Before You Count My Money, Step Inside My Old Shoes
- Financially, I have been doubted for making it out in the world on my own: Conquered.
- Financially and ability-wise, I have been doubted I could renovate our home fast enough to live in: Conquered.
- Career-wise, I have been doubted I could make money doing what I love or even grabbing the smallest of a fan base: Conquered.
- Ability-wise, I have been doubted that I could actually care for a pet and have the patience to own a dog: Conquered.
- Relationship-wise, I have been doubted I could last this long (happily) and consistently with a partner, and now wife: Conquered.
It's funny how some people will put limits based upon what they think they know about you. They not only place limits on your ability, but sometimes, they actually think they know your financial status. Whether they think you're "poor" or "rich" or maybe living beyond your means --- no one will ever truly know what exact amount is sitting in your bank account, or perhaps under your mattress. The fact is: it's none of their business. They're so consumed with counting other people's money, that they grumble about their own financial woes, making snide comments about 'how you could afford this' or even, 'how you can't afford that'. It doesn't make sense. I never saw the logic in doubting people you love -- or doubting people at all. If anything, the doubt that you give to me will only produce motivation, that yes, I can do it - I will do it. Watch me.
All my life I have prayed for good things to happen to the people around me, the people I love and even people that I don't even know. I have never wished for lesser circumstances or "karma" on anyone. It has to take a miserable person to wish that on someone. I have never wanted anything negative to happen to anyone. I guess it baffles me how there are certain people in my life that make assumptions about my 'money matters'. We get judged for taking a vacation once a year - not like we're trekking off to Europe - just to go to PTown for a week. We save. We deserve it. If you don't choose to go on a vacation, then that's on you. God forbid I want replace my 17 year old ripped up couch with a lesser expensive one. It's needed. I have the means without going beyond my means. Don't I deserve to be happy and comfortable in my living space - in my own life? When we moved into our new place, I've never had the luxury of a friend or relative saying, "Here, we're getting rid of our old sofa or dining room table because we're getting a new one. Would you like it?" I always offer people what I don't use for free. I have seen people who didn't really need 'stuff', get the best of the handouts. Nor have I ever asked anyone for free handouts. I save my money and I get what I need...not what I want. But to have someone criticize me for buying something I need makes me wonder why the initial anger is there in the first place. If I pay my bills, do my job, take care of those around me -- then why are others so consumed over what I purchase? I wonder if they think I'm this undeserving, selfish, money-driven, horrible person... I was never driven by money -- ever! I wear the same four pairs of jeans and have maybe three good pairs of shoes.
Many things I do in life seem to get overlooked in my opinion. I spent the past couple of years on and off sitting for hours and hours in a hospital room while Dad was sick. I drove Mom back and forth along with the help of my sisters wherever she needed to go, and still drive her anywhere. I have spent my days cooking for my family, or just for my mother who has always done the same for me. And I enjoy it. I try to be a good support system or just good company while Mom grieves, all the while grieving myself. I try my best in anything I do for anyone, and when it's not enough, that's when I come to my breaking point. When I'm criticized after helping and giving so much of myself, I just feel like it's not even worth it and come to a negative, dark place where I just shut down. I'm only human. As of now, my wife and I are making a big decision, perhaps removing ourselves from the entire equation so that no one can determine or judge the way we live our lives. I hope they keep in mind what we actually do, because once we step out, they'll finally realize how important it was to have us around. I will gladly hand you my life, my lifestyle, where I am -- of experiencing what it's like stepping inside these two year old shoes. But go ahead and doubt me, it'll only give me more motivation to leave everything behind.