I talked with the IRS yesterday. I think it is funny that they always introduce themselves and then tell you their ID number. Did you know that their hours are from 7 in the morning to 10 at night your time? Yeah, whatever your time is apparently they have got you covered. I'm still a little unclear how they do that. I also think it is funny that I am always listening to the Nutcracker Suite when I am on hold. Every time I call. Anyway that is really neither here nor there. Onto to what this post is really about. (There might be some language just to warn you.)
So, called the IRS and then pretty much had a mental meltdown. I don't know what it is about taxes. (Watch me come back as an accountant in the next life...) Even when I was young, and had the easiest taxes ever... All you had to do was enter in the info. I got lovely little W2 forms from my works, and you just popped it into the forms. And I never had to pay. Always got money back. Even then, I would seriously cry when the time came around to actually sit down and do it. It overwhelms me to no end. All of those words, that I really have no idea what they mean. All of those forms. That deadline that looms. It all seems like a massive black hole of confusion that might drown me and no light can possibly shine on.
But these days it is even worse! I became self-employed. Yeah. Did we mention that numbers, keeping track of stuff, saving receipts is NOT my forte??!! No, I do much better at soothing muscles, and helping knots. If only I could give the IRS massages for my taxes... But let me tell you more because interestingly enough this post isn't really about taxes.
For the first three years of being self-employed, my taxes overwhelmed me so much that I ignored them. I just kept putting them off. And off. And off. Probably one of the stupidest things I have ever done. I am paying for that one. I owe the IRS uber uber amounts of money. UBER. (I'm working on it though, don't worry. I just found another accountant that might be able to help me so I don't owe so much uberness. Who can help me with all of this writing off shit, and filing, and being a small business and ahhhhhh.)
So. What is this post really about? Ha, well it turns out that somewhere during my growing up years I decided that if you ever make a mistake you are a BAD person. (Whatever that means.) And on top of that if you aren't financially the most amazing person in the world with savings, no credit card debt, always being frugal, having the perfect budget, paying every bill on time, paying for everything with cash, um and everything else that I can't think of right now then you are again a HORRIBLE person that needs to repent. In sackcloth and ashes! Paying penance! Confessionals! Paying the priest to absolve your sins with all the nonexistent leftover money that you have! And that God is pretty much going to punish you. (I may be exaggerating a little, but you get the point.)
Not that I don't think being financially savvy is a good thing. I do. I am working on it. And like most people I am not perfect at it, but yes working on it. So yesterday after I talked with the IRS, my meltdown wasn't necessarily that I owe them jumongous amounts of money. My meltdown was all of the emotions of guilt and shame that welled up inside of me. Am I not the most awful person in the world because I put off my taxes? Am I not the most horrible yuck because I still live paycheck to paycheck? Because I am obviously still doing something wrong?
And the biggy that came up? Self-hate. Ahhhhhh! I thought I was over that! I thought I had worked through all of that! Let it all go! Good fucking bleepitty bleep! Will I never be perfect? (chuckle)
So, I find myself looking at all of this. All of this black holeness. Ah, you see the black hole of taxes really isn't the taxes so much as the emotions I have attached to the taxes. And today it looks manageable. Today the guilt, the shame even the self-hate look smaller, like I might be able to pick them up, thank them and send them on their way. You see I really believe that it is ok to make mistakes. Not that you necessarily seek them out, but when you do make a mistake it doesn't make you a bad person. You get to learn from it. And that people will still love you. Want to be around you. Might be making mistakes themselves. And you still love them.
I guess I am just peeling off more layers of my onion. Finding little pockets of stored away pain from the past and letting it go. Stored away guilt. Stored away shame. Stored away self-hate. And letting it go. Letting it go.