Money can elicit so many different emotions depending on the circumstances. If I’m receiving it, I’m “happy”–if I need it but don’t have it, I am “fearful”—if I lose it or owe it, I am “unhappy”. Money and how much I earned always determined my sense of self-worth and emotional well-being. That phrase that, “money can’t buy happiness” does not hold true for me because as far as I’m concerned, it does. It may not be able to buy “inner peace” but you can use money to travel the world in search of it. But, my biggest mistake is getting discouraged when a creative endeavor does not lead to an “expected” windfall or at least point to progress. When I submit photos to the Stock sites, even if I get one or two accepted, my focus is still always on how much money I could possibly earn if they sold. I do feel immensely proud that the photo was at least deemed good enough—and they are extremely fussy regarding what they will accept—but that pride is always tempered by knowing that in actuality, I will probably not make one red cent unless people are looking for that subject and find it amongst the probably thousands of photos in the Stock site’s picture library. My friend always says that I am focusing too much on the monetary aspect, and that I should just enjoy the creativity, with the money being secondary. I think it all really comes down to expectations, even though I think that I don’t have them, I still do. I think it is impossible to not want recognition for your work, and for me it appears to be money. I guess if I were independently wealthy this would not even be an issue. I know my money issues come from my childhood insecurities, but it is time to let this go. I measure my success on the amount of money I generate, so now that I am literally not generating anything (unless you count $32 in book royalties, and $2.74 on my Blog earnings) I feel I am not very unsuccessful. I have come to the realization that I just want to enjoy writing and photographing what I want, even if nobody else in the whole world thinks it is any good. At this stage of my life, I don’t want to answer to anyone, yet I am still enslaved by money. Until I can actually believe that my self-worth lies within myself, and not base it on others’ opinions of my work, I will never be free. That is a very tall order, but I must try.