Here’s the thing – I’m in no good space to be writing tonight. I woke up feeling cranky this morning and it hasn’t gotten any better as the day has gone on. I know very well that a big part of the discomfort I’m feeling has to do with making a clear commitment to working on debt and now having to do the work to make it happen. I’ve done a lot of truth-telling with myself over the last month, but there are still some hard realities to face, including that I am not currently making enough money to cover my expenses.
On yesterday’s post I received encouraging comments from two women who have significantly cut their debt over the last year. One of them, Gina, pointed me toward a blog post she had written with 33 ideas she and my dear childhood friend Josh had used to help cut their debt. Her post is terrific (and can be found here). The issue is that of her 33 items, most of them are how I have always lived my life: I’ve never had cable; I don’t drink coffee; I take my lunch to work most days; I don’t subscribe to magazines; I stopped buying boxed cereal sometime around college. The places where Josh and Gina found wiggle room mostly don’t exist in my life.
You see, the problem is not that I’m an aggressive over-spender. The issue is that I’m a chronic under-earner. And truth be told, that’s not actually a financial issue. That’s an issue of self-worth.
For instance, there was the time when a potential employer told me he’d hire me at $1000 per week, but when he officially offered me the job he said he’d pay me $650…and I didn’t question the discrepancy because I was scared of him (by the way – important lesson learned – if the negotiations for a job are difficult, the job will be too.)
I worked for a company where I was doing the technical work of the company AND acting as the office manager and I wasn’t even making an office manager’s salary…plus I was working as a contractor, so I wasn’t having taxes taken out and I had to pay self-employment taxes.
Do I sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself? Well, the truth is that I am. For a moment, at least. I know the moment will pass and I’ll be able to look at it with a clear head again in a few days. And perhaps that’s enough of a miracle for tonight – this too shall pass. I know that there is a way out…because there’s always a way out.
I know that part of my lesson is about trusting myself to make good decisions and starting to demonstrate that I value myself more highly.
But for a few minutes please excuse me while I indulge in a little pity party.