Thursday, November 30, 2006

Experience vs. Acquisition

There’s something about money that makes me want to claw my eyes out. Oh, maybe it’s the fact that one person can worship his or her things as much as he or she wants to, and never be satisfied with themselves or anything they have in the end. I don’t have a lot of possessions, but what I do have is nice (in my humble opinion) and, for the most part, paid for (sans my education, but that’s not something that the repo man can take away from me… it’s also proving very useless, but that’s for another blog).

I have come to realize that some people are one way, and the rest are another where earnings are concerned. Some can work to live, others have to live to work. I have found that I belong in the latter group, even though I have to work to live at the moment. I would rather do manual labor than be stuck in an office from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day, hating each moment I spend wasting my time because I’d probably just be surfing the Internet anyways. Don’t get me wrong, I completely respect someone who enjoys it. I, unfortunately, am not one of them. Perhaps if I found an office job where I was doing something I liked, I could handle it, but that has yet to happen…

There is also a fine line between ambition and greed I am starting to recognize (although if you look up both words in the dictionary, there is little difference between the two, so let’s assume for the sake of this blog that ambition is a sincere desire to better yourself and achieve your goals through noble means, while greed is the Kenneth Lay route to personal gain). There are people who will do anything to have money and things, including sacrificing their true dreams, believing that drudging through life in an unrewarding career will somehow pay off in thirty or forty years with an awesome retirement. So then you can enjoy your “Golden Years” playing golf and Yahtzee, before the arthritis and dementia set in, resulting in your funds being used to put you in a nursing home. Who knows if we’ll even make it that long…

So why not experience your life now? By no means am I saying don’t save for retirement because obviously at some point you’re not going to be able to work anymore, but if you do what you love, you’ll always be willing. Travel while you’re young. Meet new people. Try new things and discover what you enjoy. Stop caring about what other people think and live the life you want to live, not the one society says you should.

Too many of us get caught up in the suburban circle of life. We think we have to graduate high school and then go straight to college, find a job straight out of school where you’ll use your degree somehow, get married, have kids, keep working at your lame-o job, take family vacations when you have the time and money, see your psychiatrist regularly because you can’t figure out why you’re so dissatisfied with your life… retire as soon as you can, because if you wait too long those health problems I was talking about earlier will ruin your hard-earned permanent vacation when you’re 65.

I don’t have to live that life. No one does. Right now what I deem a success may not be worth dirt to another person, but right now I what I want is to stay mobile, have a good time, and keep writing until something comes of it (therein lies my ambition in noun form). The car I drive, clothes I wear, and things I have are not an outward manifestation of my success or satisfaction. Those things only show that I drive a crummy Jeep that’s paid off, I have little-to-no sense of style, and don’t buy a lot of things because I have a hard time justifying the purchase of items I don’t need unless it’s beer or girly stuff like lotion and bubble bath (or better yet, beer to drink while I take a bubble bath)…

And how I make my money right now does not define what kind of person I am, and is not my be-all-end-all (I may sling coffee, but I’m having fun doing it!). But maybe it’s not greed I perceive - perhaps everyone’s definition of success just varies.

5 comments:

Ty said...

Uh, I personally think you are quite stylish...

And as for writing...you SO should have done NaNoWriMo!! You would have loved it! If only I could get my own ass in gear and edit the book I wrote for it last year...

As for what you do for a living, I can't tell you how torn I am about the possessions I have...specifically the house. It's something I love dearly, and enjoy, but it also keeps me tied down. Taking a big risk and writing for a living, or doing photography for a living isn't possible when you have a mortgage. The best I can do is do it on the side. So I envy you quite a lot.

Just be sure you DO take advantage of the freedoms you have and USE them!

Jaime said...

Wheels, I have never read a piece of literature more true or better articulated. I have been lucky enough to find a career where I use my degree and absolutely LOVE what I do for a living. I wish more people thought like you, as the world would be a MUCH better place!

Sarah said...

If you can make a living, not go crazy, and chase your dreams on the side, I think that's entirely appropriate. You'll notice, though, that my blogs dwindled after I got back from my excursion in NM when my mom was sick and started with the Observer...

Working in that kind of environment stifles my creativity in a way because I'm just so pissed all the time.

Jaime, I am very jealous of you! Keep on molding the young minds of the LC! :o)

Jaime said...

HAHA, some might say it's kind of scary that I'm shaping young minds! But I think it's great! Keep on slangin coffee and enjoy yourself! If I drank caffeine, I'd definitely buy some from ya!

Sack said...

I admire your outlook, Wheels. =)