I’m struggling to place wonder tonight and I think this feeling engages with what I’m calling the power of money.
Short story: I need a car. My car is a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee that I love. But it struggles to hit highway speeds, leaks a mass amount of power steering fluid, has a broken radio, taped on headlight, to name a few. But these aesthetic components don’t really bother me. To me, the car has a roughness, an edge that I admire. It’s not prissy or needy. I love my car in the way I love an old friend. When you love something like that it’s easy to pull back criticism or judgment.
I have needed a new car for a while. But I’ve postponed getting one. However, now is the time to get one even though I make below poverty as a graduate teaching assistant.
But I have access to FAFSA government loans. These loans are easy to take out. Almost too easy.
Today I had to take out more for a very strong down payment I’m putting on a beautiful new (to me) car.
This act has left me restless. I’ve wrestled with not doing it, then going back to doing it (getting the car). Money stress has the power we feed it.
After I had time to think about this decision (in the shower, no less) I was able to mute the fears and worries about loans and think: yes. Yes. Get the car. It will bring you endless memories and safety and adventure. Money comes and go. Money will come.
The thing is, I’m temporarily in a tough spot as a PhD student. But I only have a couple years left. So I guess I’m arriving at two wonders today: money has power; but our minds have control over how much power to give external forces like money.
And—never doubt the stillness of a good hot shower to receive the answer you’ve been searching for.