As the pandemic reaches another level of amazing ridiculousness and more unrest seems to be the order of the world news, I want to make a post that resonates with the people around me who might be reading this blog. I don’t have the answers and this blog isn’t about giving worldly, high handed answers that solve life’s problems. I’m referring to all the YouTube videos recently cluttering up my feed with titles like “How to pay off all of your debt” “How to be happy when you don’t feel happy” and so forth.
People are desperate to find solutions to big problems in their lives. Our societies and cultures are about being successful and happy. Goals that I have come to realize a long time ago are impossible to achieve. Through my early and mid 20’s, I went on a self reflective religious search for some kind of meaning to my life. One of the few things I learned during all of that was that you’re never going to find happiness. It’s a state of mind that comes and goes. According to the wide world of Buddhism, contentment is the order of the day.
To stay content with your life is much more manageable and you can fit in both the highs and the lows. You won’t be laughing and grinning every second of the day because after a while, that starts to actually hurt your face. We as humans were never meant to be in this state for very long. So those who talk about being ‘happy’ with their lives are really referring to a state to contentment.
Now on to the state of being ‘successful.’ I have a house, a car, a career, a bachelor’s degree and I am on good terms with my friends and family. If you had told my 23 year old self that my 35 year old self does actually achieve all the goals I had set out for myself, she would have died laughing after the initial shock. When I was younger, I thought it would be impossible to accomplish ALL THE THINGS! But now that I’m here, I don’t feel successful. I feel like I’m drowning if I’m completely honest with myself.
In the current state of the economy, it’s hard to imagine anyone staying out of debt and not putting themselves into massive holes. The smart ones don’t live outside their means or find ways to stay on top of the whole game. I unfortunately from a young age put myself in a very deep hole and I’ve been trying to climb out ever since.
I won’t go into boring details but I’ve never been able to manage the money I make. I’m honest and transparent about this because I know it’s a problem and one that others suffer from as well. There are so many people struggling with ‘crippling debt’ that you kind of wonder how we all got here.
Now that I’ve identified the problem, I can fix it, right?
It’s not that simple and it’s going to take years to figure out but I know that I’m doing my best. Life isn’t about where you arrive, it’s about how you get there. I’ve been looking at ways to cut costs, how I spend my money and how to make more money so I can at least make some headway. It’s like a large sailing ship, you just have to see where the wind is blowing and make sure you don’t run into anything.
There are a lot of people who would love to take what I’ve earned from me, I’ve learned to ignore these people. In a world full of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, it’s all about perspective. I earned what little I’ve managed to carve out through a long journey. It hasn’t been easy but if it was, I wouldn’t have learned as much. I have learned what is important in life which is the relationships I build with other people. To do what makes me happy and to never forget that it’s not hopeless. These setbacks will pass like everything else in life.