Well, here's another one for you to read.
When I moved to the area in 1996 I had a job as a student assistant. I made $6.25 an hour, I was limited to 20 hours a week, and my rent was approximately $300 a month, give or take a little. This didn't leave much leeway for things like gasoline (So I could get to work and school and back again), food, telephone bills or the like. So I dreamt of the time when I could work full time and make decent money. A year or so after I moved ot the area, I was offered a position at the school. What's ironic about it is that it was the position I'd been hired to assist. Okay, so I'm moving up in the world. Now I'm making double what I was before. Things should be better, right? Well, yes, and no. I had to move out of student housing at that point for a number of reasons which I won't go into here. So I got my own apartment and was living happily on that money I was making. Or so I thought... until I realized that with the added bills of my own apartment, and electricity, and phone, and all that goodness... I was roughly back where I started, with paltry money to "play with" and with which to enjoy life.
So I looked for a new job, which I eventually secured, nearly doubling my annual income. If oyu know basic math you've figured out at this point approximately what I was making gross. Net can easily be determined if you know our country's tax tables and are willing to go the extra mile, but that is an exercise I leave for the reader. And since then I've had a merit raise or two, a COL increase and some other augmentations to my yearly salary.
So great... I've got an apartment, I've got a pickup, I have a Camaro, I have credit cards that I'm gradually getting paid down and outside of that, I'm pretty much free and clear. I have a few hundred every month that is disposable, but which I'm currently putting towards my credit cards just because I want to get them paid away so I can buy a house.
But, outside of aspiring for a house, what do I want? Where do I go from here? Why don't I feel more fulfilled and happy? I look back four years or so and realize: maybe I was happier being a pauper student who was just scraping by.
Perhaps it's just nostalgia, perhaps it's just the pining for "the good old days" that everybody has now and then. Maybe I'm having a midlife crisis a few decades early, I really don't know. But whatever it is, I feel so completely disconnected from my life right now I almost find it funny. I suppose I would find it funny if I didn't find it so alarming at the same time. I'm so caught up in my routine, in my day to day that I really don't feel I'm getting to APPRECIATE what my money brings me. I am not associating much with my friends any more, my relationship with my bed is becoming a weird sort of love/hate cycle (Some days I want to sleep all the time, other nights I can't force myself to lay in the bed for more than thirty minutes at a time). I feel sort of lost in all this, like I missed a big sign saying "DETOUR, TURN LEFT HERE" or something.
I don't want to angst and say my life is hell, it's not. There are some pretty good things about it that I wouldn't trade. I know a lot of people, like my friend Don (There will be an entry about him soon), who have it considerably worse than I do. It's not that my life is bad, I just almost feel like I don't belong in it. It feels like it belongs to somebody else. I know it used to belong to me, I was driving it and making it go for quite some time. I just seem to have lost the map and my drive somewhere along the line.
I'll get it back, no doubt. Nothing stays lost forever, as modern science has proven time and time again. So that doesn't worry me, really. I just hate floating around in this limbo, not knowing who I am or what I really want out of life in the time being.
Tyler Durden said it best in Fight Club when he said, "You are not your bank account. You are not hte clothes you wear. You are not the contents of your wallet." No, I'm not. But what, who am I?
Maybe I need to go get the shit kicked out of me a few times and find out?