This post is part of The Declaration of You! Blog Lovin’ tour, which I’m participating in along with over 100 other creative bloggers. During the next several weeks, I’ll be posting on various topics that addressed in The Declaration of You!, and I’m so very excited to be a part of this larger community. This week’s theme is “Money”.
I’ve been writing this post ever since I said I wanted to take on money, and while it isn’t difficult in the way that last week’s post was difficult, it’s still hard to write honestly about my relationship with money. I can bare my soul to y’all in a million different ways, but when we start to talk about money, it begins to get very real. It brings up a lot of my “stuff”.
I have a pretty unhealthy relationship with money.
I can remember being a little kids and watching my grandparents alternate between the two grocery stores in town to make sure they stayed under the credit limit. I also remember my grandfather, wonderfully hard-working, proud man making calls to those same grocery store managers and asking for just a little bit more because it wasn’t going to be able to stretch enough. As a teenager, I sent those same sweet people who had busted their asses all of their lives, these huge long lists of things you could cook that made a ton and didn’t cost much.
Some of my more vivid memories of my father include him yelling into the phone, “You’ve got two choices: either leave me alone or come get it because I don’t have the money to pay you and you can’t get blood from a turnip!” I don’t quite remember what “it” was (probably because there were a million and one things that “it” could have been), and I’m fairly certain that no one ever came to take “it” back.
When everyone else had Cabbage Patch dolls? Mine was homemade (which took INCREDIBLE skill, I recognize that now) because we were too poor to buy the real thing. My clothes were homemade, and when they weren’t, there were back-to-school shopping trips to the Thrift Store.
I don’t, though, remember being terribly embarrassed about any of that because I don’t really remember a sense of want. With my other grandparents, there was always enough to eat. Grandma and Grandpa put in a huge garden and then Grandma spent the summer canning its bounty. Grandpa fished and there was always something in the freezer or again…in cans (I really do miss fish cakes. Haven’t had one in forever).
There was always enough. But somewhere along the way, I developed a real anxiety and fear about money. Terrified that there wasn’t going to be enough, and I know that those feelings are rooted in my early experiences with and exposure to money. Those feelings led me to make some very unhealthy choices with regard to money that it has taken time from which to recover.
Going to the bank makes me anxious. I hate it. Even when I know that everything is fine and there’s plenty of money in the account, I feel queasy. I have an app on my phone where I can do a ton of mobile banking, and there are times when I have to force myself to use it. I’m irrationally afraid of what is going to show up on the screen (for instance…right this moment, I need to schedule three bills to be paid. I haven’t done it yet even though I know we have the money to pay them. And they have to be paid today or tomorrow. They will get taken care of. It’s just. So hard).
I am better. Like I used to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, even though I am terrified of heights, when we took eighth graders there for field trips, I am forcing myself to deal with money on a regular basis. It is painful and difficult, but I do it. The only way through it is to do it. There’s no short-cut and there’s no getting around it. Every time I pay I bill, I remind myself to be thankful for the opportunity to do so – as Louise Hayes says, it means the universe trusts in my ability to pay them – so I do. There is enough! There is always enough! Even when there isn’t, there’s enough.
I am also working hard to believe that where I am doesn’t mean this is always where I will be. Several months ago I made a statement to my boss about how I couldn’t make any more money, and she immediately stopped me, saying of course I could. Which makes sense when I stop and think about where I started and where I came from. My salary now is beyond what I ever thought possible, so why I can’t there be even more out there for me? As the book says, I have no earthly idea where that is going to come from; I just need to believe it’s possible. So I’m working on it.
How about you? What is your relationship with money? Do you have enough? Do you believe there will be enough?
The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more — and join us! — by clicking here.