The Messy Middle
Many of you know my story. I talk about it at Trail Blazers, it is written out on my LinkedIn profile, but I want to add a few more verses to it.
I am a HUGE Brene Brown fan! It took me a little while to embrace the whole "vulnerability" thing, but when I was ready...the light bulb went off, the A-HA moment happened and things have not been the same since. (Kinda like what can happen when you have that moment with your money, but we will come back to that).
In Brene's book, yes I call her Brene, Rising Strong she talks about how we gloss over the bad part, the messy middle, the rumble, the second act. The heroine, let's call her May, hits an obstacle..things are bad..then she makes a change and things are so much better. What the hell happened?
You can’t skip the second act. “People don’t recount the middle of the story often,” Brown says. “[It has] the most potential for shame. But it’s where everything important happens.”
So here is my second act. I share this so you know I have been where some of you are; I have made horrible choices and a ton of bad decisions during my second act.
Let's go back a few years, to when I was 18 years old. I was fly! I moved out of my parents' (dad & step-mom) house after spending the last 2 years in financial turmoil. What some of you may not know, I had a trust fund from when my mom died from medical malpractice. I used some of the money to make a down payment on my first house. So responsible.
Shortly after my big responsible decision, my fiancee dumped me and I spent $10,000 on ballroom dance "therapy" lessons. I could not hold down my job and eventually quit; after flunking out of my 1st semester in college. This is the messy middle. But wait, there's more. I then refinanced my house and took all the cash out to sustain my "lifestyle". I was charging up the $300 credit limit on my credit card with clothes I didn't need and wasn't wearing. Where would I wear them? Not school or work.
This went on for almost 2 years and I finally had enough. I had my A-HA moment about money. Enough of the stress of worrying about money. Enough sleepless nights, looking through my bank statements and trying to figure out how I was going to pay my mortgage. There was one month I had to borrow $119 from my best friend to make my car insurance payment. Yes, this many years later I still remember that embarrassing moment. She didn't have a car, so she had to tell her parents and ask them to drive her over to my house. Mortifying.
As Brene would say, I was ready for the Revolution. "THE REVOLUTION—Write a new ending to our story based on the key learnings from our rumble and use this new, braver story to change how we engage with the world and to ultimately transform the way we live, love, parent, and lead."
I didn't want to be scared anymore. I wanted to enjoy my life, spend time with friends and family and stop hiding. I got a job at a bank, started keeping a budget and implemented my plan to get out of debt, pay my bills on time and still save and spend. I started to feel confident and empowered. Today, I am in charge of my money, I am a Money Boss but I would not be here without the lessons I learned from the messy middle.
When I work with my clients, there is no judgment because I have been there. I know what pain and fear and shame feel like. But I also know how to rise out of it. To build or re-build a life and a checking account that resonates with your priorities and values.
You are the hero in your own story. "You may not have signed up for a hero’s journey, but the second you fell down, got your butt kicked, suffered a disappointment, screwed up, or felt your heartbreak, it started. It doesn’t matter whether we are ready for an emotional adventure—hurt happens. And it happens to every single one of us. Without exception."
Where do you fall in your story? I watch my clients go from feeling unsure and worried to feeling free and in control; true peace. Are you stuck in Act 2 and need help getting un-stuck or ready to move into Act 3 and need help creating the path? Either part of the story, I am here to help.