I grew up in an immediate family of business people. People with a head for numbers and finances. Something that as an artist has never interested me in the slightest. I just wanted to perform and make shows. Who cares about money, man? The Universe will provide for me, right? No worries!
My mom was always on my case about my finances, probably because I was always asking to borrow money. By the time I turned 30, I was at my lowest point. I was broke, often bouncing cheques, heavy into debt, and even though I owned a condo, I was virtually homeless. I felt alone, was prone to depression, and making my mom sick with worry that I couldn't even function in society.
That's when something kind of snapped and I started taking control. Counterintuitively, I quit a job that was making me miserable and called around to former employers I liked. By the next week, I had a new job for the summer, finished Roller Derby Saved My Soul and moved to Toronto in the fall. I then took a good, long look at my finances and realized I was still fucked. So I took the advice of the wonderful Gail Vax-Ozdale. I could spend less or make more money. Well, it really wasn't possible to spend less, so I went the other route. I made the very grown-up decision to get a full-time job (and then cried for a week in the bathroom that I had to have a "real" job.)
I turned things around.
That was three years ago. Now, as I near another birthday, I am proud of what I've accomplished and entering a new stage of financial management & education. I now have a company and staff to take care of. I'm currently funding everything out of pocket thanks to my "joe job" and my head swims as I move through budgets and payroll and remittance and I owe the government how much?
But every time I start feeling crazy lost in everything, I think back on those super dark days and remember how I got out of it. I took control. So, I go back to the budget, even though it's the last thing I want to look at, and I play around with the numbers. And I feel better.
It hasn't always been smooth. I still sometimes cry in various bathrooms. But I'm figuring it out.
Because in the words of the phenomenal and inspiring Danielle Laporte, I'll figure it out.
Thanks, Mom. I'm sorry it took me this long to hear you.