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Hello Again, I’m Back!

After a much longer break than anticipated, it’s difficult to figure out what to say in this first blog post in over a year. I suppose I’ll settle with a simple, hello again, I’m back!

A year is a long time to be away, and certainly longer than I was originally thinking. As I mentioned in my last post, there were a few bigger things coming up in my life that would be taking up a lot of my energy and mental bandwidth.

That proved to be truthful, as moving states during a pandemic and being first time homeowners certainly gave us plenty to keep busy. Not to mention planning a wedding (or two, or three… long story that I will certainly update you all on at some point!).

What I left unsaid was that during this time off I did lots of reflecting on what I wanted to do with this blog, where I saw it going, and whether or not I even wanted to continue writing on it.

washington dc snow capitol building
Like the dark days of winter, was this the end for YFK?

I mentioned it before in some prior post (I think? Forgive me, it’s been a while for all of us! :)), but I’d been struggling for a while with the direction of the blog.

You see, when I first started writing at the end of 2017, my life was in a much different spot than it is now. In some respects it feels like a lifetime ago. I was in my mid-20s, single, and just at the relative beginning of my journey to financial independence.

I recall my mindset being one of focused determination, eager to make up for some lost time in terms of a few years of missed investing opportunities. With a rough projected FIRE date of some 10-15 years off into the future, that was nothing in the grand scheme of things and I planned to keep my head down and plug away to reach that goal.

Behind the Scenes

My aim with the blog was to chronicle my journey to FIRE from the aspect of someone making a slightly above average salary, though tempered somewhat by living in a very high cost of living city.

Fast forward over three and a half years (wow it’s been a while) and my life is drastically different. I’ve had a few promotions and a few other large salary merit increases. It is certainly to the point where I would no longer consider myself having an above-average income and now it’s just simply a high income.

I also found someone that makes me extremely happy, and we’ve been partnered up for almost three years now! Though we only recently combined finances this year, looking at finances and building wealth from a couple’s perspective is completely different than doing so as a single person.

We also ditched the high cost of living city atmosphere. With our move last year, we’ve officially transitioned to a much more mid-level cost of living city (though that is rapidly changing over the past year).

With a higher income and lower cost of living (and thus lower expenses) saving has simply become easier. While we still choose to optimize many parts of our life and keep expenses low, it’s not nearly as much of a priority.

Essentially, when you have a high income it’s pretty easy to save money, much easier than for most people. In our situation becoming financially independent has become less of some far off target, and more of an inevitability that is bound to happen sooner rather than later so long as we stay the course.

It has opened up many options for us, and for that we are incredibly fortunate.

With that knowledge I struggled to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard I suppose). I felt like a downright imposter to post about advice for saving money and making financial sacrifices in pursuit of this goal knowing in the back of my mind just how easy the journey has become for us.

With my decision to stop posting net worth updates with my impending marriage and combining of finances, I didn’t really know what else I had to offer in this space anymore.

Perhaps it would be best to just let this blog disappear into the ether like so many other financial independence blogs long before mine. While I grappled with these thoughts, I figured I would renew the domain out at least one more year to line up with when my hosting expired at the end of 2021.

A New Phase of Life

Even though my posts have been nonexistent, I’ve still been lurking in the FIRE crowd, reading a few posts, and scrolling through Twitter every now and then. With the pandemic limiting us to visits with family and sparse visits with close friends I really was missing the opportunity to interact with other like-minded people in the FI space as we had done in years prior.

In June of this year following our (second) wedding, we were finally able to meet up with someone! Kristy from Hytreks and her family are on a round the US tour exploring all the national parks and other amazing sights the country has to offer after reaching financial independence a couple years ago.

Fortunately her travel path aligned with where we were located on our mini-honeymoon and we were able to meet up for a day! It was so great to catch up and talk about life, travel, anything and everything.

In particular, something Kristy said to us really resonated with me. When we asked her about simultaneously traveling and parenting a young child, she mentioned something along the lines of how life can be broken into many different “seasons.”

They were embracing this “season” of their life that involved lots of travel, and also lots of added responsibility of parenting a young child knowing that it would not last forever.

shenandoah national park fall colors leaves
Just as leaves change colors every fall, perhaps this blog can change as well?

At some point the travel will end, and their child will continue to grow older, at which point they move to a new “season” of life.

The concept is familiar to me. I’d learned it as more through the lens of life as a book with many different chapters, but it is a similar idea.

Hearing this concept again was greatly beneficial for me. Not only did it provide a great reminder to fully embrace the present and all seasons or chapters of my life, but it also gave me new thoughts behind the blog and what I wanted to do with it.

A New “Season” for YFK

While my life is massively different from when I started the blog, it simply signifies that I am now in a different season.

Just as my life has different seasons, so too can this blog. Just because my life is different doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t still have thoughts and advice I’d like to share.

These thoughts and advice may just be a little different than before. Instead of writing net worth updates and how I saved 65% of my income, maybe instead I write about my thoughts, feelings and anxieties as we approach financial independence.

Perhaps I can discuss future plans and how we account for the unknowns of the future, as well as other lessons learned throughout the past. Or I simply go back to one of the original intents behind the blog: to document my journey to financial independence and in the process write about whatever I feel like writing about! It is my blog after all 🙂 .

adirondack national park baxter mountain hike
A new spring for this blog 🙂

I suppose my point is that I used up a not unsubstantial amount of mental bandwidth thinking about what I wanted to do with this blog. In the end, it turns out that my original mission still applies today, I just needed to think about it in a different way (thanks Kristy!).

With that being said, I suppose ~1,500 words is enough for the first post back. I have a lot more to say and updating to do after a year off of writing (at least on this blog!), and I certainly intend to write more about these things.

As in my last post I make no promises about the frequency of writing, but I hope to return to a somewhat more consistent schedule going forwards. I can at least promise that the next post will not be another year from now 🙂

For now, it’s simply good to be back and you’ll be hearing more from me soon!

7 thoughts to “Hello Again, I’m Back!”

  1. Fantastic to see you have returned.

    I actually found your blog just a month ago and was saddened to see you had stopped writing. Your style and way of capturing your thoughts really resonated with me and I enjoyed delving into past posts.

    I look forward to the new(old) direction and I am excited to hear about the house, how you’ve settled and so forth.

    Ryan

  2. “maybe instead I write about my thoughts, feelings and anxieties as we approach financial independence”…

    That’s mostly what I like reading anyway haha! Numbers are fun, but feelings are better.

    Welcome back and looking forward to more 🙂

  3. Glad to have you back! I really resonated with your story since I’m in a very similar situation to you. I started aggressively getting into FI in 2018 and have had a series of good fortune and promotions to have my income explode from ~$60k to hopefully ~$150k this year and net worth to >$400k. I’m also over 3 years into a relationship that will lead to marriage and combining of finances in the next year or so.

    I just wanted to let you know that even if you feel “out of touch” with the more mainstream crowd there still are folks like myself who find themselves in similar shoes and there aren’t many FI blogs that dive into the details of successful younger people. Sharing your numbers is entirely a personal decision but I love seeing the details and using it as motivation to push myself further.

    I’m looking forward to following your journey more!

    Cheers.

    1. Great to have you back, I missed your writing. Looking forward to more posts in the future.

      Keenan – any tips or advice on how you’ve been able to make your income explode? I’m stuck in that stubborn lower range with only incremental increases over the last couple of years.

      1. Hey Brian.

        I’ve been fortunate by living in a HCOL city with corresponding higher wages. I also switched into Electrical Engineering from Mechanical, worked 50-60 hour weeks, took on as many responsibilities as I could, leveraged job offers and job hopped once, and studied 550 hours to pass the Professional Engineering test in my discipline.

        The more value you can provide the better. And if you current company doesn’t realize your worth then I suggest seeing what the job market says.

        Best of luck!

  4. You won’t be alone as a high income blogger. There are dozens of physician personal finance bloggers and investment bankers and a slew of engineers like me, all of whom had a relatively easy time building wealth. But the focus of your blog will change. Its hard to tell a single mother how to cut her cost of living if you are spending six figures on yours, its just a fact of life. But you have a story of how you became this successful, helping people increase their income is very worthwhile and you know how to do that. I hope you do keep on sharing your unique perspective, there is a unique audience that will be better for it.

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