Dear Journal,

I’m a visionary. Which means I think about the big picture a lot. I seek to find meaning in everything. My husband often tells me “not everything has a deeper meaning.” That doesn’t stop me from badgering him about his “why” for every single little thing.

It’s like I can’t accept that some things are done “just because.” There doesn’t have to be a deeper meaning, a vision, a why, an intended result.  I’m learning I don’t have to know what meaning I will get from something before taking action.

Because oftentimes, if I can’t find meaning, I won’t do something.

BUTTTT, my personality type is one of exploration and constant improvement. I’m naturally inclined to experiment and try new things, but my need for meaning holds me back. Somewhere along the lines I forgot that meaning doesn’t have to be so deep.  Meaning doesn’t have to be something that is known right away. Meaning can be that I’m having fun trying things in the moment.

I get caught up in what I “should” be doing.  I try really hard to fit into boxes created by other people.  Because that means nothing to me, I rebel against taking those actions and find myself doing nothing instead.

Meaning can come from “because I want to.” Period.  Meaning can come from the process of exploration and experimentation.  This way of thinking aligns with my personality type so naturally. Once the “should’s” are out of the way, I can feel free to find what I’m looking for, without the pressure of getting it “right.”

So of course I started thinking about this concept of meaning, exploration, and figuring it out along the way, as it relates to money.  

I first started to think about what money means to me.  The short answer, freedom. The ability to make choices about what I want.

There’s a difference between knowing what you want and what you don’t want.  It’s good to know what you don’t want. But it’s even better to know what you do want.  

So what does money mean to me?

It means I can be a super present mom.

I can work as much or as little as I want, without sacrificing income.

My future kids can have stability, pursue their dreams, get an education without debt.

I can start a nonprofit to give back to women, children, and communities in need.

My environment will be comfortable in our dream home.  Summers at the beach.

My family can travel and create amazing experiences and memories together.

I can live off investment income and have the choice to continue to work.

I can invest in women owned businesses, employ women, make an economic impact.

I can show up as my authentic self. Live free with joy and happiness.

I can bring people together, create communities, impact lives, leave a legacy.

Money means Freedom. Choice. Family. Giving. Spirituality. Joy. Happiness.

It’s not so much about the meaning of money as it is the meaning of life.  Money itself doesn’t have meaning, because money is a tool.  It’s a thing that is neither positive or negative. What does have meaning is the life that I can live, and money is simply a tool that can help me get it.

While these are some of my visions and goals for the future, it’s hard to hold onto such lofty ambitions when I feel so far away from that in the day to day.

The beauty of this, is that I can still find value and meaning in life without large sums of money. I can create memories with my family, enjoy new experiences, and give to others without all that cash money. Money just gives me more options and the choice to do it up as I please.But I don’t have to wait until I have more money to live a life aligned with my values.

To keep motivated, I have to scale my vision back to something I can hold onto this year. Something that will motivate me to show up as my authentic self every day.

This year is all about exploration and experimentation. Getting away from the “should’s” and doing what feels good for me.  I want to focus on positive energy. Serving and helping others. I want to empower women and bring them together. I want to find hobbies and interests outside of “Netflix and chill”. I want to share and connect with other women.

Those are smaller, tangible things, that I can hold onto this year.  They will fulfill me and are things that I value. Taking steps towards what I want, trusting the process, and being myself will bring me financial abundance.  Do I know how? Not exactly. Does that kinda drive me insane? Yup. But if I let those thoughts take over, it will only hurt me. As my husband always says “trust the process.”

I think the meaning of money is different for everyone.  I also think that we’re all so unique that everyone will have their own money journey.  My version of this will not be the same as any other human on this earth. My personality, life experiences, and beliefs are totally unique to me, and only me.  That’s something to embrace. It’s also something to share with each other, and support each other on, regardless of our differences. We all have a common goal, and that is to live a life that is meaningful to us.  Figure out what that looks like for you, and within that, you will find the what money means to you.