Tag Archives: money

On status anxiety

On status anxiety

The world is apparently flattening yet all over I still sense a need in people to cling to old forms of social class structures.  Top schools, top jobs, top companies, top designers, top top top top top.  Are we working for money or recognition?  If someone pays you a salary, you are working class.  If you live paycheck to pay check, regardless of income amount, you are broke.  If your net worth is negative, you are broke.

The standard of living gives people a false sense of social standing.  The ability to talk and act “up” also give a false sense of where they stand.  People aren’t competing against each other, people are competing against what others claim to have or be doing.  There is a big difference, especially if you encounter a habitual exaggerator who defines themselves by their dreams not by their actual accomplishments.  But anyway, why the need to compete after the contest is over?  After the good school, good work experience, good standard of living, etc.  At what point does the competitive drive just allow everyone to kick back and simply enjoy the fruits?

i guess I just want the competitive people to shut up.  It is the noise coming out of their mouth, infecting my ears that irritates me.  For some reason my brain finds meaning in it, fearful meaning.  Perhaps my sensitivity to words is just flaring up again.  The words hit at my insecurity about no being smart enough or good enough.  So whenever I hear the competitive chatter, it gets to me.  I don’t like being taunted, teased, or put down.  Words have meaning and I respect them.  Therefore I don’t use them aggressively unless I mean to, but that doesn’t mean I should expect everyone else to follow my same doctrine.

Harnessing my own insecurity would help.  If I accepted that I am perfectly fine and capable, then I could move on.  I could fill in the empty space were my old insecurity sat with something better that doesn’t listen for fearful confirmation.  I could replace it with confidence and the ability to not need to second guess myself.

Stuck with what’s available

Stuck with what’s available

My imagination depresses me.  It shows me so much possibility in the world, but when I open my eyes and take a look around, I’m often completely unsatisfied with what I see.  On the inside are my goals and dreams, on the outside are the actual tools to accomplish and realize those goal and dreams.  Unfortunately, just because the tools are there doesn’t mean that they will be willing to come to my assistance.  I always seem to dream one step beyond what i can actually find in the world, hence the depression.  This depression always accompanies the resentment because “this is all I can get?!?!? the best I can do?”  I just want to step into the world and pick up all the pieces that so nicely fit together to form my life puzzle.  This often takes more work, more money, and more energy than I forecast and often leaves me with extra parts and relationships that serve no other purpose but to annoy me.  I think I could cope better with more work, more expenses, and more energy being expelled if the “good enough” clingers didn’t drain me dry in the process.  It is sad that some people think that love and friendship is in the air when all I did was say hi and have a conversation.  I’m sick of being taken advantage of because I enjoy being nice to people.  A smile, a glance, and a few conversations mean nothing; nothing other than the fact that you’re speaking with a girl who took etiquette classes in junior high.  If all it takes for you to think you like someone is their manners, then I suggest therapy, because you don’t know what love is and you’ll keep getting in people’s way in the process.

The Mediocre-Case Senario

The Mediocre-Case Senario

With many things, except money, I often do not dread the worst-case scenario the most.  I dread the mediocre scenario.  This is because if the worst-case happens, I am pretty damn sure that I will not go do it again.  I will rationalize all sorts of reasons for why that particular “worst” is definitely not going to enter into my paradigm ever again, and I will build coping mechanisms (i.e. habits) that ward against these defined “worsts”.

But after having gone through a mediocre scenario, the passion derived from the “worst” escapes me.  I have no real reason to repeat and no real reason not to repeat.

It is like a bad date, I know I will never see and/or date the guy again because of the disastrous events and feelings associated with the date, but at least I have a funny, drama filled story to tell.  But a mediocre date, oh god, I could be doomed to repeat the same vanilla over and over in my efforts to force some value or at least a tickle of a feeling of excitement.  But that is just one example.

The point is not to avoid the mediocre, it is to know what mediocre means and to learn from it sooner, rather than later.  Identifying the mediocre makes the exciting shine.

On if all the men of my dreams were one guy: he’s holding me hostage…

On if all the men of my dreams were one guy: he’s holding me hostage…

I just had a crazy dream that I was being held hostage. Like literally i just woke up and typed this… i’ll edit it later, maybe…. I just wasn’t allowed to leave. I remember the date was june 11th because the guy asked me if I we were doing something today and I asked, “why because it is june 11th or because we just need to go out. “what is june 11th? they guy asked. I just shrugged because I really didn’t know, but but i felt like he should, he said “June 11th is your day” or something like that. The guy kept coming and going and in the beginning we were in some sort of hotel and he kept going in and out of the hotel and there was someguy who was trying to catch himdoing something but was furustrated and showed me the data out of his machine and he still couldn’t catchhim doing anything . That guy eventually left. I think in the beginning theabusive guy was talking with my parents and they liked him. But slowly, by the june 11th point I was isolated. He bought other girls to stay too, and they thought they were better than me until I asked the other girls if the abusive guy had ever beatenthem and one girl described her situation just as I was remembering mine. He was hitting me with things. From there I was determined to leave and started gather all the keys to various houses. Then my sister brought my dog over and I had to try and figure out how I was going to get the dog out with me. I had already gathered my most prized possessions in a specific place and was hurrying try to collect more plastic keys that needed assembly so he couldn’t get into the place I was going. Then I look downstairs over the balcony and Hannah had just driven up she said “Woman!, just get in the car right now, let just go, lets just go.” I grabbed a pile of papers and money which were my most prized possession as well as what ever else I could fit in my arms, the other girls were in hannah’s car and we had to hurry because he was coming home. I couldn’t get in the car properly because she kept moving forward. I finally got in and the other girls in the back seat screamed he’s coming, he’s coming, just then he noticed that we were escaping and pulled out a gun and started shooting at us. At that point it turned into a comic book with just colorful scenes of us getting shot at in the car with bullets bending all around us, while we were being shot at in the car, the scene was being mixed with a past scene of when he had done something similar of killing a bunch of people before in some large mansion where the peole were running down the main foyer with seas of bullets passing them. Then my alarm clock went of even though it is a holiday and I can sleep in, all because I forgot to set the alrms to off last night.

Greed

Greed

Greed: An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth. -dictionary.com

Greed is what it is, but not necessarily a bad thing. I see no harm in wanting more. There will always be more to want – more money to make, more education to get, more guys (or girls, if you’re a guy reading this) to sleep with, more fun to have, more fulfilling relationships to experience, more countries to visit, more books to read, [insert a want here], etc. Being able to get something you want which you perceive can be made available to you very often will make you a better person who, in turn, can create a healthy environment for others to thrive in. So greedily wanting more isn’t as bad – in my eyes – as our social system has portrayed it, however when the pursuit of More causes harm to oneself or others, that is when greed lives up to it negative connotation. This is tricky, though, for the pursuer of the More, because his mind has now focused on the More and has formulated a plan for how to get more. The mind is now ill from greed, as with a flu or cold, and thus should be treated gently as such, but the mind doesn’t know when it is sick. It will then confuse a capitalistically efficient route as a fulfilling method to More.

The efficient path will always be there in your mind and you will always be looking for it, because you believe it is right for you to need it; you need those continuous signs pointing you in the right direction to tell you that you are going the right way. So you continue on your yellow brick road leaving behind those who stumble behind your efficient gait, all in the name of your business, be it the business of building yourself, of living the life you always dreamed, of getting that job, of ridding yourself of all the reminders of how you’ve screwed up, of starting fresh and new, etc. You get to your destination, you feel elated and proudly shout out to those who hail your efforts “See the More I’ve accomplished?!?,” “See my wealth of life I’ve experienced because of it?!? And you smile down at all the faces, new and old, gleaming up at you to thank them for their help along the way.

Something is missing, you scan and scan, and search and search, you hug and you hold all those around you, close your eyes even to feel for something that is no longer there despite all the beauty that you’ve convinced yourself to see at your finger tips, that you think you’ve found in all that is new and exciting to you, but It’s not there, It can’t be found, the most precious thing in your life, is gone. why? Because you abandoned it, wrote it off as no longer useful to your efficiency when you thought it got in your way. So just keep telling yourself you’ve found something better, it will help you sleep at night.

Starting Things Properly

Starting Things Properly

I’ve been flashing backwards and drawing parallels between similar events that happened at different times and I’ve come to the conclusion (with my capitalist hat on) that starting things with proper footing will, for the most part, be the best way to map out a smooth course.

If you’re not one to want smooth courses in life then, well, you’re ridiculous because you can’t make your WHOLE life difficult for yourself can you? Maybe you can, but do you want to? I get exhausted and in the process exhaust my fellow bipeds when I’ve made things more difficult than I could have. I agree that sometimes difficulty is actually a blessing, especially on road trips where difficulty brings about unexpected adventure…. but there are somethings, for me, that will be adventure enough without reoccurring problems and bad behaviors stemming from not having started off with the correct footing.

The way I see it is that if part of my life starts off one way, in one set of circumstances then it might end a similar way when a new part of life starts. Happens all the time with hobbies. I was making a pair of pants once and they ended up not fitting properly so I never finished them, in my frustration over why I couldn’t get the pattern to fit right I started crocheting a scarf. So I used my new absorption in the new hobby as an excuse not to confront issues with the previous one.

Eventually I had 5 or 6 unfinished projects laying around that I had spent money on and every time I looked into the sewing room there they were calling out “FINISH ME, FINISH ME.” But when the going got difficult I put them aside in that dark room and used another project to give me something to look forward to. It was only way later that I actually sorted through all those unfinished high school projects and finished them. Now I’m free and can start a new project for the sake of getting it done instead of trying to distract me from where I screwed up in the past

Works the same with relationships…..say, for example, I make a new friend, but our friendship actually evolved because the other party was angry at their best friend. The activities that my new friend and I do began around him telling me the horrible side of his soon-to-be-former-friend.

I listen while my new friend tells the soon-to-be-former that he is doing their favorite activities with me instead and am relieved when his former friend declines the invitation to join us. I listen as my new friend hangs up the phone after saying bye in a seemingly friendly voice and says “Bitch, Ha!” Nonetheless he’s hanging out with me and we’re having a good time so what’s the harm? Their problems have nothing to do with me. Then time passes and that whole situation is practically forgotten in our minds… until… until… I notice the same behavior but this time I am on the other end… I am the soon to be former friend.

Had I not been dealing with the same objects in the respect to each other then this theory would fall apart. So I see it happen, I know how my friend treated his former best friend, I was there I saw what role I played and I can see who is playing the former Me. So in this case I would recommend, not starting a relationship of any kind with someone who uses you as backup to finish off another because in my experience it has too much potential to be a reoccurring behavioral response to certain conditions (if it worked before, why not again?) and you will either see it coming or wonder what point in your life you’ll be at when it does and who else it will effect.

Call it capitalist efficiency if you like, or call it peace of mind, or call it being able to finish what you start, or call it shaping your life into what you want it to be, or call it not being weak, or call it placing reliability on yourself instead of on other things or people…. anything except “just because.”

How You Know Your Boyfriend Thinks of You as Another Mother Figure

How You Know Your Boyfriend Thinks of You as Another Mother Figure

-You take him to and from school
-He lies and tells you he needs a ride to school in the middle of the night so he can make it to class the next day….then calls you the next day hung over at noon (still in bed) saying he got too drunk after you dropped him off to make it to class.
-You are the one who convinced him to get braces
-He gets defiant when you tell him to cut his hair
-One day decides he has out grown you and takes off claiming to have “fallen out of love” but still wants to tell you what he is up to almost everyday and talk to you when he needs support
-When you tell him about your frustrating day he gets angry and tells you to stop complaining and do something about it, anything except complain to him.
-Tells you that it is ‘crazy’ to cry over a HUGE dent in your car that he put there which will cost you a lot of money you don’t have and he won’t work extra to help you pay for…. well not for 6 months at least
-He thinks that once he has done something then no one is as good or cool as he is until they do it too, but he didn’t realize you did most of this 6 years ago while he was in the nest still
-He declares his maturity by claiming to you that he wants no responsibility
-He claim independence by having someone else pay for him
-He claims that his memory sucks when you ask about sensitive topics
-You find yourself constantly going out of your way to see him
-After working and studying all day, then fighting traffic and finally stopping by home to pick up your stuff for the night while having a nice chat with your parents (who make you dinner and let you live in their house for free) he gets all butt-hurt that you are always late to come see him
-One stressful day he has a dinner gathering at his house and while you sleep a bit early because you have to work in the morning he stays up all night with some other girl and proceeds to express to you for the next week how cool she is
-Claims you are boring because you are bored with nothing to do at his place
-Insists that your favorite family vacation spot is an absolutely horrible place in the desert and finds any excuse to not go to the desert until he breaks up with you and goes there for a road trip with said girl from a few lines up and comes home to tell you how awesome the desert is.
-He doesn’t understand how you could no longer want to talk to him anymore

Luck

Luck

I’m not much of a big money gambler so in my mind if there is ever a time when your whole manner of being (that is income, house payment, car, credit card bills, etc) relies exclusively upon trying to acquire more luck or positive energy to aid your hope of things turning out the way you want them to… then you know you’re in too far and what you are trying to do is actually not possible for you.

The Packaging of Life

The Packaging of Life

So there is a whole wealth of knowledge out there and we study it either diligently or grab it out of the time gust that blows by us, regardless we have to take notice of it and think about it in order for it to serve a purpose and be useful. I cannot state enough that no amount of education is worth the money and time if in some way one fails in their attempt to communicate that knowledge to the masses at hand, either indirectly or directly.

Anyways… on to the meat of things….. There are somethings that I cannot say any better than our predecessors, neither do I need to, but it is important to be reminded, so here it is:

“Perhaps we know more about the world than we used to and insofar as knowledge is prerequisite to understanding, that is all to the good. But knowledge is not as much a perquisite to understanding as in commonly supposed. We do not have to know everything about something in order to understand it; too many facts are often as much of an obstacle to understanding as too few. There is a sense in which we moderns are inundated with facts to the detriment of understanding.

One of the reasons for this situation is that the very media we have mentioned [radio, TV, etc.] are so designed as to making thinking seem unnecessary (though this is only an appearance). The packaging of intellectual positions and views is one of the most active enterprises of some of the best minds of our day. The viewer of television, the listener of radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements – all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics – to make it easy for him to “make up his own mind” with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and “plays back” the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think.” – Adler from ‘How to Read a Book’

My problem is that American life style relies too much on what package of life we choose for ourselves. It isn’t about the package or packages, it is what you do with your knowledge and how you put it together without letting others know what package you’ve purchased for yourself. It is easy to plug into the system, join a club or social group, go to school, work in a specific field… that is why we do it, because it is easy, especially when you can get positive feedback and be accepted by those around you. But what is the point of joining a group and uploading all their facts into your brain of you can’t apply it to everyday life without their logo on your T-Shirt or cheerleaders on your sideline. Perhaps I’m going off on a tangent… give me some space to come back into orbit….this gets better….

What really has got me going tonight was the above quote, which you have all heard the message from millions of times hopefully, and a friend of mine who pointed out that “we are the luckiest people in the world.”

And what are a lot of so called lucky people here doing? Watching shitty TV shows so they can numb themselves from reality by turning off their brains for far too many hours a day and possibly as a result drugging up the 4 year old because mommy is too tired to play with him since she was working all day to buy the big new TV. But at least she has something to mindlessly talk about at work the next day. How is that for a nice packaged life? You can buy that one too, on clearance in this market.

People are slaving themselves away all for an illusion of a packaged lifestyle that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist people, you can watch it on TV as much as you like but it ain’t you in that story, you are in your own story. So why not make it unique?

On How Pick Pockets Aren’t Always after Your Money

On How Pick Pockets Aren’t Always after Your Money

I was walking from Las Ramblas (near the shore front) in Barcelona to my apartment about 10 Spanish blocks inland on a somewhat chilly Wednesday. If you’ve ever been in Spain on a Wednesday, you’ll know what I mean when I say there was no one around. Literally everyone hides inside on Wednesdays, shops are barely open, cafes only open at intermittent times of the day, etc.

So there I was, stretched into my gray jeans and new H&M Jacket I had recently purchased (this was 2004 so H&M had yet to open stores in America) walking along minding my own business.

Ahead of me, I could see two teenage boys and a 10 year old boy were walking along the same side walk going the opposite direction. I walked along the curb to let them pass. The 10 year old had been swinging around each light pole as he came to one, as we passed he intentionally swung around this particular pole next to me twice, which caused him to swing into me so he could wrap his arms around me, face into my chest.

At the moment I found myself in a bear hug starring down at a smiling Catalonian face, one of the older boys reach over and pinched my left butt cheek with a jiggle, then they all ran off yelling something in Catalan.

Despite feeling violated, I couldn’t help but laugh uncontrollably the rest of the way back to my place. I checked for the few items (keys, credit card, and euros) I had taken out for the day, and was relieved that everything was still safely zipped in the inner pocket of my jacket… so the boys got away with nothing substantial except a good pinch.