HIV Longevity Still Fighting…


Am I Losing My Identity?

No, no, no … I’m not talking about some cracker in cyberspace stealing my credit card information and selling it to a drug czar in Russia. I’m referring to the original meaning of identity … You know, me, id, I, this person you see before you (hypothetically speaking).

Wow do I digress!!

Anyway … I have been doing some soul searching lately. And, I am tunneling into the depths of my mind that most people not only fear, but avoid like the plague. Most recently I am working on getting myself and my family out of debt. I am tired of:

  • Not having enough money for emergencies;
  • Having so many bills that I can barely stop my head from spinning;
  • Living check-to-check;
  • Worrying about costs associated with family outings and vacations.

The list goes on and on, but you know what I mean.

A friend of mine suggested a unique book, Your Money or Your Life by: Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, and Monique Tilford. I picked it up and read it … This book is pretty amazing! And, scary!!

Essentially the book cuts right to the chase in chapter one. They detail the problems with earthlings and what we are doing to our environment, our personal finances, the national debt, and even society as a whole. It is actually a very good endeavor at terrifying the reader into believing that the sky is falling. I wasn’t convinced initially, but over a few days of thought and provocative inward philosophizing, I am becoming a believer. The funny thing is, I did not create this blog post to discuss this book or how awesome it is. On the contrary, I started it, because my soul searching did something to me … It frightened me into wondering who I am. I mean literally down to the roots

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. You see, about 25 years ago I was told I wouldn’t live longer than two years. Back then life was easy. Seriously! I knew my timeline and all I had to do was party, risk danger at every waking moment, and ride it out. Well … That worked for about—two years—Then I realized, I’m still alive. Many moons later and now I am left with a middle-aged man who has tried almost everything and is still searching for that adrenaline rush that will be the end all-be all. I got news for me … It ain’t out there.

So, now what? I’m pretty sure that I have a lot more soul searching before I can answer that. One thing I know for certain: My family is the most important thing to me. My adorable wife and two precocious children are my everything. Every move I make and every step I take (that should be a line in a song) is carefully planned around my family and making sure that they are provided for, safe, and enjoying themselves.

I feel a change coming on. A change where I get rid of a bunch of the clutter in my life. Similar to the physical change that I put my body through around three years ago, I am going to trim the fat. I will no longer be chained down by what society deems I must buy to be a happy person. It has taken me three years of seriously hard work and determination to build the efficient and powerful 175 pound frame with only 10% body fat that I like to affectionately refer to as me. And, I think that my financial turnaround will take a similar amount of time. But, I am willing to bet that now that I’ve locked it into my sights and decided to move forward I will accomplish this immense task.

My eventual goal (think long-term) is to be financially independent, debt free, and financially intelligent. For now I will take having no more credit card debt and not living check-to-check.

Who’s with me?


Love you all,

Posted by Vaughn Ripley

Comments (5) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Here, here! Quince and I just watched a video titled “Affluenza” that left me with a similar resolve. Invest in people, not things. Spend time being, not buying. Life is so much more rewarding that way…

  2. V- when I thought I was going to die I definitely went through my money with reckless abandon. It took me about 5 years to get things straight with my financial life after I realized I was going to live. It happened incrementally. I actually was only ever to dig out of it by pushing the problem into the future of course… I took out extra student loan money to pay off short term debt problems and then consolidated them later. I’ll be dealing with 5 years of bad choices for 20 years.

    Coming from where you were, I can imagine how easy it was to blow through money for “experiences” or the like because living life was the priority. Once stability is staring you in the face as a likely (and desired) outcome, it takes a while to adjust. Best of luck to you- but spending money and seeking excitement and experiences doesn’t define you. Don’t worry about the identity crisis.

  3. That last commetn was me – sorry pulled the trigger too soon.

  4. Thank you very much for that great article

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