Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thank you, Debt.

I haven't been keeping up here like I should, and it's for a number of reasons.  But, here I am, ready to share with you what's been going on in my life.

I was just standing at my kitchen sink, doing the dishes.  Scrubbing them with a purple sponge, and then loading them into the dishwasher.  And I thought "I am so incredibly happy right now.  IS THIS NORMAL?"

I'm happier than I have been in a long, long time.  As an almost lifetime depression sufferer, of course, I am waiting for the other shoe to fall.  However, I'm going to chill here in happiness as long as I can.

One of the things that is a little embarrassing to me is how much debt I have accrued in the past year.  For me, as you know, debt was the devil.  Evil.  Bad.  An albatross dragging you into the depths of hell-or-wherever.

While I still would like to be debt-free, the feelings that I have gone through and the things I have learned going into debt have taught me SO MUCH.

I started a business a little over a year ago.  I started this business immediately after a breakthrough therapy session where I learned that this was what I had to do.  (I put the therapy session on my credit card.  I had seen several people through my insurance, but they just weren't cutting it.  Therapist that is a good fit = priceless, even if it is at 18% interest.)  Therapist that helps me make life decisions becomes priceless+her weight in gold.

When I started my business, I decided to conquer one of my biggest fears:  debt.  In order to really make this business work, I was going to have to work my ass off, and I was going to have to put some money forward.  So many people are so cautious about money when starting a business--which I admire, but it's not something I could do.  I knew that putting the money forward would FORCE me to do it--I would be giving up the security of being debt free for the scary-ass shit of owing money and owning a business.  I had to make it work.

Shortly after starting the business, I quit my job.  My state job, with great benefits, a good salary, and security.  My state job that was causing me to believe that I needed MORE antidepressants to buy on that good state insurance in order to cope with the day.  My state job that was making me puke on the way to work in the morning.  My state job that had me CONVINCED that I was worthless, that I didn't deserve it, that nothing I would ever do would be valued.  Sure, a lot of this was in my head--but I was so far in that I couldn't see past it.  I had to get out.

Cue more debt.

I was making less money to start, but I didn't want to get another full time job--I wanted to focus my time on my business.  I took some part time work and odd jobs, which I am still doing and have met some wonderful people through.  I bought health insurance for $215 a month--again, priceless for the security.  And you know what?  I don't miss those state benefits, not one bit.  Granted, I haven't had anything major happen, but if it did, I would be happy to pay for it in exchange for having the freedom of self employment.

Through debt I was able to value myself--and decide to let go of the fear of it and spend some money investigating my long time health issues.  Through debt I was able to buy healthy food to rid my body of the toxins that were growing in it, to start to squash the chronic fatigue I have had for years.

Through debt I adopted a new cat from the Seattle Animal Shelter, who brings me endless amounts of joy each and every day--joy I wouldn't feel as deeply if I was still fixated on staying at my last job for the steady salary and the good benefits.

And now the debt sits, and I think of how uncomfortable it is.  I think of how it won't be forever.  I think of it when I'm doing the dishes--that I decided to value my time and energy and just fucking charge a new dishwasher instead of handwashing dishes forever.  I will pay it off, and I won't feel guilty about it.  I will continue to recognize the value in that interest rate, in the new cat, in the dishwasher and the "lost" income over the past year.

I will remember the debt, and I will think of the pride and excitement I felt when my business was featured on TV to 90,000 viewers in my region.  Without that debt, I may not have gotten there.  I will think of it when I help a client progress in their life, when I can make a wage that allows me to work for three hours and make the same amount of money I made in 8 hours at my last job.  I can take those other five hours and I can care for myself.

Thank you, debt.