It’s true, but it’s hard to admit: most of what you want is free. Take a second to let it sink in. It’s a simple and elegant truth. A knee-jerk reaction could be something like, “What? I ‘need’ the latest Item X! That’s not ‘free’!” The reality is that you probably don’t even want that X. Not really.
Some part of you has decided X is necessary, but you’ve gone this far without X, what’s another ten years without it?
What’s another thirty years without it?
Exactly. You never wanted it in the first place.
(I do it, too. It’s fine.)
Everyone is different, but there is an era that represents “happiness” for each of us. Mine didn’t start with X, and yours didn’t either. It’s much more elemental than that. We just lose track of the honesty behind it. We’re afraid of judgment.
We shouldn’t be.
X didn’t bring you happiness, and most likely, X came along after you forgot what true happiness was. What true happiness looked like. Judgment came along, and we stopped being honest, and we started worrying about what others think. And the problems began.
Yeah, that was pretty stupid.
Fast-forward twenty years, and you might have even found yourself working a job you hate to buy shit you don’t need to impress people you don’t like. Sound familiar? At least on some level? It’s from Fight Club. Before Fight Club, it was from something else. But we rinse, repeat, and we trudge along. Maybe sometime, if we have the slightest awakening, we say, “Oh…hey, this wasn’t it…”
And that’s where it begins.
What I like to do (most) is to learn, and also to write. I don’t always do both every day, but they both bring me joy, and they’re both free. It’s a trip to think that thirty-three years ago, I was smarter than I am now…at least in action. It’s because I was more elemental. I went to school, and I did what I was supposed to do, but I wasn’t selfish and I didn’t have ideas about what I “should” have and what I “could” have and I just rode my bike and played basketball with my friends. Life was good.
Fast-forward. Tons of stupid shit. Way too much to go into. But, if I’m being honest, all of it was totally worth it, because a lot of it was “free” too. I just made a lot of excuses to act like I was trapped by outside forces.
I don’t ride bikes with my friends, and we don’t shoot basketball. I (mostly) still do what I am supposed to do in school–which makes sense, given my position–but I can’t believe it took this long for me to be honest again about the cost of what makes me happy.
It’s free. And it always has been. It always will be.
Yours is too.