Recently I opened up about my credit card debt and the turmoil that it caused in my life on instagram. I finally have the courage to share the entire story. This is part one of my money story. I hope that by sharing my story I can spark conversation about this almost taboo subject.
It’s 2008 and I’m sitting in my friend’s apartment in New York City and we’re obsessing over the sale at Barney’s. Let me tell you that back then when the recession was having it’s major moment you could literally get Louboutins for pennies. I mean, lots of pennies, but seriously they were cheap!
Anyway, we both had the Barney’s Credit Card and we called it our Magic Card. We would laugh about how we’d walk into the store and hand over a piece of black plastic and leave with amazing shoes, bags and clothes… just like magic!
Well, this magic was the kind where you would try to pull a Houdini moment but end up drowning. Wahhh wahhh.
I mean, what even is money? It’s literally paper, sometimes metal (who actually likes change, though) and real talk mostly virtual these days. I do not remember learning about money in school, my parents are of the generation where money isn’t something the family discusses and quite frankly I was raised in an upper middle class family and don’t remember ever needing to worry about money growing up.
Let’s talk about parents for a second. Everyone has them, regardless of whether or not they’re in their lives, everyone has them. Parents do the best that they can and I’m not over here blaming my parents, oooooh you know I am not about that blame game life.
Blame happens where we are unable to look within to find out what we can change in ourselves. I love my parents and as you might now, am grateful for the pain that I’ve experienced in this life because it has turned into sweet sweet purpose!
Seven Jeans. That is where it all started. And by it I mean my whack relationship with money. It was high school and I was working two jobs, I was overweight and I was at that point in my sexuality journey where I was fighting so hard to prove everyone wrong about who they “thought” I was.
Meanwhile, my subconscious had this brilliant idea that if I dressed real cute and lead with the idea that I was very very rich maybe people would overlook the fact that I was overweight, gay and very very sad.
I worked at a restaurant in the mall and I was in Nordstrom looking around and a friend of mine worked in the men’s department. Remember The Rail? Me too. So, Seven Jeans had just launched and I was in love with this light aqua colored pair. I know, very versatile. Anyway, I remember trying them on and feeling like I was a very fashionable version of Clark Kent. I was untouchable in these jeans. They had a slight flare, casual distressing and remember, they were LIGHT AQUA.
I walked out of the dressing room and asked my friend why they were so expensive and I kid you not she says “because they’re, like, Sevens.” I bought the jeans so I’m pretty sure that explanation sufficed for me.
Designer denim became my drug of choice and I would go to any extreme to get them. I worked every second I wasn’t in school and spent every weekend at the mall. I would buy True Religion on eBay (the online shopping destination of my youth), had more pairs of Sevens than I could count or wear, and I still wanted more.
I started bringing my friends with me to the mall and converting them into my designer denim wearing army. The more people I convinced to spend money of jeans the better I felt about it myself. If I couldn’t convince someone to buy their own jeans I would buy a pair for them. Buying things for myself and others made me feel in control.
To be continued…
Thank you for allowing me to share this story and for holding space for me. Please check back next week for part two.
For support with any addiction the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) maintains a Web site (www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov) that shows the location of residential, outpatient, and hospital inpatient treatment programs for drug addiction and alcoholism throughout the country. This information is also accessible by calling 1-800-662-HELP.
Get The Monthly Self Love Letter sent straight to your inbox plus 10% off at
The Self Love Shop for subscribing.