Peace Out and In

Finding Peace By Making Money & Life Decisions Deliberately

Finances, Future Plans

I Want to Be Somebody

Yesterday, I started thinking “I want to be somebody.” I thought about wanting to be someone who others know for something specific.  I listened to a few financial independence interviews–one where Mad Fientist interviews Vicki Robin and another where Choose Finance interviews Mad Fientist.  First of all, I am amazed by Vicki Robin.  I connect with so much of what she has to say about why she has worked to be FI and her personal politics.  Mad Fientist is pretty cool too; I don’t know quite as much about his life mission and politics, but what I do hear and read, I enjoy.  (I listen to more podcasts and read more blogs of others who are “somebody”–people who are out in the world discussing what they do and how they live their lives. These two individuals are just on my mind because of how recently I’ve engaged in content they’ve created.)
Both are known.  From what I can tell Mad Fientist is well known within the FI community and Robin is well know in that community and in a much broader sense (as she and her teachings have been around much longer). I was like, “I want to be known. It’d be cool if people came to me to ask for my expertise . . .”
. . . which surprised me because I’ve never before been interested in “fame.” I’m much more comfortable being behind the scenes pushing others forward. What could this be about?
I wonder if it’s a desire to know myself better. I wonder if I have the desire to focus.  right now I work full-time and have a part-time business I’m building very very very slowly. In my full time job, I am going to go to a conference about a very specific topic and I often wonder if I can move into that field, which is something I have 11 years to decide and work on since I’m striving to be FI / retired from my first job first.
My interests have always been varied. Another aspect of this is that I’ve dreamed in the past of quitting my full time job–both out of burn-out from the job and from wanting more time to do something else.
I’ve got summers off (and have had them off for say 7 or more years), so I have had stretches of 3 months at a time to do solely what I want, which has helped me figure out more of who I am. When I was in my 20’s I worked soooooooooooooooooooo hard at school and then at work that I didn’t take much time to do anything recreational so that when I did start taking time to myself, listening to myself, etc. I have found new hobbies, interests, and desires for what I want to do. Maybe part of this, then, is to be more focused.
Something else that struck me about Robin’s and Mad Fientist’s stories is that they both describe a sort of dark night of the soul. Robin shares how she was working so hard on her mission that she wasn’t doing enough self-care, and Mad Fientist talks about how his extreme frugality led to depression. And I thought to myself “Ok maybe I don’t want to be like these two.” Really, though, I think we all have these “dark nights” and they become part of our journey–both Robin and Mad Fientist learned from these experiences.
I wonder if what I want is to mentor people.  Do I want to bring people to accomplish something I’ve accomplished? In the past, I loved talking about my full-time profession and always enjoyed working with newbies. Usually, though, I talk with someone once or twice.  Maybe I want a longer term mentor-mentee relationship.
I guess I leave this post with questions, then.
On a side note, I know I am somebody in terms of the ideas that I matter and that I’m important. I don’t think those are the issues. And I am working on creating an online presence in this blog and another, so maybe I’m getting closer to knowing what I want and being in conversation with people about it. Whether that means I’m somebody others know and would come to for advice, I don’t think I’m there yet.  I’ll have to see if this issue continues to come up, and what new insights come along with it.
 
What about others? Can you relate at all to what I describe here? Have you achieved that feeling of “I am somebody others look up to or come to” in response to a specific special knowledge you have?

4 Comments

  1. I think we can all build a significant online presence that is significant. Just a little bit of effort goes a long way!
    Good luck!

  2. Mindlabrynth

    I can relate to the struggle to be “somebody.”. Often that thought has ironically distracted me from the impact I already have. But I don’t think it’s just dysfunctional thinking….I can really relate to wanting to find my personal niche and I don’t think I’m there yet. This was a great post and left me with lots to think about!

  3. I do worry that thinking about this is a reflection on my ego as opposed to my “true” self. Yup, I’m with you on the niche thing. I’m not sure if we ever get “there,” but I’d like at least a little more focus, and I think I’ll at least get there sometimes.

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