I can’t stand to look at my bank account and see that there’s barely anything left. Knowing that I’m gonna have to go into rationing mode just makes me feel like don’t even want to think of it. I don’t wanna look at it. If I don’t look at it, I won’t have to think about what’s there – which is this big gaping hole in our finances.
Why do I have to think about money at all? Why can’t I just live without money altogether? Why does it seem such a bother, this gathering of money?
It’s not like I hate money. I love having it. I just hate not having it.
I used to have a job. I used to have a steady paycheque. I felt grownup and responsible when I had that. Now I feel like a failure and like I’m off playing games when I should be out there being responsible. Like I used to be. I feel a double failure because I don’t have a steady paycheque and because I’m failing my expectations of what it is to be a responsible adult.
I’m capable and able. I should be making money. But was I a better person when I was doing The Responsible thing and had a steady paycheque? I spent every day dreaming of having my own business rather than working for someone else. I spent hours thinking about how I’d do things differently if my job had been my own business.
I also spent my pay on placating my yearning heart and bought so many things I didn’t want or need but simply because it felt good and justified to buy them. The ‘what’s the point in having a salary if I can’t enjoy it’ argument which I frequently used. But I was unfocused in my use of money and am not better off for it today.
Today what I hate the most is the dread I feel when I took or even think about my bank account. The gaping maw of what I don’t have consumes my thoughts. And I use that to push off the success I’d like to have and make sure that I don’t get it either. Every time I think of success in my business, I immediately get flashbacks of how it all went down the drain before.
And I allow that disappointment and feeling of having failed to invade my present mindset. And that in turn infects everything else. I become morose and convinced that anything I do is a sure failure even if I don’t yet know it myself.
But I love having money because I love paying for things. Most of the time, I’d happily even pay more than what people ask. Tip more. Give more. Help more. Or buy better things that cost more. Having money makes me feel stress-free and at ease, and I think the biggest problem I have is that a lack of money makes me feel ashamed.
Not just of not having any money, but ashamed of my existence. That thought escalated quickly. Haven’t I ever before noticed that that’s a pretty steep curve? Is it really such a shameful thing to not have money?
Are people with no money judged so harshly? I think not having money is something that gets judged so quickly because there’s an assumption there that it’s self-afflicted and is caused by laziness or stupidity. But what about people who are born into poverty? Am I saying that they’re stupid or lazy just because they were born in those circumstances? That doesn’t make any sense.
And I know what it’s like to not have money for food. To have to beg a dinner plate from the neighbours. It’s humiliating. But why is it humiliating? Because they don’t really know you? Because you want to be your own responsibility and never depend on anyone?
I come from a childhood with emotionally unavailable parents so I know the hyper-independence that stems from a deep-rooted feeling of not being able to ever trust anyone. That you have to do everything yourself. And that relying on others is proof of how you’ve failed. And of thinking that material things equal love and care.
But those are just placeholders when you’re not able to be emotionally present. When you just don’t want to deal with it and put some stuff in that hole in your life instead, kind of like propping up a blanket fort with sticks. It just doesn’t work. But, of course, you can’t ask anyone for help because that would mean not managing on your own. And if you can’t rely on yourself, then who can you rely on?
Redefine how you value yourself.
As a creative, it’s easy to make the mistake of equating your worth as a person to the success of your work.
It doesn’t help that you probably weren’t taught how to handle money and see value in a productive manner.
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