To honor-arium or not

Just back from a Kaia business meeting, which means I’m on the world’s most intense sugar rush.

It’s interesting to have these opportunities to take stock of where we are and where we’ve been, but mostly where we want to. “Where we’ve been” is an onslaught of memories for me, mostly filled with the intense frustrations of the early years. It’s hard to believe I’ve auditioned almost 80 women for the evolving entity that is now Kaia. It’s hard to believe it’s only been five years. It feels much longer, probably because of the amount of time I put in.

They want to give me an honorarium. I’m all conflicted about taking it. They want to somehow acknowledge all my work but I think I’d rather have roses.

I’m sure my reluctance is due in large part to how I was raised to view my relationship to money. Money is never freely given; no matter what people say, there are always strings attached. Yes? Obviously “no,” but the belief is still there.

If I accept the money now, what do they expect from me going forward? Do I owe them more now? Do I have to work harder? Do they feel justified in calling me on the carpet if my performance isn’t up to expectations? (See, this really is all about childhood.)

In my family, money is power. That phrase “when you pay the bills, you get to make the decisions” was more all-encompassing in my house than in the homes of my friends. Any right/privilege could be invoked at any time by the person who was contributing the most money. It was little things like what radio stations were listened to in the car, but it grew more controlling in later years. When I was in college, for instance, my parents wanted to control the number of hours I took, the types of classes, the type of job I would have and how many hours I worked, etc. All because they paid the bills.

Is it any wonder that, after one year in school, I decided to become financially independent of them?

This is not to dis my parents. I’m just muddling through my ambiguity over the honorarium. Another aspect to it is that money is just money. It just sits there, waiting to be made or waiting to be spent.

I also subscribe to the idea that money is life energy but that doesn’t fit tonight’s particular neurosis, so we’ll ignore it.

Money is impersonal. It’s like getting a gift card instead of a gift. It’s a lonely feeling. Rather than make me feel appreciated, it makes me feel more cut off from my sistahs—more alone. That’s why I’d prefer flowers—if I received white roses I would know that they knew something about me and were acting in honor of that knowledge.

Blather blather blather. I know I’ll accept the check with mixed feelings. I want to use the money in some way to further my development as a musician. I’m currently thinking of using it to fund a few voice lessons. That would definitely be compost for the garden that is Cairril’s artistic drive!

My sugar high is slowly turning into a sugar crash. My head is starting to hurt. I’m not sure I’ve seen the end of my Money Ambivalence, but I think I’ve written enough for now. Peace out.

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