“So this blog serves the purpose of creating what I feel is valuable entertainment, but it’s also a coping mechanism for me of sorts. After all, if I really stop to think about the fact that I have OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS in credit card debt, I’ll probably just pass out. However if I think about having that same amount of debt, but then see a cute little drawing of a guy with a shovel… It can’t be that bad right?”
First things first! As you can see, I’ve removed the stat tracker from the top of this post showing how much credit card debt I have remaining, and I have instead moved it over to the fancy new graphic on the side bar to the right over there.
I felt like it was cluttering up my posts to have that sucker at the top of each post, and since the numbers really don’t move from day to day, it was often just a stagnant piece of information that felt better served to the right.
As I was making the little graphic of the dude with the shovel on that chart, I got to thinking about whether or not my approach to debt is the right one. I don’t mean in terms of what I’m paying and where, but more in terms of the fact that I’ve created a semi-sweet, light and fluffy blog about effectively being broke.
I pepper the tops of posts like this one with fun little illustrations, and then spend several hundred words talking about just how close I came to losing my home and putting myself and my family in a really ugly situation. It can be quite the contrast!
Humor has always been a defense mechanism for me. When I get nervous, or when I am put in tense situations, I tend to crack a lot of jokes… usually of a self-deprecating nature. It’s something I’ve done since was a kid, and continue to do often as an adult. So if you ever happen to be in a situation with me where I am obviously desperate in my attempts to make the group I’m with laugh, chances are it’s because I feel WAY outside of my comfort zone.
I was up in the mountains once and had a guy pull a revolver on me and two of my friends. True story. We were driving up to a keg party in the mountains, and as we crested up over a hill in my pickup, there he was on horseback, pistol drawn, pointing it directly at my face. He then told us that his son had put his pickup in a ditch about a mile up the road and needed to be pulled out. The gun was just a “motivator” as he called it. To make a long story short, I was so scared and cracked so many jokes as a result that by the end of the night both the son and the father were standing at a campfire with us drinking beers and laughing.
Again… defense mechanism.
So as you can imagine, when it comes to writing a blog chronicling the really dumb situation I put myself in, I try to find to add some levity.
Don’t think for a moment that this doesn’t mean I’m not taking my situation seriously. I’ve got hundreds of hours of lost sleep, stacks of notes from my doctor warning me of my elevated blood pressure, and more than a few new gray hairs in my beard to prove otherwise.
But I’m trying to share my story with others for two very important reasons: 1) I want others to understand that they aren’t alone in a situation such as this, and 2) I want to share the tips and tricks I learned for rectifying my situation.
If my blog was totally clinical and whimsy-free, I don’t think many people would bother to read for longer than a post or two. I try hard to make relatable posts, while at the same time providing some inspiration and enjoyment in the form of humor and an occasional scribble or two. It’s the kind of financial blog I’d want to read, and I hope that others do too.
So this blog serves the purpose of creating what I feel is valuable entertainment, but it’s also a coping mechanism for me of sorts. After all, if I really stop to think about the fact that I have OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS in credit card debt, I’ll probably just pass out. However if I think about having that same amount of debt, but then see a cute little drawing of a guy with a shovel… It can’t be that bad right?
In all seriousness, this is not a fun situation. It’s a highly stressful burden I’ve put on myself, and it’s going to take years to properly recover and reach my goals. I can either act like a sour turd (worst candy flavor ever, btw) the entire time or I can make the best of my situation and try to squeeze a few drops of enjoyment out along the way. After all, I’ve learned from my mistakes and now it’s just a math problem that I’ll need time to properly solve. It’s not like I don’t know how I’m ever going to recover, so I might as well write a poop joke or two while I pass the time!
The numbers for the blog have been really good. We’ve hit over 500 visitors in just over a month since I started posting, and my posts have had over 1,500 views in total. I have no frame of reference, but that seems pretty good to me, and tells me that people are reading the things I write. I hope that maybe I’ve helped a person or two in some form in the process.
It should be totally clear but, just in case it isn’t, let me state for the record that I make no profit from this blog whatsoever. If my numbers get high enough, I might consider throwing an ad or two up for some scratch, but that’s a LONG way off and will literally mean a couple of bucks here and there. I do this because of the two reasons mentioned above, and because it provides me a bit of a creative outlet.
If you like what you’ve been reading then all I ask is that you share the blog with a friend or two, or if you’re feeling particularly generous you can share it on your various social media platforms with many of your friends. As I chronicled in a previous post, I really don’t feel totally comfortable sharing these posts with family and friends on social media just yet. Maybe I will once I’m in a bit better financial shape, but as of right now I don’t really want to open it up directly to those who know and follow me, even if it meant an extra thousand views. So I need folks like you to help spread the word.
I appreciate the tremendous response I’ve received from all of you thus far, and I look forward to continuing on. I’m already somewhat nervous about having enough content for quality posts, but I’ll figure something out…
Or maybe I’ll just draw more pictures!
Have a great weekend, and keep digging!
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