Love v. Money

Written by Sheena Jeffers for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins.

There have been two times in my life where I can say I felt completely lost.

The first time, I was 18 years old, graduating from high school, applying and auditioning for colleges. I received acceptance letters and rejection letters. But mostly, I was hit with a myriad of decisions and painful ideas. I had decided to not major in dance, which in many ways... shattered me. Today, I am thankful for the path I chose. I ended up attending a college I adore, continued dancing, met my best friends and molded my life into a happy and complete life. I still, however, remember the wounds from that difficult time, and while the scars have faded, I remember them.

The second time, I was 22 years old, single and yet again graduating from another major event in my life. I had finished 4 years of college with two degrees and a minor, made spectacular grades, and here I was once again facing decisions, except this time it was far more serious. My health insurance ran out the day I walked across the stage to accept my degrees. I needed to find a job, and quick. But for me, a job wasn't good enough. I wanted a career. So I convinced myself that love didn't matter, only money. Focus on only myself. Focus on money.

Well, I was wrong.

In my quest for the logical-only pathway of moneymaking, I ignored my heart. I sold my soul to working 9-5, and while I was able to purchase and pay off a brand new car within a year... I was miserable. I would sit in traffic on my ride home and cry: What had I done all day?  What had I really accomplished? What had I become? I felt numb, physically and emotionally.

Two years, an unhealthy relationship, and many tears later, I realized changes had to be made. I returned to my heart: Dance, family, God, music, reading. I found a way to put dance as much in my life as my day job. I restored my life by creating a balance between love and money. The "Real World" had beaten me down, and it had won. I needed to take back control of my priorities to keep going.

Now I'm 25; and even though I still work 60+ hours a week, I now have my heart back and I know that all of my hard work is pushing me to my final goal. Every time I clock in at my day job, I know I'm handling my business and saving for my future. Every time I pull on my leotard, I know I'm nurturing my body, spirit and soul. At the end of the day, I sleep. I sleep knowing tomorrow I'll do it all again, because that's the life I've created for myself: one of financial and spiritual balance. Looking back, I had put myself in that situation by expecting money to solve all of my problems. I should have never looked to money or someone else to fill a void I had created in my own life by ignoring my heart and passion.

"Why am I doing this to myself?

Losing my mind on a tiny error.

I nearly left the real me on the shelf.

Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars.

Seeing is deceiving; dreaming is believing...

Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart."

Know yourself. Keep what you love close to your heart and high on your priority list. What you love, and who you love, are part of the building blocks that make you who you are. No amount of money is worth giving that up.

You can still be a go-getter taking your heart along for the ride.


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