I have money issues- severe stomach churning, panic inducing money issues. No, I am not drowning in debt from an expensive shoe fetish nor am I making frequent secret trips to Check in to Cash. I am a hoarder. (A professed hoarder at that, so you know it must be bad.) I am the type of person that will buy the generic store brand of everything even if it means that the cereal tastes like saw dust and the make-up remover wipes are so abrasive they leave tiny scabs on my eyelids.
Besides the fact that this erratic and fear induced behavior probably just goes along with my rigid perfection obsessed personality type, my dad counsels people on how to get out of debt. From the time that I was a pre-teen making a few bucks here and there off of odd jobs like scrubbing the filth off of the tennis courts in my complex, I was taught to save and spend my money wisely. I guess I never heard the part about spending.
When I moved my life to California a few years ago to be closer to my military honey, I had daily breakdowns usually always concerning my savings account that was dwindling before my eyes (driving 50 miles each way to a part time job that only paid a mere $10 an hour didn’t lend itself well to my preferred lifestyle). This was all happening at a time when I was trying to be all Zen-like by reading the Dali Lama’s book on true happiness and looking up quotes from other Zen people about how to calm the fuck down. But when the Dali Lama couldn’t get through the universe tried instead. Driving to work one day I was talking to my mom about how pissed off I was that money was not flowing freely to me (go figure) when I ran over a massive boulder in the road and got a flat tire. On the on-ramp to a California highway. In my seething “I hate the universe” mentality I had just destroyed a $150+ tire.
After screaming at the top of my lungs, (to myself since my cell phone battery was on its last leg and was threatening to die) I was able to call my new boss and after a horribly childish sob fest on my part, she told me she would come to my rescue. She proceeded to ensure that I could drive on my spare tire (that was changed by an angelic truck driver) to somewhere where I could purchase a new one. And then she bought the tire for me. To me, this was the universe saying (in a way that was a bit too dramatic for my liking) “See, we told you you would be taken care of.”
I would love to say that this experience made me stop checking the contents of my bank account every couple of days to make sure that some freak computer malfunction hadn’t wiped out my entire life savings, but that is not the case. I am still a money hoarder (perhaps a support group search is in order?) that is looking for that perfect rainy day or fantastically exotic trip to splurge on. Until then I’ll just have to breathe through it and remind myself that spending is nothing more then an exercise in faith- and stating that there is always more where that came from. Yes, I’ll just have to start there…