Money makes the world go round, so the story goes. But money does way more than that, for it grants us freedom, if only we let it. Over the years, not only have I witnessed, but I’ve also been a part of those group of us women who let money hold their freedom hostage.
Have you ever gone through a breakup, only to contact your ex telling them they owe you this or that (this being your shirt you left there, your heels, the money they told you they’d pitch you when you grabbed the bill for something, etc.?) The second you contact your ex to get that back is the same second you not only lose your class in their eyes, but also when you put yourself back into a situation you should be over and done with.
I gratefully learned this lesson in my early twenties when going through a breakup. I had a nice new pair of runners at my exes house and told him I wanted to come grab them. He told me that if I don’t get them by ‘insert specific time and place here’ then he would throw them in the dumpster (jackass, but that’s another article.) I had no way to get them at the time proposed and – knowing no compromise would happen – I called a friend to see if they could do me the favour. Their response was the lesson of all lessons that has allowed me to keep my chin (and pride) high. She said something along the lines of ‘Jen, how much were the shoes?” I probably muttered something around a bill or two. She continued “Would you rather give into his demands, with the chance he might not even be there, or would you rather let go of his control over your emotions, get new shoes and call it a day?” They were new, and I wanted those ones, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that that was the best bill or two I could spend, because it removed me from a situation that already ended; a door that need not be reopened.
Does someone owe you money who you know shouldn’t be in your life? Does someone have a bracelet of yours, some clothes, maybe even one of your heels? Whatever it is, before you go contacting them – which we do either because we a) want an excuse to see them again or, b) are that desperate for an object or some cash back) ask yourself whether you’d be better off not contacting them. Whether you’d be better off just moving forward and replacing whatever material good it is.
I’ve been in a situation before (this time in my later twenties) where I covered a whole wad of money for someones expense, only because I was promised and convinced the person would pay it back immediately. It was not within my budget, but I said ok, with the knowingness that “I” am putting myself in this situation. I could have said no. I could have declined politely, but I said yes with the mindset that – if I don’t get it back – I’d move on and accept the loss, as an adult.
Know this pretty girls: We all have control over ourselves and the situations we put ourselves in. If something makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it. And if something doesn’t work out the way you hoped, ask yourself if you’d rather have your pride – the best thing you could spend your money on – or whether you need that thing, that amount of cash back.
– Jenny Jen
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