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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Money and happiness ... illusory correlation?

love and money
Some might argue that the correlations between love and happiness are illusory. Ask a poor loved person what they could use more of and chances are they will say money. Ask a rich single person what they lack and chances are they will say love. How do we rank our human necessities and our mental necessities? In doing this, one would also be taking into consideration that our own struggles have fixated our minds on the needs of life, as we see them. If survival is our basic human instinct, does that make love our basic human necessity? I can't say for sure money can't buy me happiness, but I'm positive love has never written a check for my bills.

I was a teen mother and the only true description I can give you on our lives at that time is that we were broke, I mean broke to the brokest of broken! Yes, I said brokest. That’s how broke we were. I had to expand my vocabulary in order to describe it because Webster couldn’t even help me with that. I was eight months pregnant sleeping on the floor, and every morning when I woke up although my body felt like I got hit by a 40,000 lb truck moving at 75 mph. I was young and in love. There were times when comfort was by no means within a three hundred mile radius of my life, but I can’t recall ever being really and truly unhappy.

My impecunious status not just throughout the times of my pregnancy with my first born, but through life in general was the fuel my mind needed to climb out of the struggle. By the time I was 21, I was a licensed real estate agent. Three children and a career later, I thought for certain my life was coming together. I mingled amongst the rich, and it was smashing! I sipped wine that made my lips cringe and ate cheese that made my nose curl. My swallows were shallow and my breaths were deep when I found out that caviar was processed salted roe, and not just a “seasoning”. I had to talk my body into keeping it down. The thought of puking all over the marble floor was mortifying. I explored my vocabulary to the very depths of my being to validate the house on the corners price tag and its empty lot next door. My first commission check was like winning the lottery, only better. I had done this, I was making money! Things were definitely at their high point because with money came happiness. Right? Wasn’t happiness moneys right hand man?

“Money makes the world go ‘round” was what I had heard so many times. Real estate meant money, and in my life lacked money so it didn't take a college education for my mind to convolute the two. Three years into my real estate career, I was divorcing. I by no means blame myself because I know there were so many other issues that came between us, but it's one of those things that isn't supposed to happen when you have life figured out. Through hours of soul searching and chicken souping my hit-by-a-train soul I came to the realization that I had lost all the passion I once knew. Life became strictly business, the laughs and good times were scarce. What I did had to benefit me in one way or another. If it didn’t make me money, I wouldn’t do it. I knew this wasn’t what my HEART wanted to do, but my WALLET loved it. If I didn't have to spend another day sleeping on the floor or worrying about groceries for the next week, I was ok. Wasn’t I? I wasn't ok, this wasn't ok. I lost my grip.

I can honestly say only up until recently have I realized what I want to be when I grow up. I revisited my heart and took into account my feelings and my ambitions for life and not the balance in my checking account. Although you can’t let money drive you, it’s important to remain aware that love alone cannot sustain you. Take all your life’s lessons, unique ideas and yes, even some of those so regretted mistakes and mush them together. Then sift through them patiently until you find that yummy goodness. Find that middle ground in life, and ride life until the wheels fall off! I have yet to meet someone who can honestly tell me they want to struggle for money, but I’ve met all too many who have said the money wasn’t worth the life they lost. I've seen the money, now where is the love?

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Money and Happiness said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I can relate. Sometimes I opt out of fun with friends because if worries about spending. I reached a point where I was opting out way too much, and life got really depressing. Finding a good balance is so key to happiness in life.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 4:57:00 PM  

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