Day 141 | $57,116 paid | $33,601 till freedom
In my last post, I identified the source of the funk I’ve been feeling, but I didn’t really have a solution for it. Well, I’ve found one…
Seriously, I’m not joking. I’ve been writing and publishing most posts on Sunday night, and every Monday morning at work has hit me like a slap in the face. I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that 99.9% of my posts have typically been about me and the challenges I experience in trying to live a lower-cost life. So I live it once, then I re-live it again when I write about it. Then I go in to work on Monday and feel trapped in a cubicle maze. I typically get out of the heavy funk by mid-afternoon on Monday, then the rest of the week is usually pretty easy and funk-free. Then I blog about my debt pay-off misery on Sunday night and the cycle repeats.
I have a good friend from HBS and work who knows all about my blog. He was a film major in undergrad, and he was even filming me for a couple of weeks in an attempt to make a documentary out of this stunt until he realized he’d have to hire somebody full-time just to keep up with me, given the pace at which I was trying different things to eat away at my debt. The other day, we were talking about a lawsuit that he’s involved in regarding his former business venture–a couple of intimidating mobster-like characters from NYC that bought him out (one’s an ex-con) owe him beaucoup royalties and they refuse to pay up–and I encouraged him to write a blog about his experience. He turned down my suggestion, though, explaining that not thinking about the lawsuit has allowed him to stay sane and remain emotionally detached from it.
Then he told me a story about a woman who gave birth to and raised ten kids. His wife once asked the woman why she didn’t keep a journal about raising all of the kids since it would make for such fantastic reading years down the road. The woman replied back that she would have gone crazy if every night she had to capture the craziness of each day by writing about it.
I haven’t blogged in six days, including last night. I woke up this Monday morning and whereas for the past few months I’ve spent the first couple of hours at work in a funk, today I walked into my cube at 8:10 AM and just crushed it. I got completely caught up on email, knocked out several deliverables, started a couple more, and attended a few meetings–all before noon. I successfully evaded the funk.
And that’s the thing about me. If I’m ever doing something I don’t like, but I know that it’s my medicine and that I have to take it for long-term health, I don’t whine about it/dwell on it/think about it. I just do it. I compartmentalize it. I block out the negative thoughts and feelings and power through it. But when I’m having to reflect on it, dissect it, analyze it, and write about it, I tend to get more than a little wrapped up in it.
I think this whole mission would actually be a lot easier if I weren’t spending so much time thinking and writing about it.
I used to keep a private journal (i.e., a diary…whatever, I’m cool with it) on and off since seventh grade, and I always found that I was happier when I wasn’t writing in it. My journal literally made me miserable! I haven’t journaled since 2009. I still see and gain value in writing and reflecting on a major problem when I can’t quite put my finger on a root cause or a solution by working it out in my head, but I think that for the most part, consistent, reflective journaling can drive a person insane. The quotation underneath my photo in my high school senior yearbook is from Socrates and it reads, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I still agree with that, but I might add that the over-examined life can be detrimental to one’s mental health.
All that being said, I recognize the value of this blog to others; several folks have commented on how inspirational it is. So I’ll keep blogging away about my experiences. I would like to say that I’m going to try to keep things more positive, more on an even keel, but I don’t want this blog to be some idiotic, artificial, fluffy, evangelistic piece of crap, either. I want it to be real. So I’ll probably keep whining from time to time.
Speaking of the Blog
I started this blog on August 29th. Four and a half months later, as of 9:57 on 1/16, I’ve published 73 posts comprised of 95,000 words. Other noteworthy data:
- 69,275 page views
- 525 reader comments
- 102 email subscribers
- 57 comment followers
- Top six commentors are: Sarah L (26), Sarah (17), Mike (16), Barbara (16), and Nancy and Zeona (15 each); Thanks a lot, guys!!!
- All-time biggest referrer: Iwillteachyoutoberich.com (2,341 referrals | Thanks, Ramit!)
- My busiest day was the first full day of this blog’s existence on August 30, 2011, when the blog went viral and got 2,788 views. It was all downhill from there: catchy title, interesting concept, but horrible writing, I guess
A Special Thanks
I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it weren’t for my readers and the comments. I love the fact that I have my own cheerleading squad, my own ringside coach in my corner. It’s a great feeling. Without you guys, I would have stopped writing about my debt challenge 72 posts ago.
I wouldn’t say that I’m on a mission to raise page views–I’m actually quite content with the way things are going right now. The current crew of commentors is outstanding and it offers a great deal of insight that I find useful and constructive. I’m happy with that, too, since I can’t afford to pay for visitors, I’m not a big fan of hosting guest bloggers (it would have to be an excellent fit), and I don’t have a lot of time/patience/interest in doing the other stuff this guy recommends to increase blog traffic.
That being said, the very competitive side of me is still curious how 70k organic page views in 4.5 months stacks up in in the world of blogging–whether that’s high or low. I think that given the context, it’s a fairly high figure. I mean, I’m writing about me. This is quite possibly the most self-centered blog in the blogosphere. Every single post is about me, my life, and my money! I’m not that interesting of a guy, and I’m not exactly providing readers with very helpful information–I don’t go to financial seminars and write about them, I don’t do research and conduct studies, and I don’t interview people. I literally just find an hour or so each week, sit down in front of the computer, and write about whatever I’ve been noodling on in my head for the past few days. The fact that it’s not just my parents and grandma reading this blog is cool; the fact that the blog gets roughly 300-400 page views a day from complete strangers is completely astounding.
So, a big thanks to my readers. For you, I will write 5.5 months’ worth of more posts, or however many I can fit in whatever time on earth I have left living with student loans. Thanks for stopping by!