of it, but now my question is what purpose is the blog serving in my life and in yours. I was more focused on gaining readers, not losing readers, making money, and trying to “figure out blogging”. I don’t feel that is authentic enough anymore. It doesn’t really connect with where I am in my journey and it doesn’t connect me to people on similar journey’s. Before I was around motivated folks in my MBA program and other debt destroyers that helped encourage me to stick with it. Once they were gone and I moved on but I didn’t forge any relationships for the next stage in my journey.
- My Christian faith is the thing I think about most and I barely ever mentioned it. The blog was meant to help people out of debt, but it really only ended up being something I wanted to succeed at. Fear of alienating people and losing readers kept me from including it in the discussion in any meaningful way. I was probably scared, who knows, but I often wanted to connect with people on that level. This blog was my primary means of expression and pouring my energy and heart into money and life hacks just to create a semi-successful blog is not an authentic experience. Articles weren’t designed to connect with people they are created to be ‘successful’. That is passion draining rather than inspiring for me.
- I haven’t posted anything meaningful in months and I don’t think I haven’t gotten a single email asking about why. I don’t say that to make you feel guilty or conger up pity, but the sad fact is that I wrote OK articles but I wasn’t connecting with anyone. Now I feel a drawn towards forming deeper and more meaningful relationships. I want people to matter. Not in a distant 3rd person way that let’s me execute my plan to be comfortable and safe without ever having to really get involved. Detached, very comfortable, and debt free isn’t enough. It is time to figure out how to get my hands dirty and face some fears.
Now don’t read this wrong, I am very grateful for the paths that have led to this point. I thank the readers for stopping by and being a part of things. The experience I gained is invaluable and it is was a blast most of time. The question is…now what? Do I clean off the rust and change things so that they can meet the demands of the next stage of life’s journey or do I take all the growth and knowledge and pure it into bigger and better things? I leaning towards tailoring the blog’s direction to be more authentic and true to my journey and away from being aimed to please Sitemeter and Google. I just don’t know exactly what that looks like…