Ataraxia (aka Being Broke Is Better Than Being Broken)

[Noun; ~ Pronunciation: /at-uh-rak-see-uh/]

  • Definition: Being in a healthy state of mind where there is no room for worries; being worry-free.


“If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires”
– Epicurus –

All my life I thought being broke was one of the worst things that could happen to someone and I strived not to ever let it happen to me. Well, as you can read in this post I now have very little savings left and I can tell you that despite the initial panic attacks I feel strangely relieved to have no money!

“No money” is a big term, though. Let’s opt for: a whole lot of less money than I used to have. It’s more than the coins in the picture, though. So don’t worry too much πŸ˜‰

Of course, it’s easy for me to say this, as I live with my parents and have little expenses. But I don’t like living with my parents and long for a way out. The longing is not anything new and at one point it grew so overwhelming you could say I was beyond lost: I was broken. I had no goal in life, not a clue what I wanted, only a small heap of money I clung on to because, oh dear, there might come a day I’d need it.

Was I happy when I had money and didn’t know what to do with it (or my life)? No. Am I happy now that I am practically broke and have found a direction? Yes! I am happy! Not because of the lack of funds, but because I used what finances I had left to invest in my future, to shape that way out of my parent’s home and into my own one. To shape my life.

Yesterday I realised two things (why do big revelations always come to me when I’m on the toilet? Is that even normal?):

  1. My problems are super small compared to people who are actually in debt. I am also in debt (sort of), but there’s not a massive pressure to pay my investors (aka my parents) back ASAP. I am already saving up, though. I’m not like that, I hate having to borrow money. Plus, having little finances and not being able to buy a lot of stuff or go on tons of holidays is not as bad as being lost and seeing no way out. There have been worse things in my life.

  2. I thought being broke would worry me more, but knowing that I have nothing and I am working to get something makes me happy. It is a strange relief to know I can’t lose my money any more, because it’s already gone! (I feel so Buddha about this one.)

Money issues can drag on people, where being broke breaks them down completely. It’s understandable and that’s what I assumed would happen to me. But it hasn’t, partly due to my safety net (read: my parents) and because I know I am getting by and that this can only improve in the future.

Being broke beats being broken. That is my ataraxia: knowing things could have been much worse. I have nothing more to lose, but so much left to gain.

What gives you ataraxia? And where do you have your big revelations about your life? (Please tell me it’s on the toilet, too!)

11 thoughts on “Ataraxia (aka Being Broke Is Better Than Being Broken)”

  1. Im kinda in the same position right now. I worked for a couple of years in retail and I did save a lot of money and I could also spend my money. But I wasnt happy. I felt miserable most of the times while working in shops. It was so below the level I could function. So Then I decided in december that I quit working in retail and just spend my free time to develop myself and think about myself!! But I know I wouldnt get any money anymore, so this kinda stressed me out. Now, 2months being home, I feel so much better. I can take all the time in the world for my hobbies and for myself and I dont do work I dont like anymore. So it soooo much better. And I also live with my dad and my sister and I want to live on my own for a couple of years now. So I hate living home. But what you say, my problems are so little if you look at other people and I like doing what I do now πŸ™‚ I think you are also heading in a good direction!


    1. It’s good to hear I am not the only one πŸ™‚ Working is needed in order to make money, and that’s needed in order to do stuff and buy things. But if you do something that’s well below your abilities AND it makes you unhappy, it’s nothing but two good reasons to try a different direction. I know it’s scary, but usually in the end it’s all a lot less apocalyptic than I thought it would, lol! So I hope it will be the same fr you: that you’ll experience things to not be as bad as you expected them to be. We just need a little more time to find ourselves and find a passion. But we’ll get there, I am sure πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never been worry-free but that’s just how I roll. I can always find something to concern me. That being said I’m pretty good at multi-tasking so I do enjoy life nonetheless. I just have a place for that concern to go until I’m ready to deal with it. The big revelations come at different times during the day (and night). I think once I’m awake in the AM is actually when I can count on some heavy-duty ideas being thought of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve not gotten overall ataraxia, but regarding this particular matter I find myself quite hakuna matata.
      So it’s early mornings for you, ey? (Can’t resist a pun when it’s there). I get it, though. Once I am awake and start thinking, it’s also usually about big globsl matters, life, the universe, and everything in between.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You seem to have a clear direction now, Samantha, and that’s bound to help give you peace of mind. As for where I have ideas, like Salvageable at the top of your comment thread, it’s mostly in the shower. It’s not such a great place for taking notes, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this post! I’m so glad you seem to have a plan. That always feels great! I think I changed my life when I was a single mom at 21 years old. I had to figure out a plan for two people then! So glad I had goals and fulfilled them. It’s made all the difference. I wish you the best with your goals.

    Also, I know you are busy! If you have time, I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. This is all new to me, so play if you have time. πŸ˜‰β€‹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A situation like that surely forces you to be strong and make tough decisions, kudos to you for that!
      Thank you so much for the nomination, Ipuna! You made me very happy πŸ™‚ Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award already, so I can’t accept it again. But having said that, know I really appreciate you nominating me. I feel very honoured and very humble. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Blessed are the poor in spirit…
    As far as big revelations, they tend to come when the muscles are occupied but the brain is not involved–taking a shower, mowing the lawn, etc. J.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s very wise and the last remark… It’s usually when I just sit on the toilet, not a lot of business going on then, just… Thoughts pop into my head and I wander off mentally… I’m just… Unique, heheh.

      Liked by 2 people

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