Out With the Old, In With the New
With the new year quickly approaching, and experiencing a major life change, I have begun to reflect on new beginnings.
I spent over 15 years working for the same organization (in various departments). I knew damn-near everyone. I knew damn-near everything. This year, I was unexpectedly offered a position in, not only a different field, but a different organization all together. Same industry, but everything else…different. To be completely transparent with you, I was already looking for another job. It was a relationship turned sour. I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly in all of that time and I couldn’t do it anymore. I was looking, but I really never considered going outside. I was just bullsh*tting for real. I think deep down inside, I thought maybe I’d get another position within and ride the wave until I went full-time entrepreneurially. I had a plan. So when I was contacted and then actually offered the new job, I was happy and scared AF all at the same time. Honestly, as I sit here writing at my new desk, in my new office, at my new job I’m still mostly scared AF. I’ve been so comfortable and so underestimated and underutilized at my previous place of employment that I had actually started to believe the “Lesser-Me” was it. As scared as I am, I have to constantly check myself and say “Girla, you have a whole Master’s degree and a whole God in you. You didn’t get here by chance. You can take on anything, duh. And IF you fail, it’s a lesson and not a sentence. Now let’s get it”. On work, I say, don’t ever get comfortable where you are. You can like your job, hell you can LOVE your job, but don’t get comfortable. If you dislike your job, go in with a smile and a mission. It’s only temporary. And if you have some BS with you that you really need to change, change it now because it will follow you. Continue to learn, continue to grow, continue to strive for better because you never know who is watching you and you never know where your efforts will take you. Seize the opportunity...even if you’re scared.
I’ve been with the same person for 12 years. It was new and fun and exciting back then…then sh*t got real. We went from having fun to being (somewhat) responsible adults with a child and joint bills real quick. Fast forward to 5 years married and 2 kids in and seems like we took on so much that we forgot about each other. This year I’ve watched several relationships (mostly married) crumble because instead of facing pain, openly communicating, leaning in, seeking professional help, or simply saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong. Let’s fix it” they gave up. I look at them and feel sad, not because they broke up, but because in all of the time spent together most of them got so caught up in life and their own sh*t that each of them failed to love themselves enough look in the mirror. My aunt always says “people are our mirrors”, which means they show you what you don’t like about yourself. Don’t believe me, try this: Think about someone that really gets on your nerves. What about them gets on your nerves? Now think about yourself honestly, where is that in you? Now repeat the same step with someone else….and then where do the qualities of both of them overlap? YOU are at one of those stop signs at the intersection of where they overlap. I guarantee. If not, you need to dig deeper. Trust me, I tried to get around it and I was like “Damn…there I go, right there” SMH. But, I digress, adding to people being our mirrors, I read a book (several times) called A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. The premise of the book is that we are all born naturally to love. It is when we deviate from love that everything goes awry and other things like fear, resentment, greed, chaos…begin to step in. When you don’t lead with love (loving yourself, loving those around you) the enemy steps in to destroy. It doesn’t work when one person “loves” and the other is a selfish jackass either. In no way am I implying that you should stay in abusive or toxic situations. We aren’t all meant to be together, just because we are together. If, after really trying, it is done – work on YOU 2.0. When we are all responsible for loving ourselves and loving those around us (especially in a marriage – loving your spouse as you vowed) then miracles start to happen. I’m insecure and in turn, I failed sometimes to love myself, my kids, and my spouse as I should. We sat down, and after some tears, some fears, and some honest conversations, we decided to start over. Starting over is awkward. Will this be hard? Hell yeah. We are human. Will we falter? Prolly. We are a work in progress. Will we get TF back up? Yes!!! Because we really do love the hell outta each other, even when we can’t stand each other LOL. On love, I say, single or not - really LOVE yourself enough to see where you need to focus your efforts and change. You may need to go back and figure out what it means to love, what it means to love yourself, and how do you show love to others. Sometimes, the change in you may begin the change in others. Check those mirrors around you. It could be reflected in the co-worker you can’t stand (been there), your partner (done that), your kids (say what?), the full size mirror you have in your bedroom (why is my arm jiggling like that?!) etc. Open your eyes. The physical things that you really can’t change (Hi, I’m Megan and I have a big forehead) embrace that sh*t and show it the hell off – it’s you! Fall in love with you all over again. Fall in love with your partner all over again. I did!
My money has been funny for as far back as I can remember. My parents worked hard and we had all the basic necessities and nice Christmases. As a child, I learned how to write checks and spend money, but I didn’t learn how to pay bills and save. When I wanted luxuries outside of the wonderful necessities that my parents provided, I naturally decided to get a job. Yass coins! I was like 2 Chainz, “it’s mine, I spend it”. Well, nearly 18 years and a million dollars later I’ve learned that’s probably not the way to go. Now I’m more like Lil Dicky, “$ave Dat Money”. Old habits die hard and I’m beginning to shake my shopping habit. I’m no money expert, but I’ve let my friend bully me into caring more about how I spend my money. This year, I paid down some debts and came up with a plan to save more and pay down other debts. For the first time in 15 years, I took on a second job. Yes! Two jobs, two kids, I’m in two schools, two side hustles, and a partridge in a pear tree. IJS. I gotta do what I gotta do. Anywho, so many of us don’t know how to deal with money. Step one is to understand where our money habits come from. For most of us, it comes from a long history, that predates our birth, of not having much money to begin with. Add to that today’s culture, that glorifies having a sh*tload of stuff (expensive stuff) we don’t need. When we get it, we spend it like it really does grow on trees and pours out of faucets. If that happens for you, awesomesauce and this section isn’t for you – press fast forward. For the rest of us, we have to be more vigilant about where we let our money go and how we invest it. That’s step two, re-evaluate your position and actually plan to do better. Paycheck to paycheck is NOT living. It is slaving. Mindless spending and living above our means makes us a slave to our bills and our job(s). We get paid on Friday, then by Monday we are either avoiding our bank account or looking at it like you stare at an empty refrigerator…waiting on something to appear out of thin air. Nah sis. Instead of Starbucks or buying lunch, save that money in a Piggy Bank, under a mattress, or even in a shoebox. Take your lunch. I have several Ramen Noodles recipes to die for. I walk proudly to the lunch room with my spices from home and pack of noodles LOL! Do you have a talent that you can monetize? Do it! Instead of spending an hour or two or several binge watching Orange is the New Black or Narcos, maybe read up on financial topics such as wealth management, creating generational wealth, simple ways to save, or investing (business, real estate, stocks, bonds), or research specific stocks. It may help to think about the end game and where want to be financially. Think about where you spend your money now? What can you cut out? Do you still pay for cable? Streaming services carry all your favorite shows with the commercials and are cheaper. Check into lower cost options for EVERYTHING. You don’t want to work to simply pay bills. That’s hustling backwards. Assess your goals for your money, do you want to save more? Travel more? Invest more? Self-care more? Write it down. Do your research. Find the most cost-efficient solution. Would you be willing to replace your Spotify subscription with a savings or investment into that goal? The goal is to make more money than we spend.
Basically, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it can’t be made new again. Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s scary. It’s all about perspective, faith, and whether you’re willing to put in the work. Old habits die hard, but you can do it. Build a team or support system around you in every area that you need to renew (money, love, work, health, fitness – I can go on and on) and kick old habits in the ass! New Year, Newer You right? Now go forth and prosper!