3:03 pm Eastern Standard Time (back in Brooklyn)
My first day of school is tomorrow and I am filled with fear. Fear that I won’t do it. My therapist, Ron Baker says that money exchange is important because people usually value things based on their cost. He was telling me that in regards to my jewelry. I am seeing this in regards to my college. If I was paying 10k for a semester or getting paid, I would not dare to skip my first day of school. But my college is free and its in my head so its hard to give it “real” value.
Money. One of the classes I will be taking this semester is a course in Money Maturity. I started reading this book a while back and instantly saw that it was written by a master of the subject. I did not get far into it because it was hard work to think about these things. Now I look forward to it. My relationship with money is interesting, for a lack of better word. If money is something everyone needs to survive, why aren’t there classes in high school on money. There is accounting which is a method of counting your money but there is no courses on Money. Only some elect to take a course on personal finance some time in college in which they calculate their net worth.
Your Net Worth! These words are not an accident, we invented them. This is what you are worth after all the expenses are taken out of your gross worth. I laugh writing this. Your whole life can be measured with one number. What is baby’s worth?
Everyone has their own idea of how to make money. Don’t go into Arts. Do something practical, like accounting (counting other people’s money). Become a super star. Marry rich. Work Hard. Follow your dreams and it will all work out, is mine.
When I was working on Wall Street, my boss told me that I was in the right place for making money. We were in Government Bonds group. He said the way to make money is to be closest to “the source”. He meant the Treasury, literally the source where money is made in US. I think about this. I picture a huge treasure chest of money where it is all kept in a room in the center. The government officials stand outside the door. Then there are other people in between. The next set of doors is the Government bonds department, selling the bonds with a promise of secure government interest rates, low but safe. My second year there, I got a big bonus after being told on all the areas, I could improve on. I said, “Thank you! I am rich!”, they laughed. I was not kidding.
After that bonus, I left “the source” and went into the world. I felt scared. How can I leave that room that is outside the room of the golden chest. If I leave, I am so far from the “source”.
I met a mommy from my mommy group on the playground. It turned out that she is a financial adviser. She told me that people are stressed to expose their financial situation and she is in the position where people confide in her like in no one else. They are not used to exposing that part. They have best friends all their lives and they will tell them if they cheated on their husbands but they won’t tell them how much money they have in their bank accounts. This was funny. The first thing she told her clients is that no matter what they think, they are not in the worst financial situation and not in the best. I like that. There is always someone poorer and someone richer then you.
When my parents moved to United States, I was 10. To come here, my parents had to use all of the little resources they had, which the Russian government made sure were scarce. I listened to my parents talk about money, saying that they do not have any. My mother was optimistic about it. She was of the mind-set that we were always fine. Her saying is as long as we have health, we can work, and if you work, you have money. In the beginning, my mom had to babysit and my dad had to paint houses while learning English. These are people with college degrees and experience at the age of forty-two. To me at that age, when they said no money, it meant no money. It didn’t mean little savings in the bank account, it meant, no money. I realize now that this is a hard thing to hear for a helpless child. Helpless because I had no way of making money so I could not help in that situation. The only way I contributed is by not spending any money and that I remember. I was scared to ask for ice cream because I was scared to spend money. To me, ice cream was and still is valuable. It was a luxury so it must be very expensive, especially at the ice cream shop. When I got ice cream, I felt like a rich kid.
I tell this story because, I subscribed to these ideas obediently and without questions. For a long time, I felt like I had no money, even if I had money in the bank. I also felt scared to spend money. Even now I am filled with fear and pain every time I make a purchase of something “not practical”, like a pretty dress for myself. Real pain. I do not like shopping, I do not like to spend money on frivolities. I like spending money on other people, just not myself. I am cheap. Cheap usually means that you do not want to spend money, in my case my inability to spend money on myself actually makes me be inexpensive. If I am inexpensive, I am cheap. Maybe being cheap is not a bad thing.
Going into my first free day of Olia College of Finest Arts, I want to rethink all my childish thoughts. I want to value my education because its my education even if it is free and without liabilities. I want to calculate my infinite net worth. And I am not far from the “source” of money, I am the source of everything in my life.
edited at 10:25 pm