Monday, May 18, 2015

Reflections & The Stalemate*

* This post is part of my effort to feature pieces that I wrote in the past. 

Last year around Christmas, I realised that the idea of chasing my own reflection on the corporate treadmill is a thought that I can no longer grasp. So, I started White Collar Freedom - the blog that you're reading now.

A month before, I had sleepless nights, constantly worrying about my ability to make ends meet if I lost the security of a paycheck. To add insult to injury, the miserable amount of cash I had in the bank did close to nothing in reducing the anxiety and discontentment that was looming. 

I knew something had to change - emotionally, financially and fundamentally. 

Then I stumbled upon The Minimalists and minimalism. Their thoughts struck a chord with me and the whole concept of minimalism resonated in harmony with the discontentment I had brewing in the background. I realised that I could be happier with less.

I could do with lesser possessions, lesser distractions so as to focus on the things that truly matter.

So I pared down my possessions, wiped off the small but painful credit card debt that I had and maintained a savings rate of 30% and above, every month (with the aim of increasing this rate over time). It was not easy, and it is still not easy, but knowing that I've got my fundamentals right opens up another door to freedom - from the 9 to 5 corporate treadmill.

At the very same time, I stumbled upon blogs like Mr. Money Mustache and Early Retirement Extreme. Unlike other frugality gurus out there who condoned a miserable lifestyle to retire rich after 40 years, there were people out there like Mr. Money Mustache and Jacob from ERE who found a way to achieve financial freedom in 8-10 years, or less.

Finding out that there were others out there who felt the same way about the corporate treadmill was comforting.

The fact that they found their way out, was a revelation. 

Today, I'm slightly better, if not way better. I've been actively watching my freedom fund grow as it fills the buckets in the bucket system. Sure, I don't have that freedom yet, but I no longer feel that anxiety, that weight that I'd lugged the year before.

Like a pawn on the chessboard, I now find myself jammed in the middle, in a stalemate with little to no good moves left. To be honest, it's the most frustrating part of this journey - to be progressing but not having enough of it.

But at least I'll sleep tonight, knowing that the freedom fund is growing and I'm debt free.

I'm fine.

I hope you are too.

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1 comment:

  1. Hang in there, buddy. I feel the same sentiment expressed in this post. I spend way too much time daydreaming of a different life. Sometimes if I catch myself, I stop and think of all the wonderful things I have to be grateful for right now. I have a great family, supportive husband, nice house, great job with good pay/benefits/vacation time/fitness classes at lunchtime. Life is pretty good!