Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Life and Times of Nina Parks: $$$$ Money Talks in Pittsburgh PA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania June of 2010.

When I was 7 years old I remember sitting down with my father to develop a personal budget, we itemized my expense as an 8 year old from, snacks to entertainment to gifts for friends and family. He began laying a foundation for my "financial literacy." (all the good the bad and the ugly aspects of money in a persons life)

I have to admit like many people from my generation, the bombardment of advertisements and my natural inclination to the material world has made my relationship with $$$$ *coughs* has allowed me to create a fantasy land where $$ was expendable and is made to be spent on my every want and "need". I've also seen money being used as a means of manipulation of other peoples time, feelings and actions, and resolved at a really young age that money would never have that kind of control over me.

So, the million dollar question that I began to ask myself is... What is my relationship with my money really look like and is it healthy?
  • Are you overly impartial to it's presence? (act like you don't need it)
  • When its not around are you angry and agitate it and get aggressive with it to come back?
  • Do you communicate it with it regularly and make sure it's balances and not over stretched?
  • Do you protect it or do you have the need to control it?
  • Are you aware of how it works and where it comes from?
  • Am I honest about how I spend it?
  • or how it effects the relationship that you have with other people in your environment?
I have to admit that I've taken my relationship with $$ for granted, figuring that I would get it even if it meant me having to get over. Which of course caused a domino effect of bad energy in my life based on my relationship with this specific tool and resource.

Not only did I need to re-access my financial relationship but I needed to re-access many different relationships in my life, from family to romantic to professional.This trip couldn't have come at a better time.
I was beginning to feel burnt out on a professional level; work in social justice and in human and political advocacy is a difficult, it takes a lot out of energy out of a person especially when the cause is some thing that is so deep rooted in core values such as equity of opportunity and access to resources.

I began to access whether or not I wanted to continue doing the work that I've been doing as my primary source of income or if I should tap into more capitalistic endeavors to keep up with the "times." Which in turn made me evaluate my personal budget and my commitment to my pet project of Lady Bird SF. Which in turn made me look at the personal relationships that I was developing with other people questioning if their character was something I wanted to have in my life during this portion of my journey to establish personal stability, realizing that peoples presence could be a energy exhausting greater liabilities to me. (Yeah Yeah I know it's like WWIII in my cranium)

Long story short and to try to give some context to these photos, I began wandering around Pittsburgh PA. Some on my own some with the collective of individuals that were also there to attend the National Credit Union Conference. The development of our communities are going to take work and we all have to learn individually to benefit the group... So in PA I vowed to cross bridges when they come.