You know, every time I learn a heartbreaking lesson, I realize that life is really all about how you look at things, and the universe will mirror your beliefs. Money is a wonderful example of this.
Money is like a very successful and busy friend to me. I know she has a big heart and I know she really loves me, but sometimes I feel like she abandons me. Not because she means to, but because she has so many other things to do.
I’ll invite Money to go out for drinks at nine, and she won’t show up to the bar until eleven. I’ll send her several text messages that she won’t respond to, making me panic and seethe; and then, just as I’m about to get up and walk out, she’ll show up. She’ll flash me that beautiful smile of hers as she walks in with a bag from Barney’s or a box from Tiffany’s that has just what I wanted in it.
Then she’ll give me the, “I’m so sorry darling. I got held up in a meeting in London, but I wouldn’t miss this for the world!” spiel. So I can’t help but to sigh, hug her, and forgive her. What else am I supposed to do? Money is my most generous and glamorous friend. It hurts my pride to admit how much I need her, but she never puts me down for needing her… ever.
We’ve had some rough patches in our past, usually because I would let other people’s opinions color how I felt about her. I once let someone convince me that Money would never love me, and that I was shallow and foolish because I enjoyed hanging out with her.
“What a hater!” she told me in response. “I can’t stand haters. I stay far away from people like that.”
I let someone else make me believe that because I could be naïve when it came to money, she would never be a faithful friend.
“Oh please!” she said to that. “I can be friends with whoever the fuck I want…Especially when they have big hearts.”
But our biggest setback came when I convinced myself that money and I were just too different to be friends. After all, she was the flirtatious life of the party everywhere she went, and I made it my business to hold the wall. She was always trying something new, and I enjoyed sticking to a routine.
When we were together, we would laugh uncontrollably for hours. But when she was gone, I felt pretty lost. After money left, I only had our mutual friend Debt to keep me company; and Debt gets on my nerves.
Debt has a superbly dry sense of humor, and I usually don’t find his jokes funny. Debt is extremely intelligent and usually makes me feel stupid, whether he means to or not.
I fight with Debt all the time and I get really emotional with him. The last time I threw a tantrum with Debt, I called him the bane of my existence and said that I couldn’t wait until I got rid of him for good.
“That hurt my feelings,” he told me with his hand over his heart.
“Fuck you Debt!” I yelled with tears in my eyes. “I hate you! Everybody hates you!”
“Say what you want,” he warned. “And think what you want, but if you get rid of me you’ll probably never see my sister again. You may hate me, but I know you love her.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Money and I are twins kiddo! We were just waiting for you to figure it out.”
“That’s not funny, you lying piece of shit! You are nothing like her! Money brings freedom, and fun, and new experiences. All you bring is obligation and bondage!”
“Oh, you poor, naïve little thing! You have no idea how life works do you? Money and I are two peas in a pod. You can’t treat me in a way that you wouldn’t treat her. We’re the same.”
“Will you excuse me for a minute? I need a moment to process this.”
Debt’s reality check humbled me into the floor. The whole time that I was fighting with him and blaming him for all of my problems, I was completely overlooking the fact that he was Money’s shadow. He deserved my respect and appreciation the same way Money did.
How could I not see this before? I’m supposed to be the shadow work girl!
Money bought me shoes, but Debt got me through college. Money made me feel young, but debt made me feel like an adult. Money would come and go, but debt was my ever-reliable grounding force. All I’ve ever done was turn my nose up at debt when as it turns out, I’ve never understood its true purpose.
“I’m just a bookkeeper,” he told me kindly after I apologized. “I’m not a prison guard. Me and Money are here to work together to help you get what you want in life. But you keeping pushing me away.”
You can turn your nose up at debt if you want to. You can see him as a prison guard and be completely miserable, if you want to. Or you can work with him, take him out for drinks, and let him help you get what you want with his twin sister Money. It’s all in how you look at it.