Money Comes and Money Goes – Lessons learnt on failures, fears and what’s really imprtant

I’m feeling a little blah this week.

Reasons?

Well, this blog is one of them.

I’m starting to think that perhaps I wasn’t as organised or focused as I thought I was with my vision of this blog and where it’s going. I’m beginning to realise I’m going to need a LOT more QUALITY photos or images. I need to figure out what is going to make this blog stand out, what makes it unique, stand out from other blogs. I need to have spot-on content that is witty, entertaining, useful and definitely not long-winded (one of my biggest crimes. Other than the time I got in trouble with the cops over a driving issue and got taken to the city lock-up. That was very exciting and though hostilities were exchanged at first (and I was also a teeny bit freaked out about actually getting in trouble with cops), things soon simmered down and we ended up getting along well (a bit too well, at one point I was afraid one of the cops might ask me out and then I’d have to say no and then he’d issue me a mega fine and take away my driver’s licence as revenge) and when they escorted me out of the station, they insisted I use the lift because I was in heels (I’m guessing the other not so favored criminals are made to take the stairs). In the end, they were really very sweet and now that I’m over the whole thing (and shall always drive super carefully and within the limits of the law from now on), I am super psyched at being able to tell people I was once in the east city lock-up.). Oh my god. How many parentheses did I just put in that one super long parenthesis?

See what I mean about being long-winded? Grammar police, handcuff me now.

But! Back to the issue at hand. The blog is not quite working out the way I thought it would. It’s a creative failure. Another creative failure in a long line of creative failures. I’m beginning to worry that this is all I’ll ever amount to being. One big creative failure. Failure will be my one and only great success.

And wait! There’s more.

Those of you who have read what’s been started so far of my Metal Mouth Diaries (I’m hoping the title sounds as cool as The Motorcycle Diaries, which was such a good film. Okay, okay, I’m getting back on track here, guys, stop pushing me) will know that I’ve just had my first ever operation to have eight teeth extracted. It’s been a little over a week and my  mouth is much better, but parts of it still feel pretty sore and having a sore mouth makes me grumpy and unsociable. Plus, I didn’t get to work out as often as I use to (totally admit to being a gym class junkie) so the lack of endorphin highs is taking its toll on me too. And worse of all? My dental/hospital bills have just started flooding in. Bill after major bill, every specialist in town going to town on my poor little bank account, and I’ve just had to renew an order of contact lenses plus some glasses for my upcoming trip to South America!

Yes. I should not be complaining. There are many people out there who do not have the chance to go to South America. I am fully aware of this. However, I am also fully aware of the fact that I might be getting well in over my head with the braces (if I’d known how much everything was going to cost, I might well have sheered away from this path). Enormous dental costs combined with eyewear costs (four-eyed and in braces, what kind of monster am I making myself into? I swear, guys, I’m not as bad looking as I’m sounding on paper right now!) combined with the costs of going to South America plus the fact that I’m soon on my way to moving out with a friend in an apartment in a city where rent costs are way higher than anywhere else in the country… I’ll admit it freely. I am getting quite scared and worried that I’m getting way over my head on this one.

Then – wisdom came and smacked me on the back of my head.

As I sat in my room, lamenting over my problems, my phone rings. I pick up. It’s my friend and she’s crying.

Immediately, all my problems went out the window.

You want problems? This girl has problems in the spadefuls. She’s an amazing, strong person who got herself out of an abusive relationship – started from scratch and found herself a job, found herself a car, found herself a house, packed up herself and her little boy, moved out and started a whole new life for herself. All while being in a foreign country away from the usual support network of family members that she’d otherwise have. If you don’t know how hard it is to do what she did, I don’t think I can even begin to tell you how hard it is. She is a superwoman just for doing that.

And then! Tragedy hits. She lost her job (a very completely unfair dismissal and the legal eagles took her side on this). But still: she has to find a new job now. Every day, she’s hunting for one – and getting many a rejection (and again if you don’t know how hard this is, well, let me tell you, it’s a f***ing difficult task, job hunting.

She’s still looking. But in the meantime, her son has come down with an ear infection and he needs surgery – ASAP. That’s fine. She’s willing to pay for it. But it’s pretty expensive so she’s had to ask the father of her child to pay part of it. At first, he agrees. But now – suddenly – he’s refusing to do so.

It’s like every time she takes one step forward, she gets pushed back again. I can’t imagine how she must be feeling, facing blow after blow after blow of what life is dealing her. And yet she’s retained her sense of humour. She’s still fairly upbeat – she’s still going strong in spite of everything that life’s smacking her in the face with! And for that, I admire her so much.

We chat on the phone for some time. She rages about the unreliability of the father and how angry he makes her. I commiserate with her and try to soothe her, to make her feel better. I also end up telling her about some of the things that have me worried and we agree that life would be so much easier if only we had more money. If only we were rich. If only we had amazing, high-paying jobs.

Then my friend tells me about her phone call to her mum earlier, where she told her mum about her problems and where the good mama then dished out, in my friend’s words, “some tough love.” Basically, her mum told her not to worry, to just get that surgery done because that is what the child needs right now and that’s the most important thing, and… this is the one thing that stuck out in my head. Money comes and money goes. It always does. So you go and do what needs getting done, and don’t worry so much about the money.

Those words rang so true to me. In my job, I hear about people worrying about the cost of living every day. Their struggles and fears stay with me, sink into my skin like perfume and waft around with  me even after I’ve gone home for the day, because I know that fear too. I know the fear of not being able to make a living, of not being able to hold it all together, the uncertainty and instability of life, materially and otherwise. At my age, people are talking about getting married, buying houses, having children, gaining stability. I fear that I will never be able to get it together enough to do these things, well, more importantly, to have a house, to have stability. My sister tells me off all the time for being too bohemian, for not planning ahead enough for the future. She does that because she’s worried about what might happen to me if a real emergency struck, something that might take me down good and that I might not be prepared enough to face whatever it is. And I understand where she’s coming from. The problem is, whatever people tell me, I tend to take it a bit too seriously than they intend me to, and I keep it in my heart and worry it around with me wherever I go and eventually let it develop into a full-scale fear. Because of this, right now, all I can think about is money, money, money and how I don’t have enough of it and how much of a cliff edge I am standing on right now because of this. And it wears on me and I even start to find that I’m getting to be a calculative person, because I am scared I don’t have enough money, and this is not who I am or who I want to be because of this fear.

I need to stop feeling this fear. In a way, it is a good fear, a healthy fear, and we all need fears like this in our life because these fears are what keep us practical and prepared for an emergency, for those events when a fear does become a reality. It keeps us safe.

But we also mustn’t let these fears blow out of proportion or control us. Money comes and money goes. It always does and it always will. In the meantime, do not let the fear rule your head too much. Money, as material as it is, is not a lasting presence. The things that matter most are things like – life experiences, friends, family, good health, good love, a good heart.

I have gone and done these things, whether wisely or not – put myself in the process of getting braces, of going to South America, of getting new eyewear which doesn’t come cheap, of moving out with a friend during a high-rental market situation. But what is done is done – and I need to stop spazzing out over what can’t be changed. So this is what I will do – I will do all these things – I will have my braces done and revel in the perfection of straight teeth and be grateful that at least I have the money to be able to do something as trivial and superficial as having braces fitted, and I will go to South America and try not to worry so much about the price of things, but rather to concern myself more with garnering invaluable life experiences with some of the most amazing friends I have in a part of the world I have always wanted to travel to, and I will put on my glasses/lenses and move in with my friend into a charming little place that we will call home, and I will be grateful for all these things and enjoy them as they come. And I also will try to be organized and sensible with my finances, and curtail most urges on lavish, luxurious items that I don’t really need and do my best to remember that a material-rich life does not necessarily make a good, meaningful life.

What I won’t do is allow my fear to control me, to allow the material world to have this hold over me. Yes, a home is a sensible plan. But I don’t necessarily need one now – in fact, the only reason why I want one is because everyone is telling me that I want one. I will have one – eventually. People lose their money all the time, but they can always make more. But what is truly irreplaceable are things like – love, friendship, happiness, experiences, family. And, yes, you can get all these things without money.

Right now, in this world, money is such a big issue for so many people, especially with so many economies in crazy downturns. Even in countries like Australia, where the economy is fairly good, the struggle still continues, with the gap between the rich and the poor widening and cost of living prices rocketing sky high, and not enough wages rocketing up to match. I totally get this. But I will also say – every time you feel the big fear coming on and you panic (and, yes, your panic is legit because you are essentially panicking about legit things like what should I do? and how will I survive?), remember – money comes and money goes. And when fortunes dip, they will rise again. Sometimes, some things are just out of our control and there is no point spazzing about them – just concentrate on what you can do right now.

You can do this. I believe in you. You will be all right. Trust me. Take a deep breath. Release that fear and give yourself – and someone else – a hug.

Oh, and the blog? A bit of a failure at the moment, but I’m not going to let that get me down. I will revise, reconstruct, redouble my efforts! You’ll see! Failure after failure after failure will only lead to success. Or let me phrase that in a better way. Perseverance always leads to success.

This is quite a long post. See what I mean about long-windedness? Thanks for staying with me until the end. Hugs.

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