When I was young I always remember my parents saying 'How proud they'd be, if one of their kids went on to uni'. I also remember them saying how I had to work hard at school, get a good job, buy a house, get married and have kids. I was told that if I had money, I could buy anything I wanted.
And so it came to pass, I grew up like most people. Thinking that the more I made, the more I could spend and the more I could own.
Ownership...it seemed to be a real focus point. And so I spent. I owned and I OWED.
My life didn't take the exact path my parents had designed for me. I did get a degree, I got a well paid job, I did buy a house. But my finances and personal relationships did not follow the pre-designed path. I got myself into a lot of debt. Some self-inflicted, some inherited from another source. Much of which was just beyond ridiculous.
I owned a lot of crap until about 2009. Since then I have been slowly (and sometimes quickly) eliminating everything, including possessions, toxic relationships and toxic self-belief. It's a work in progress, even now. I have my possessions almost where I want them. My personal relationships are divine and worth celebrating and my self-belief, well, it's something I keep focussed on. It's getting there.
I wish I had have known 25 years ago that the key to happiness is less stuff. Less commitments, less of everything, especially commercial, cheap, shitty crap. I certainly don't blame my parents for their thinking. They are wartime era parents, they grew up with nothing. I guess as a result, everything more than they had as kids, meant something to them when they got older.
I wonder who I actually spent for. Was it for myself? Was it to appease and prove some fake kind of bullshit to others? Or did I simply have no self-control? Perhaps it's a combination of many things. So much waste over my lifetime...but, I can't lament this. I now know how it feels to really live, without the weight of excess and the weight of pointless consumption hanging above my head.
And for this belated understanding and right action...I am truly grateful.
Thank you for reading.