Dear Money

I was recently listening to a podcast, the Mike Bledsoe Show, and he had a guest on there by the name of Jolie Dawn. She was talking about her turning point and how she was challenged by a coach. The coach asked her, “If money was her significant other would it want to sleep with her?” I may be paraphrasing or remembering what I want to remember but it was something like that. She then went on to talk about letters she chose to right to money and from money. This really hit me. I realized as I was listening to her that I have a terrible relationship with money. I realized that I am conditioned to worry about whether or not money will stick around. So I decided to take a stab at this letter thing.

Dear Money,

I have been thinking a lot about our history over the years. I have been thinking about how we have treated each other. There have been some good times and some bad but even in those times I think that we had a dysfunctional relationship. I think back to my first understanding of money. I think back to going to school and noticing how some kids had certain fresh gear and others had less than fresh gear. I was in the middle since I was super spoiled and my mother did everything she could to taker care of me. In fact I may have been viewed as the higher tier. This was at school though. At home I was part of noticed the stress that was involved around money. Everything from rolling quarters to pay our rent to seeing the balance in the bank when I made the withdrawal from the bank. I remember always having anxiety about having enough of you when I went into the store to get a gallon of milk. As much as my mother reassured me that I had enough for the milk I still freaked out about it. I made her give me $5 just too make sure I had enough at the register. I never wanted to be short of you. I was worried about embarrassment, I was worried about what others thought I was simply worried. I hated that. I had this feeling growing up all the time and it continued unto high school and college. The more I knew about money the more it influenced my decisions. In fact I decided to go to College for Engineering because engineers make good money and that would make everything better right.

Money I hated the way that you made me feel. I struggled in college because so many had so much and I tried to keep up with all the wrong people. I tried to win friends by spending you on them. I tried to become the engineer when I hated everything about it. I eventually left engineering, ran out of money and graduated with a degree in PE. No matter how. much of you I spent on others they did not like me more or less but I certainly gained more anxiety as the bills began to stack up. I left college not only owning money myself but also having my mother own money. I have always felt guilty that my mother will be paying on a loan forever juts for me to get a PE degree. Seriously. PE teachers will not make enough of you to get rid of this debt. Then I got lucky and all of the sudden you were super attracted to me. In fact you seem to just flow to me like a magnet. The problem was instead of doing g all the things I wanted to do in my mind should I ever have the opportunity I kept the same old bad habits.

My first career Brought me so much of you I was swimming but then I felt the need again to impress people. I finally would get the respect. In my heart I wanted to send money to mom and help her out but my actions supported new suits, cars, money wasted at the bar, purses for my girlfriend and more. Although I had saved a ton of you I did let myself get talked into buying a bigger house and then again when I wanted to rent I accepted the challenge from my wife to buy another bigger house and before I even knew it you left. You left because I had no respect for you. Rich or poor I tried to get rid of you as fast as possible. I had a fear of you rejecting me or embarrassing me so I converted you to things. Things that I thought could not run from me. However, even things leave and they simply do not have the same value. No matter how you showed up for me over the years, in scarcity or abundance, I simply have never trusted you. I have never trusted you had my best interests in mine. I never trusted that you cared what happened to me. I have never trusted the system that you run in. The taxes, the financial investments, the ways to save, people whom they say know how to use you wisely cannot be trusted. Ive seen someone entitled to 800K of you for the work they put inboxed for 30 years disappear overnight because of someone else mismanagement. I mean you truly are that exciting girl in school who is sexy, confident, fun loving but absolutely unreadable. Im drawn to you and scared of you at the very same time. You were there in abundance and then you were gone and you took everything with you. My kids, my wife, my cars, my watch, and whatever courage I did have or ability to take risks and not worry left with you.

The next phase of life without you entirely was hard but at the same time I simply said no because that was the only answer I could give. Matt can you come to the game? nope! Matt can you and the kids go to the show? nope! Eventually I started to see enough of you around that we could  do a few things here and there but Still did not trust you so I really used you for the necessities, justified the unnecessary and worked toward the safe. I have stayed humble in where I stay, I appreciate what I have and I have remained as risk averse as possible. I do spend you a little too freely still but that is because I still have commitment issues. I still fear you. I still desire to be wealthy not really knowing what that means. I have dreams but I find myself afraid to pursue them as I know they could be swept away so why strive for much? Instead Im trying to get used to a little and its not working………….6 years later I am to a place where I live well. I am neither broke nor rich in any way. I certainly have enough for the basics but I still have a terrible relationship with you. I am still bad with you. I am still scared of you. I am still afraid that at any moment I may be homeless and what kind of father would that make me? What kind of role model would I be then for my children? I fight this every day. The fun y thing is that I think that this has both helped and hindered my business. I have a nonchalant attitude toward my business. From rates to collection to so much more. Unfortunately money you are on my mind all the time but the way I view you is the way I treat you. Zero Trust, expecting the worst and virtually trying to insulate myself from hurt. If I were you I would not be attracted to me either. In fact if I were you I would not want to sleep with me. That is really weird to say but I can certainly see how this exercise may have opened up the mind for Jolie Dawn. Just in writing what I wrote I realize that I have an extremely dysfunctional relationship with you. I know how to go out there and make you but after that I don’t know much so I just simply spend you as fast as I can. Maybe that is because I love the chase and the chase is the fun part but getting close after that terrifies me.