Psychology of Money: 20

Right. I am back from my 2nd Debtor’s Anonymous meeting. I can’t report much since that would be unethical but I can tell you that none of the real work happens in the meetings themselves – spending plans and other horrors are delegated to PRGs (pressure relief groups). Meetings are just where we do “shares” which tend to be quite vague and follow a fairly elaborate series of rules and speech codes and readings. The hour might as well be called Money Mass.

Here’s a thought I’ve had many times and yet never shared with the people who might have an answer to it.

Like most people I had a group of friends when I was in high school that comprised my “inner group” – close friends who didn’t come and go like some of our shared acquaintances inevitably did. What was different about my group is that we didn’t all go to the same high school (or secondary school as they say in the UK). There was Collie who went to public school (known as a state school over here), there was Melissa who went to a private school (known as a public school over here) and then there was Andrea, Heidi, Mark, Otilia and myself who all went to the same Catholic school (though we were in different years from each other.) Yes, I had other friends (and I apologize to anyone I’ve just offended by leaving off the list) but these are the people I still know today & visit when I go toAmerica.

I mention these friends because they all have something in common that I find very odd. None of them. Not a single one of them went off and got a proper job. None of them ended up in Corporate-ville, in 9-5 land (which has no bearing on the actual hours worked), none of them ran off to join the Office. Except for me.

All of them pursued either creative and/or more socially noble endeavours. And what that means is that none of them had a reliable form of income. What I really wanted to do with my life was write. But it was inconceivable to me that not having a paycheck AT ALL TIMES could lead to anything but death and destruction.

Apparently this sort of thinking is something that Debtor’s Anonymous can help me chip away at. But in the interim I am going to go ask my friends what they think about this thing they all have in common with each other but not me.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Psychology of Money: 20

  1. Liz Athens

    First of all, I have to say that I am very insulted that you did not put me on your list of friends…ha ha ha soo just kidding…but I wanted to to comment on the debtors anonymous thing. The thing I love about DA is that one of the goals overall is to go from “vagueness to clarity”…I too have had spending issues and got myself into a lot of credit problems when I was in my 20’s. I have found now that this vagueness about where my money was going was the real problem. I would get into fights with my dad when I was broke and asking for help and he would ask where all my money went, and I literally had no idea…My friend Kate and I would go to Target and each take a cart and wander around aimlesslessly, and when we would end up at the check out, there were things that I did not remember putting in the cart!!! We would call it a spending blackout, and usually return most of whatever we ended up taking for a ride around the store. Good job on digging in to this issue, it is not easy to buck society and not do what it wants you to (spend mindlessly). I miss you friend!!! I have been having a lot of memories of our time together as kids…good times. Liz

    • nathaliehourihan

      Dear Liz – first of all, you more than most are totally entitled to feel left off the list – while you do fail to meet the criteria that I see you went I get State-side (since you moved West) and while I am a bit vague about your job choices, there’s no denying I have no friendship longer than yours (except for one, Ciara, who is bound to flip if I don’t insert that immediately). Thank you for sharing re Target ! Everyone else – I want to let other people tempted to reply TO JUST DO IT. You don’t need to share your full name or indeed your real name 🙂 Thanks for all the Facebook messages but please also leave some posts for the general public. YOURS, Graciously.

  2. Heidi Barry

    So interesting…. while I entered college kicking and screaming because I would have rathered world travel and or saving the world in some way, my college degree simply hangs on my wall, with no use whatsoever at this point…. i became a floral designer and created masterpieces. I think because “art” was truly the only thing I have ever been any good at. And funny, that at this stage of my life, I am persuing a career change- perhaps a personal assistant or in admininstrative event planning, preferably at Harvard University….

  3. Heidi Barry

    furthermore, I have only recently become concerned with my “income level status”, because I am married a year and a half ago, and am hoping to have children soon…. my free-spirited lifestyle will not quiet fly anymore, I have another person to consider, and perhaps some day children to consider. Now I am very concerned about my income, and realize for the first time ever, that I am worth a heck of a lot more than what I am actually making at the moment.

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