I had a pretty big freak-out moment in regards to money and my finances yesterday. The day had started off fine, I had come up with a new money-related affirmation that I repeated multiple times while walking my dogs that morning. I was feeling good.
Then I did my taxes.
I know, I can hear the collective groan. The thing is, doing my taxes, for me, hadn't ever elicited a fearful or begrudging response before. As crazy as it sounds, I actually liked to do them. And even yesterday, I looked forward to going through the steps on Turbo Tax.
So I'm not sure what it was, exactly, that triggered the response I felt yesterday. I think it's partly due to the fact that this year I said I was a "self-employed freelance writer" which brought up a whole new slew of screens and questions I hadn't ever faced before. And many of them I didn't know how to answer.
What percentage of the square footage of my home is used as a home office? What?
All sorts of questions about utilities, insurance, expenses. In all my years filing my taxes I always had W2s that I simply entered and that was it. This was the first year I had not a single W2.
So the whole process took about twice as long. I had to break for lunch even. I just don't understand why I can't say, "I'm self-employed, here is the income I earned this year, what is my income tax bracket...then pay that percentage in tax." Easy peasy. But no.
All kinds of forms and schedules and questions. I answered them the best I could, but I probably missed stuff or answered things incorrectly. I never understood why people would hire someone to do their taxes. Now I do.
Well anyway, it's done. For now at least.
But after I was finished and it was e-filed, I felt drained. My good, positive mood from earlier was gone. I was scared.
Of what, exactly? I didn't know, so I got out my journal and wrote, for about 45 minutes.
I'm scared of not having enough money. Of running out of money.
This is the first time, in a while, where I've taken a serious pay cut.
I've quit many a job, and always found a new one. But the new one was pretty much always at least at the same pay rate, or slightly higher. Even the entry-level jobs I've worked. Then I got into teaching and had a pretty good salary. After that, I became an interpreter and while I went back to an hourly wage, the rate was pretty high.
I'm now going on two years out of that job and the part-time job I did just pick up is back to the pay rate I was earning in all my other entry-level, non-professional jobs. No surprise there, and while it doesn't bother me, per se, I'm starting to feel the pinch.
So the answer seems obvious, right? Get a different, higher-paying job, or pick up more hours at the florist to bring in a bigger paycheck at least.
The thing is, I don't want a "job." I want to write. Work for myself. And I guess I'm having one of those fearful moments of not being sure it's going to work out.
Yes, even I, who am always encouraging people to "go for it" and leave unhappy jobs in search of something more fulfilling, assuring them that of course it's going to work out just fine.... even I get afraid from time to time and wonder if I'm not being too naive and just plain stupid.
I feel like I've stepped out on this skinny little branch, and it's starting to wobble.
Like the slope is getting steeper and more slippery.
Like I've set sail from one shore to the next, but the land I'm sailing to doesn't seem to be getting any closer. And I'm running out of provisions.
Time to buck up and repeat me some affirmations. Time to re-affirm my convictions and positive attitude.
I still believe it'll all work out, somehow. It's just that this is the longest I've gone without seeing the fruits of my labor. Without reaching the other shore. And the longer I'm out here, the scarier it gets. Keep pushing through or turn back? Stick to my guns or wave the white flag?
I'm going to keep forging ahead. Keep my "eye on the prize." It's out there. That much I'm certain of.
Time to put some serious trust in the Universe!
*All quotes below are from www.wonderful-quotes.com.
"Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother."
"Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith." Henry Ward Beecher
"As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit." Emmanuel Teney