It’s not for everyone.
No one talks about how much they earn for two reasons. Firstly, it’s discouraged in the workplace to avoid hissy fits and flurries of resignations when people discover the person sitting next to them doing exactly the same job somehow earns a different figure. And secondly, people worry they’ll be judged by it; making money is a minefield.
The more you earn, the more of a taboo it becomes, and ‘alienating wealth guilt’ accompanies your pay packet. The silent figure is wrapped up in a stack of uncomfortable topics, such as value, intelligence, self-worth and, interestingly, happiness. The more you earn, the more valued, clever and happy you are, yes? Well, not exactly.
I used to earn a good salary but it didn’t fit me comfortably and wasn’t my style. Having money was dangerous for me because it meant I could afford things that make most people happy, but when I remained utterly bleak, I felt even stronger that I didn’t fit into the world.
If you have a huge interest in fashion, earning a figure that’s as round as Kim K’s butt can bring you the delights of couture, handbags, jewels and shoes – but I have absolutely no fervor for fashion; I’ll glaze over if you try to discuss the hues of the season, and I have no passion to follow trends because I do not pine to fit into a crowd of clones in any area of my life. I know what suits me – end of fashion story.
If you’re high maintenance, you can waste cash in salons on cuts, dyes, blowdrys, updos, down-dos and round-the-twist waste-of-dosh dos. You can smother yourself in rich body creams, load your face up with million-dollar makeup and have your nails done every day – twice if you want a different shade for morning and night.
That shallow world is of absolutely no interest to me, and I have no yearning to move in those circles. But, of course, saying that is as taboo as discussing your salary.
We are all supposed to want a celebrity lifestyle, pine for private jets, have a rich desire to drip in diamonds and go gaga over runways. We are all supposed to want to be wealthy, because money is what keeps the world turning.
I’m clearly off-trend. The unhappiest I have ever been was when my bank account was more ‘chunky knit’ than ‘streamline silhouette’. I was lonely, despondent and dispirited. It was at that time I learnt the best things in life really are free. I put huge value on having the time to go for a walk in the park, the headspace to enjoy a conversation with friends who also have no interest in the latest trends, and the energy to laugh the day away. It’s important to invest time in loyal friends who wouldn’t sell you for a pair of Jimmy Choos or trade you for a payrise, and it’s vital to make deposits in your memory bank.
As the saying goes, ‘life is priceless, family is a treasure, friends are a blessing, time is gold, health is wealth’. Ultimately, isn’t that the real way to have no regrets once you reach the checkout?
Images via tumblr.com.
Comment: Would you rather happy and poor or unhappy and rich?