I told you a while ago how my champagne taste had gotten the best of me & how I’ve learned to budget (financially, socially, and emotionally). Here’s the story of what led me down that path.
So you already know how my parents are notorious for this. Evidently, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Although it may not be for the same reasons, I definitely felt this pressure to impress others. I mean, don’t we all at some point in our life? I had to have the apartment I could barely afford, go out to eat almost every night, & shop for new items almost every day. I was sucked deep into this vortex of craving others’ attention and not wanting anyone to see my inner truth. As long as I wore a mask that everything was fine, no one could see me crumbling behind it, right?
As you can imagine, it didn’t take too long for me to realize how fucked I really was. I was looking at buying a house when I had a wake-up call. Sadly, the people who surrounded me weren’t the ones who were really helping me. Nobody was. They were ENCOURAGING me to buy a house. It wasn’t until I went over the paperwork alone that I realized if one thing went wrong, my house of cards would crash hard. I broke down & fell deep into a depressive episode. I couldn’t afford to live, I didn’t want to live, & I didn’t have a single friend who knew I was in hell.
That was the start of me not giving a fuck about others. All of that happened around 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve learned it’s pointless to keep up with the Joneses. They’re just as broke & miserable. Sometimes I get a little envious of what someone else has, but I quickly remember what is more important to me – inside over outside.
Case in point…
I know a couple who have a beautiful, huge house. I’m talking $500k house in the midst of $150-$200k houses. They’re also some of the biggest, self-involved assholes I know. I also know a couple who live humbly and maybe have a few nicer items. Their hearts are bigger than the first couple’s house.
Maybe it’s my age but I feel I’m becoming more confident in my life and my life choices and not caring how it appears to others. I’m not a dick about it, by any means. But I know if John & Jane Doe are gonna flaunt their extravagant life in my face, I’m gonna bow out. I don’t need that unnecessary competition or aggression in my life. I’m going to live my life how I want. And here’s what that means to me:
- Minimalism as it works for me. I don’t do “100 items only” or “everything you can fit in a backpack.” I do what works best for me & my lifestyle.
- Hygge in a broader sense. I love candlelight, cozy blankets, & quiet, peaceful environments.
- Using what I have in my house first before I go out & buy anything else. Sometimes it feels like a Chopped episode, but hey! It works!
- Sharing what light I have in my life with others. Sometimes all we need to know is that we’re not alone.
- Being fully content with the family, friends, and goodness that’s in my life. When we keep searching for that magical feeling of having something new, we miss out on the wonderful people and things that we already have.
- Giving myself permission to relax, to have fun, & to make mistakes. My friend, JH, wisely told me our brains only learn when we make mistakes. When everything goes to plan, no new neurological pathways are formed. Only when we screw up does our brain work hard to figure it out and make it right.
- Enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Lately, I can’t get enough cutie oranges. Best part? It’s like $3 for a bag of 20. Hell yeah.
- Taking care of myself. Not only does that mean eating good food and getting some exercise in, but also avoiding stressful situations & moody people.
Don’t worry about the Joneses. Let them do their thing. Clearly, there are more issues than what you can see on the surface. Smile & nod at their little comments and try to segue it into anything else. If that doesn’t work, do what I do & make a game out of it. “If he talks about how the market is crashing 5 times within the next 10 minutes, I get to have a glass of wine!” 😉