A Journey into Financial Meltdown

This is a lengthy blog post.

I imagine that first line goes against everything the get-rich-quick bloggers would recommend. But as you’ll see this isn’t a post of the financially astute.

Like other many dreamers, I left a high paying job, in a highly respected profession because I felt that it wasn’t really who I was. I applied the the sunk cost fallacy to my time alive (don’t throw good after bad) . But when you step out of University into a secure and well paid job without a moment of having to really fend for yourself you just don’t develop any financial backbone. I had a number of quite demanding part time jobs throughout Uni, and I think I was more prepared for “the real world” at graduation than now. A bit of financial mismanagement (in particular last summer) has left me stoney, stoney, don’t-look-now-it’s-the-bailiffs! broke.

I’m aware that my problems, and decisions are those of a person who is fundamentally privileged.

It’s weird to consider whether to write about financial problems on a blog about your life, especially when the main emphasis is largely about drawings. Currently this behemoth overshadows everything I do and it is very much self inflicted and a refusal to re-enter the life I was living before.

Many people have spoken about using a blog to work through thoughts, ideas and plans, as well as a stimulus for action and I this is really my intention here. I also think money is often the elephant in the room. It’s presence or absence dictates so much about our lives, and it’s not something we (or certainly I am) are comfortable talking about. Additionally, there’s a degree of shame, an admission of recklessness, and a sensation of poor decisions taken overall and essentially failure. I’ve wrestled with that last sentence. I’d like to think there is still more fear of failure than failure it’s self.

If I had stayed in my previous job, I would never have ended up in this situation. But for all the financial anxiety, I can’t contemplate going back, and not because I hated it (overall, it was ok) but it wasn’t a job where I could happily tread water. Being in the service of others when they are unwell is an important job, during 11 years since graduation I would have, as with most of my colleagues, worked throughout my shift to try to give the best, most up to date care that I could.

We were told that this career would involve lifelong learning, and it does, but more than that, it involves lifelong specialisation, and it turns out that I don’t have the concentration span or possibly simply the passion for it. I don’t want to spend a few hours on the weekends reading about updates in something I’m neither interested nor totally trust (Pharma, Academia, Publishing… it’ll probably come up in a future post).

I know people who do the bare minimum, clock in, clock out, I don’t want to be one of them.

I don’t want to be in the service of others and resent them for it, despite being well remunerated!

I don’t want… I don’t want…

I have flashes of this “from the outside”, and see how very privileged I am to allow my whims to dictate my life.

Most women, throughout most of history, have not had this most exquisite luxury, of choice, of freedom. My gran (father’s mother, to whom I was not very close), dying of emphysema told me: “Do what you want in life”. It’s hard to know where that advice came from, in terms of her own personal experience,  and in what way it was really intended. I have. I am. Although I’m learning some salient financial lessons.

IMG_2046

I had planned to do a drawing of a pile of cash, but my mistyped google search returned monkeys, not money… so I went with it.

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