Money Changes Everything

I hate money.

Or, at least, I hate not having any.  It’s becoming more and more difficult, and I find I’m cutting more and more from my life as time goes by.  I just can’t quite figure out why.

I don’t really go out (except fo Friday night “date night” with friends, so I’ll be keeping this short), I make lunches to take to work so rarely buy meals out, I often lament not being able to afford a new pair of jeans, but splurged a month or two ago on socks and underwear for the first time in I don’t know how long.  I had to buy a new winter coat, which apparently set me back at least a couple of months of being able to afford “extras”, and I feel incredibly guilty when I buy any actual food that differs from the regular every day same-ness.

It feels ridiculous sometimes, all this stress over whether or not I can pick up some raw veggies and hummus as an occasional treat.  Or grab a bite to eat at the zoo.  Or have a drink with friends AND something to eat tonight.

It’s such a whiny mentality, I know.  It’s not that I’m used to getting everything I want – far from it.  But I think since I declared bankruptcy in 2009, I’ve been extra terrified of not having money for something basic, like food or rent.  And I’m more aware of being solely responsible for those things.

True, I also have more medications to pay for than I used to.  And four critters living with me is different from one.  How I divvy up my income is different.  And, comparatively speaking, I make less now than I did 10 years ago, while my expenses are much higher.  I learned to budget differently.  And I began making more choices.  Do I want Option A more than I want Option B?  I’m making far more choices lately, it seems, and they are starting to feel…less possible.  Not impossible yet, but it feels like it’s heading in that direction.  Which makes me sad, and then I wonder if I’ll still be able to afford anti-depressants.  Haha

On the plus side, however, I feel like – instead of things – I’ve been more interested in spending what little extra money I do have on experiences.  On doing things instead of owning things. If I lose my memories, it will of course mean less, but for now, I feel like it’s better for my soul.  Now, don’t get me wrong – my apartment is more decked out with my geeky stuff than it ever has been before, and I love it.  When you walk into my space, you see me, things that are important to me, and that are also an expression of who I am.  I like it here, and I’m very happy to have my things around me.  But in recent years, I’ve made an unintentional shift toward experiencing different things…and then coming home to my owned things.  Though, they take a backseat to the living beings I also come home to, naturally.

I think that’s part of why little things like tonight are so important to me, and yet so stressful at the same time.  It’s good for me to go out and giggle and talk and just – be outside of the everyday for a few hours.  Yet, part of me is terrified that the day will come when I have to choose between even THAT and Option B.  It’s ridiculous.  There will always, of course, be other options; other ways of spending time, etc.  But that something as superficial as money gets to affect how we choose to hang out together is…it just has to be part of what’s wrong with the world, doesn’t it?

However.  That possible future day is not this day, so I’m gonna go ahead get ready to hang out with my friends for awhile.  Money stress can wait for another day.

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