My New Year’s Resolution
This is not my normal tumblr fare, but it didn’t really belong on my blog, either. I guess it’s a post that needed a home and I figured tumblr would be the most hospitable place for it.
My New Year’s Resolution
I’ve been broke before. I was broke back in my 20s, when I first moved back to NYC. I was a grad student, living off a scary combination of student loans, savings and occasional part-time jobs.
But that was different. I was young then. And there’s a certain romantic element to being young and broke. A lot of the people I knew were also young and broke. We all figured it was just a phase that we’d have to suffer through. And that someday we’d have nice stable jobs with nice stable paychecks and money wouldn’t be something we’d have to obsess over.
And that all came true. For me, at any rate. I had a nice stable job with a nice stable paycheck and I made enough to have everything I needed and some of the things I wanted.
But then I wanted more. And the things I wanted couldn’t be bought.
So I quit my job, rather suddenly. The plan was to somehow become a writer.
I was 37 and it didn’t really occur to me that that was a ridiculous goal.
Here I am. Two years later. A blogger with a little fanbase. A consulting business that has a little to do with writing. A whole new life.
I should be ecstatic. But I barely have time to contemplate what little success I have because I spend a massive amount of time obsessing over money. Money, money, money.
I do not make enough, you see. Not nearly enough. Just a small fraction of my former salary. So while friends keep telling me how lucky I am to have reached the level of success I have (I have clients, I have readers, I have ratings - I am blessed) I spend hours each day thinking about money and debt. And how to have more of the former and less of the latter.
I am convinced that all of this obsession with money has driven me to make some really bad business decisions. Pursuing projects I shouldn’t. Working with people I shouldn’t. Not focusing on what matters most to me. Because if something looks like a good opportunity for earning money, I’ll chase after it. Too soon. Without thinking things through.
I know a lot of people who are in the same boat. Or who are in worse boats. I shouldn’t complain. Yes, I’m broke but I’m single and have no kids so my brokeness doesn’t hurt anyone but me.
And, of course, everyone who’s been affected by my bad decisions. Luckily that number isn’t too large. Nope, the person who’s been hurt the most is me.
So now that I’ve acknowledged this, what next? Well, for starters, I have to stop thinking about money so much. Worrying about money hasn’t actually helped me earn more. In fact, I believe it’s had the opposite effect.
Today I find myself trying to turn this into a New Year’s resolution (a week early, but whatever). I need to spend more time doing what I love and what I’m really good at. No more hours upon hour trying to pretend I”m something I’m not. No.
Even as I write this I’m scared to death. I only have a few months left before the very last (very, very, very last) of my resources are gone. And not worrying about money might work out even worse than worrying about money. That is, I might make even less of it.
But I feel like it’s the right thing to do. The smart thing to do. To stop chasing dollars and start thinking a little harder about each and every decision - Is this right? Will it make me happy? Will this be something I”m proud of.
What’s the worse that can happen?