Month 1: Why I Invest - Started from the Bottom Now We Here ✨
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Why do I invest? I could repeat some corny Instagram caption about female empowerment, the gender wage gap, having a seat at the table - that it's a part of my feminist agenda, and I want to "vote with my dollars." I could say it's because I want to be "one of the guys" 🌭, or because every time I hear a dude say something like, "oh yeah, I totally shorted Tesla today bro" my eyes almost get stuck in the back of my head. I could talk about my obsession with money from an early age, how collecting it made me feel like Smeagol from fucking Lord of the Rings, and how I convinced everyone I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up because I wanted to "help people," but secretly it was because I thought it was the profession that paid the most (LOLs). Also, watching fine af Michael C. Hall as Dexter as I blossomed into womanhood had me convinced I wanted to work with blood - but that's a story for another blog.
While all of the above is true - minus the desire to be "one of the guys" - it's not the primary reason. I invest because I'm trying to save my fucking life. Didn't expect that? Well fam, let me explain.Rewind to 19 months ago. I'm sitting down in the shower - something I did often as a kid when I was tired of the world's bullshit - and a thought pops into my head: damn, life would be SO much easier if there was no...life - like, if I didn't have to do this anymore - like, if I just bowed out of the game and dissolved away...I know, this is getting V dark, but remember the title of this post, and this isn't my ghost writing this - although I'd be a pretty sick ghost, haunting all my exes and shit 👻.
I had spent the summer working my ass off at my job, vigorously learning new coding languages, hustling to get an A in my Master's stats class, spending many nights in the office until midnight, only to wake up the next morning to do it all again - so I could make more money in my next job. Something had broken inside of me. I felt defective, sick, like I wasn't cut out to handle life in the way other people could - weak.
I was also experiencing recurring, devastating panic attacks. The kind where your entire body shakes in a cold sweat, your various limbs go numb, and you get a tightness in your chest that makes you double over. I was convinced every time that I was having a heart attack - once I even phoned my dad at 1 AM, sobbing, saying goodbye. That, combined with having headaches every day for three months, assured me that I was terminally ill. I saw 6 different doctors who wouldn't tell me anything. Really? No brain tumor? No heart disease? But I'm having migraines, chest pain, nausea and numb limbs every day for months!! I wasted hours of my life submerged in message boards: "how to cope when you have a terminal illness," "what are you chances of survival with a brain tumor," and - my favorite - "where to turn when your doctor is misdiagnosing you."
I got to the point where I was so damn afraid of dying that I physically couldn't fall asleep in fear that my body would forget how to breathe. I could no longer have sex without crying after, couldn't fly on a plane without hyperventilating from the slightest turbulence, couldn't take an Uber without becoming nauseated at every turn, convinced we were going to crash. I was SO afraid, that I just wanted to get it over with. This was no way to live, and guess what ended up being the root cause of all my physical aches and pains?? STRESS.
I had no effing clue that stress alone could manifest itself so significantly as physical symptoms, but it sure did.
I'm here now and tg doing better on the hopelessness front. I'm currently sitting with a dull, aching abdomen from a diseased intestine, head spinning from nausea, chugging doctor-prescribed Metamucil and antibiotics bc I haven't taken a real shit in weeks, keeping my heating pad, extra strength Tylenol, and Melatonin close. Oh and it's almost time to pop my Lexapro! I've had 5 doctors appointments in the last 2 weeks, and they aren't completely sure why I'm in so much pain. They throw out half-hearted possibilities but tbh things don't actually look that bad under the hood. And I know exactly what's going on. The causes are stress, anxiety, depression, the crippling desire to be perfect and have my life together. I'm burnt out, exhausted. Maybe I'm a complaining millennial but IDGAF, I don't want to "suck it up" until I'm 65, because if I have to do that, I might not make it to 65.
Side note - I just texted my 57 year-old dad as I'm writing this: "I don't get how you managed to make it this many years of working." His response: "Lol! Take mental vacations? And is there only 7 seasons of Game of Thrones? Doesn't look like I have anything left to watch." - Thanks dad for the big #inspo.
Seriously, I'm investing to save my life. Save it from years of severe panic attacks, and devastating anxiety and depression that's degrading my physical and mental health. At 26 I can already feel myself withering away into a flaccid vegetable. Yeah, I'm a white American, comfortably living alone with a six figure salary at a job that gives me free dank af food - this isn't lost on me, I am incredibly grateful for what I have been given.
But I've learned the hard way that trying to convince myself that I shouldn't be depressed leads to deep self-loathing and more depression. I'm investing because I want to be able to travel anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat and not fret about how it's gong to affect my bank account or if I can swing the PTO. And because I want to have 100 kids and be fully present with each one of them and bankroll all of their college tuitions (but really so I can have 100 friends, and no one can say no to being my friend - see below). I'm investing because I have an unrelenting need to be a thoughtful, well-rounded, experienced, creative, free and fully independent person. I'm investing because I want the best quality of life possible.
I know I'm not alone in these thoughts or experiences, so we out here for each other 💗. This first month was pretty heavy ya'll, I apologize if it was triggering, but we're all in this together. We gotta get real with ourselves if we're going to burn the ships and commit to a lifelong journey of investing. With that, Week 1's task is to determine your "why". Why are you looking to grow your wealth? What are you looking to get out of this journey? What would your life look like if you had complete financial freedom? How would things change for you? What would stay the same? Take 15 minutes to write down the answers to these questions. After, tell a friend - someone you trust and who will keep you accountable on this journey. OR confide in our community! DM us your motives @gemvestmedia or tag us in your Insta story. Let us know if you'd like to be featured on our Instagram or blog! And if you're not an Instagram user, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story. Our community will be sure to keep you accountable - we're here for the good, the bad and the ugly 😉
Now, time to go slay and make some dolla dolla bill💲 ya'll.
*This post is for your entertainment and commiseration only, we are NOT your financial advisors and have not assessed your financial situation as your fiduciaries (duh), aka don't make any big money moves solely bc of us - we are all in different places in our financial journeys~*
📅 Month 1 To-do's: