When I started this blog in July 2017, I purposely chose The Five Journeys to avoid being pigeonholed to a specific topic, like financial independence. I knew I wanted to write about a more holistic life – one of happiness, community, inner peace, and healthy lifestyle. But the irony is that my five journeys have turned into one: that illusive quest for financial independence. And true to my obsessive nature, I’ve let everything else fall to the side. Now I’m on the eve of an adventure of a lifetime, and I’m ready to reclaim my life!
There’s nothing like an upcoming vacation to push things into high gear. This last month I was determined to finish the course content of my Early Exit Academy courses, build a mini-course – Get out of Debt NOW, revamp my website, and take and implement a course on Facebook advertising. I accomplished every single goal, and I’m even hopeful that the Facebook course will finally help me earn some income. But patience was never one of my virtues, and I know I have to give it some time.
Last year, I wrote about the Four Burners Theory. The concept claims that a balanced life isn’t a realistic mission. If you have all four burners (work, health, family, friends), on HIGH at the same time, you’ll burn down the house! Indeed, that’s exactly what I have experienced. My work burner has been on HIGH for over a year, and all of the other burners have been extinguished. Now I’m entering a new phase. Most of the course work is finished, so it’s a matter of marketing, promoting, and selling. Can I lower the burner and begin to look at the other four journeys I promised to write about?
I am in a very odd place in my life. Here I am in my mid-50s and I feel like this may be my last chance to really go out there and do something different. I’m tired of taking care of the yard, cooking, and sitting in front of my laptop day after day. I’m just done! I need a total lifestyle change to get my body back in shape and to bring inner peace into my life. And I’m not sure I can get that here.
While I obsess over my finances, I’m also incredibly discouraged by the mass shootings and the politics of this country. Mind you, I’ve worked on justice reform issues for decades, so it’s not like I haven’t tried to make a positive difference in the world. But lately, I don’t even know that I want to stay in this country. It doesn’t make sense economically, politically, and health-wise. Should the Affordable Care Act go under, I would have no choice but to leave, as I cannot get private insurance. Should Trump get re-elected, I’m done!
While there are factors pushing me away from my current life, I’m very much aware that the pull factors are missing. I don’t have any particular place calling my name. So for now, I’ll research and ponder. Plus, this fall, I’ll start selling and giving away my stuff. The fact is, very few material things have meaning to me any more.
So here I am spilling my guts about my soul-searching efforts, and I haven’t told you about tomorrow’s adventure. I’m headed to South Africa and Zimbabwe! The trip was paid for long before I lost my job, and I never even thought of cancelling and getting my money back. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I just can’t let it pass. And when I look at all the things that have brought me joy in the last half of my life, it’s adventure. I so need this right now.
I’ll journal while I’m in Africa, and I have quite a collection of Kindle books to keep me company. I hope this time away from my business and home helps put things in perspective. What I do know is that I’m ready for a change. I’m not sure what that looks like. And I certainly hope the Early Exit Academy helps me reach financial independence. If I can just get out of my own way and be flexible in my thinking, I believe I’ll find what I’m looking for.
How about you? Have you felt like it was time for a big change? What did you do about it? Did it work out?
Dr. Brenda is a sociologist, educator, blogger, motivator, and financial coach. In addition to blogging at The Five Journeys, she writes 30-day challenges at BetterLifeChallenges.com. Her passion is guiding people on their journey to financial freedom through coaching at DrBrendaMoneyCoach and online courses at EarlyExitAcademy.com.