#SXSW, #FOMO, & Money

Hanging out in Austin last March before SXSW.
Hanging out in Austin last March before SXSW.

I have been feeling a lot of #FOMO (fear of missing out) lately: earlier this week was the LAUNCH Festival, which I had attended two years ago. I followed along on the hashtag though, and felt excited learning about all the new apps and businesses launching in San Francisco.

I was originally planning on going to SXSW Interactive this year, but backed out a couple of months ago due to finances. Since late January, Ryan and I have been attending Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to get our finances in order. Like most Americans, I am not the best with handling my own money but am improving upon that situation now by being in FPU and thinking really hard about what kind of travel to do this year.

During my 20s, I threw my money around and, although my debt is not as much as some may have, I still know that I have not been very responsible with my money, especially in the past couple of years. Thankfully, my work and income situation has improved a lot in the past couple years, but still, there is the debt; at the start of 2015, I declared to myself that I needed to get my finances in order since I am now 30 years old and need to be more responsible so I may be a good example for my future children.

So, no Southby at all this year: no Austin or Las Vegas. It’s been tough for me to tell my fellow conference friends but they have all respected my decision because of my reasoning. Of course, that still does not stop me from feeling like I’m missing out.

I feel more peace of mind though when I remind myself that this will all be worth it in the end: when I travel to these conferences again, I will be paying for all the extra costs with money that I DO have, not credit cards. I will be debt-free.

Things Are Not As They Seem

Happy outside, sad inside? It's hard to say.
Happy outside, sad inside? It’s hard to say.

I read an article recently talking about the comparison syndrome and how it’s become more prevalent as technology evolves. We all look at our friends’ photos and status updates on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, et. al., and we always see happy, smiling faces. In turn, it makes us jealous or sad when we see how ‘perfect’ everybody else’s lives are.

But really, we don’t see the whole picture: everybody always shows a happy face because, well, who wants to post about sad moments? In the end, we just need to remind ourselves that we need to take care of #1 (ourselves) first; don’t worry about what everybody else is doing!

I know I constantly have to remind myself about this, because I do feel that bit of jealousy and envy when I see how awesome all my friends are doing. I’m happy for them, of course! But I also have to remind myself: I too have a happy yet imperfect life. I appreciate my life as it is and wouldn’t trade it for anybody else’s.

Just a good reminder for all of us.

Pet Peeve: Lack of Follow-Through

Seriously, people. FOLLOW THROUGH. Image courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net
Seriously, people. FOLLOW THROUGH. Image courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net

This example is in no reference to my previous post regarding the potential connections I made between colleagues; this incident happened several months ago.

An acquaintance had posted on Twitter asking for financial advising, and I was happy to refer her to someone in my leads group at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. However, once I made the introduction, my leads group colleague reached out to her and she never replied.

I find it highly unprofessional and just plain rude when people don’t follow through, ESPECIALLY when they are the ones asking for the help/assistance. Why even ask your network for resources when you’re not going to follow through? Do the work yourself after that; you’re on your own.

Of course, I feel that all of us (to some degree) are guilty of this; hell, there have been several incidents in the past year where I know I dropped the ball on some people.

Still, it’s a pet peeve to me and make me not want to make introductions sometimes.

Always Connecting Others

I love to connect others together! Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut from freedigitaphotos.net
I love to connect others together! Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut from freedigitaphotos.net

Today I’ve spent aspects of my workday connecting friends and colleagues: a few colleagues I’d met at previous conferences over the past two years are in Barcelona right now for the Mobile World Congress and I had noticed them using the hashtag #mwc15. I figured, Why not connect them all? As I write this, hoping at least a couple of them will be able to meet! How cool would that be?

Also introduced two friends to one another in Boston: one works in Boston but commutes from Maine, and the other lives and works in Boston. Hoping that they will be able to connect IRL and that one will be able to help the other find good housing in the Boston area!

I should mention, all of this connecting/networking has been via Twitter, which I sincerely LOVE for doing stuff like this! Twitter has been my forte since probably 2010/2011, when the platform really started to gain critical mass. Somehow, I thrive off of hashtags and connecting others, even if I can’t physically be there to make the connections myself.

It’s a natural gift that’s only come out since I moved to Denver; I really am grateful for this skill, though, and hope I can continue to use it throughout my years.

So, Now What?

What are you looking forward to this month? Posted this on Ignite Denver's social channels earlier today.
What are you looking forward to this month? Posted this on Ignite Denver’s social channels earlier today.

Welcome to March 2015, which seems to have crept up on all of us so suddenly. Just think, after this month, we’ll have already completed the first quarter of the year. Time flies.

If you have been following my blog during the past couple of months, you will have noticed my monthly themes. Keeping up with #30PostsBefore30 and #28ChineseMemories these past two months has been great for me to maintain a daily blogging ritual. I can’t say if I have gained more readers through my daily blogging (have been quite busy lately and haven’t checked any analytics or stats), but I have enjoyed writing for myself every day.

Now, it is March and I am honestly not sure what to do about this month.¬†Getting the last several posts written for February was a bit trying for me; I couldn’t think of a theme to consider in time for March. The last two months’ worth of posts were highly reflective and personal for me: I almost feel like if I continue on the same trajectory that I may run out of things to reflect upon from my past.

I know I can go about just blogging daily about the mundane ins-and-outs of my present-day life, but I’m afraid with that simple plan that I may lose motivation to blog daily. The monthly theme helped keep me focused on one unifying topic and kept my creative juices going.

Hard to say what I will do for this month, but I suppose I will commit to blogging daily, despite what I had just written in the previous paragraph. Onward!