On my way to a valet parking job today in Pac Heights. It’s times like this where I wonder if I’m scrounging up work the best possible way. Even with tips I’m still working for less than $20/hour, and surely my time is more valuable than that. Or is it? It’s just such a bizarre scenario, certainly the supervisors at the valet company think it’s strange that a chemical engineer should be working for such little pay as a car runner. I suppose when I shut down my massage business, I was just not in the mood for taking chances with bigger projects, and probably rightly so. I am still learning how to properly manage money. I discovered that a bad decision made during my first couple years of college set the tone for what would eventually be my first big business failure: buying a new Rockford Fosgate sound system and 18″ subwoofer for my car, maxing out my first credit card, for $850. They agreed to sell it to me for my credit limit, so I thought it was meant to be. It was my first-ever time using a credit card to pay for something I wanted NOW, but hadn’t yet earned. I remember we were assigned an engineering homework assignment where we were to calculate our payments and interest for a purchase of our choosing. I was already taking out small loans to finance my education, *knowing* I would have a good job and be able to pay back that investment quickly upon graduation. Well, somehow an expensive stereo system became part of that “investment”. It is likely that I did not actually ever fully pay-off that debt for the next 10-12 years, until my recent bankruptcy wiped the slate clean.
But I think the problem was the energy shift that happened in me where it became “ok” to have something before I earned it. Looking back this habit followed me into my first well-paying job, where there were a few months I can recall having to do payday advances to cover my expenses. Pretty pathetic when you’re pulling in enough money for 2 people but you still can’t keep your head above water. I imagine this is at least partially what is meant by those people recently pouting online that they make $300,000/year and are still broke. A bit of entitlement complex. I’ve always felt entitled, which is to say envious, which I realize now is certainly a deadly sin. Ok to want the best, but also necessary to know where the universe placed you upon birth and what path you will need to tread to earn what you want.
On the positive side, my envy has taught me to be ultra-resourceful, I have a talent for finding and spending every possible cent easily available to me, it’s the money that has to be earned which I must now focus my resourceful energies toward.
So, as usual, I’m feeling too old to be learning these lessons, and too old to be running cars valet while I figure out how to be financially effective again. Fuck it, at least I’m learning something.