Featured

Why Am I Here?

I have to be honest…I’m scared that I don’t have much to add to this conversation. I suffer from imposter syndrome a lot of the time and I’m discovering that I fear criticism and conflict. But, I want to be part of a community of like-minded folks. I want to have the type of conversations I enjoy having but have not been able to find in my physical day-to-day life and community. So, here I am.

I discovered FIRE approximately six years ago and the idea changed my life. I’ve longed to contribute to the movement since day one but procrastination and self-doubt continually delayed my ideas.

FIRE blogs and websites are a dime a dozen now. I regret not starting earlier, but it is what it is. I’ve come to realize that I regret not pursuing a number of my ideas due to the fear of failure and the fear of being labelled a phony. It’s time to face that fear and do something about it.

I live in a small city in Canada. It’s a blue collar city that struggles with poverty and lacks a positive-image of itself. The feeling of hope is hard to come by, as cynicism runs deep. Why do I live here? Because my new job is here and it’s the highest paying one I’ve ever had. I yearn to physically escape this place, and will when I FIRE, but until then this blog will be my mental escape.

My adult life so far has taken a number of twists and turns. When I reflect on the journey and the changes I’ve made I sometimes feel proud, I sometimes feel incredibly gullible and stupid, and I sometimes feel significant regret. Lately, I tend to feel like I’m living this peculiar and hidden double life. My FIRE aspirations have been kept secret from my coworkers, my personal and childhood friends, my family and, to some extent, my wife. She knows what I’m up to, but she’s not really interested in the FIRE journey (yet), so those excited in-depth conversations about FIRE topics, techniques and ideas do not happen.

So, with all that in mind, where do I start?

As much as I’d like to, I’m unable to go back in time and document my journey day by day. However, I thought it might be fun to revisit those years, starting in 2012, dedicating one post to each. Sort of a recap series, I guess, to explain my journey. Perhaps the changes I made, and the struggles I experienced, will motivate someone to make the changes they need in order to live a more fulfilling life. Along with the recap series I plan to include monthly updates on my FIRE progress and other random posts about topics and thoughts I find interesting. I enjoy reading, so I’ll likely write and post the odd book review as well.

I’ll finish off this inaugural post with a brief snapshot of where I’m at currently.

I’m creeping into my mid-thirties and have recently started a new job that is 100% different from anything I’ve ever done in my life, or ever imagined doing. Over the course of this job and career switcharoo I’ve been through many personal changes and faced unexpected situations, all in the pursuit of FIRE.

By following a loosely mapped out plan, I was able to raise my annual gross income, over the course of a four year period, from approximately $15 000 to over $80 000. On top of that, I expect to be north of $90 000 annually, and perhaps even breach six figures, within two to five years. That’s a level of income I never expected to experience.

My savings rate for 2018 came in at 53.57%. I hope to bump it up to 65% or 70% in 2019.

My net worth is approaching six figures, and I’m admittedly giddy about it.

My current worth is small in comparison to a lot of other FIRE folks, but considering that six or seven years ago I was trapped in minimum wage jobs, with no marketable skills, and a net worth of approximately -$25 000…I feel pretty damn proud.

Alrighty…

So, in a scatter brain sort of way, that’s an introduction to myself and situation. I feel like I’ve left a lot out of this first post and I’m fighting the urge to ensure every detail is explained. This is a work in progress though, and things will be naturally revealed as I continue to write. In the end this blog is a way for me to express myself, while holding myself accountable to my FIRE pursuits. I hope to develop friendships over the course of these writings, and I hope to share and discuss interesting ideas.

Thanks for reading. Join the conversation.

FI Guy

*As a side note, I haven’t decided on how precise or revealing I’m going to be on numbers. I’m conservative by nature and tend to overthink things, so I’ll decide as things go along.