I love the PF blogosphere. The lifestyles documented by my frugal heroes are what have opened my eyes up to an alternate, more genuine, more free way of living. I have always been interested in personal finance (go figure, since I’ve been in debt since my first day of university!) and I’ve always known debt is bad and it must be paid ASAP, but it was the blogs themselves that pushed me forward beyond simply ‘knowing’ that debt is terrible and I must change my ways. They have inspired and shown me that life doesn’t need to be lived as a consumer, and have contributed insurmountably to my new money mindset and philosophy.
Declaration of love aside, I must admit that there is a tiny part of me that doesn’t feel connected with the PF blogosphere. I soak up all I can, and I believe in learning from those who have already been down the path I want to be on. I appreciate and admire those who have created plans and followed through on them.
However, I myself am not a successfully reformed frugalist just yet. I don’t have the utmost confidence in my frugality. I relapse. I get depressed. My lifestyle is not yet in a comfortable frugal groove where my friends and family around me acknowledge and respect my lifestyle choice, and where I have a rich treasure trove of frugal companions. I’m still the Desperado – I’ve exiled myself to the outskirts of the spendthrift consumerist lifestyle and most days I feel like I’m in the wilderness alone. I’m not yet at the lush, glorious oasis where I imagine my PF role models residing, and I’m trying to get as far removed from the consumerist core I’ve been trying to keep my back firmly turned away from. I’m still in limbo, en route a long journey in the barren badlands between consumer town and that rich oasis that’s still so far away in the distance.
So where does this leave me? Feeling like I’m trekking through the badlands solo. The risk there is that consumer town is still a lot closer than that oasis of frugality, and it can be tempting to turn around and yearn for the days I lived there – it’s still so close by that I can see its outline perfectly, catching glimpses and sounds of all the seemingly happy and excited people who live there, including all my family and friends. I look forward into the direction of the oasis, and see nothing yet – it’s too far away. Just badlands ahead of me. I turn to my beloved PF blogosphere, and I mostly see people who are already at the oasis – or at least are so much closer than I am, I feel I can’t connect with them.
My point is that I haven’t won yet. I adore reading the wise words of those who have, but I can’t always feel like I relate; I’m not on their wise and disciplined level yet. If you’re out there and you haven’t won yet, come join me on this trek through the badlands – we can help each other get there. I can’t promise you wise words based on experience, but we can keep each other strong in keeping our backs firmly turned away from consumer town, and tell each other how amazing it’s going to be once we’re living in that beautiful oasis of frugality. We’ll share anecdotes on how others got their and what journey and path they took to get there, as there’s so many great ones. And I won’t ever judge you if on particularly hard days, you turn your head over your shoulder and whistfully look back at what we’re doing our best to leave behind us. I’ll do my best to keep telling you how wonderful that oasis will be once we get there, and how we’ll never want to leave.