I have been blogging and sharing my thoughts on the Interwebs since 2009. I am on my fifth iteration of a blog/website. Somewhere in there, I know that I had a blog that had the exact same title as this one. I can even remember the picture that went with it, a dog with it's head buried in the sand. Funnily enough, I can't remember what it was that I was pulling my head out of the sand about. It could very well have been for the same topic as it is today: Money.
If you've been hanging out here much at all, you will know that I have gone through a divorce fairly recently. I blogged about it a tiny bit, sharing some of the pain, some of the lessons and teachings, some of the painful truths. Privately I wrote and wrote and wrote about it. I also prayed, cried, did ceremony, cried, wrote some more, cried, prayed, more ceremony, more crying. You get the picture. It was pretty intense.
However like all good storms, chaos and crazy-town must eventually come to an end, and for me, the dust has really started to settle in the past few months. The legalities (and all of their many, many details) have been taken care of and it was finally time to figure our where I stood financially.
I have a financial advisor who is very good at what he does. Back in January I had a meeting with him, (my first solo meeting) and I went in with a pretty optimistic attitude. I can remember chatting on the phone with a friend of mine on the way to the appointment and telling her how much I was looking forward to knowing where I stood, so that I could figure out a new plan moving forward. I have always been very good at saving money and I practically couldn't wait to get started again!
This meeting did not go exactly as I thought it would. It turns out that lurking under that glossy coat of optimism there were some more (yes more) messy emotions and fears to work through. I blogged about that here, in case you're interested.
So, I guess this post is kind of like an update to that "messy middle" one.
I am finally pulling my head out of the sand about money.
About making it, about saving it, about investing it. For my entire life I had the attitude that I didn't need to know much about it because "those in the know" would (aka my parents, my husband, my financial advisor) would just tell me what to do and I would do it. Ta-Da! My retirement should just take care of itself, right?
Ummm no. That is not quite how it works. Especially since I am (gratefully) self-employed.
Not long after writing the "Messy Middle" post, I began to wade through my list of "to do's" that had left me feeling paralyzed with fear. I needed to secure disability insurance/benefits, I needed a new will, I needed to re-plan my estate. I took this whole process one day at a time, and because of all of the tools that I have at my disposal (and the wonderful support of the Waterman and my family), I was able to get through it with fairly minimal pain. I was starting to feel like a real grown up. I looked down and realized (with some surprise) that I finally had my Big Girl Panties on.
As I began to do this work, I realized that I don't know a lot (or barely anything at all) about money. In classic Maren-style, my answer for this was to begin to read every single self-help book I could find on the subject and do ALL of the exercises in them. I have eaten through three of these money books already and I have four more sitting in my downloads folder.
Here is what I have learned so far: so much of what has been holding me back in the world of money and finances are my own limited beliefs about money. It was staggering to realize how complex (and toxic) some of these "thought monkeys" were as I took the time to unpacked them, one by one.
And here's the thing. I know it is working. My consciousness/energy/belief systems around money are shifting. I am asking more questions, I am taking the time to actually learn more and more about finances and how they work. And, while I still have a lot to learn, I am feeling more and more confident about my ability to really HANDLE it. See? That is the super power that comes with the big girl panties.
Peace and love y'all.
P.S. I have to say that I have mixed emotions about the whole "big girl panties" thing... I love how it conjures up the feeling of a powerful, independent woman, but visually, I keep having images of those huge granny panties on Bridget Jones' Diary... just sayin.