[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 😉
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?):
- 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.
- 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.