“Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today.” Written by Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)

The contents of my wallet.

The contents of my wallet.

Money is my least favorite subject to talk about. As I have grown older, I find that I am starting to detest money and all it stands for. When I was younger, I wanted everything I saw. I would see something shiny and pretty and I knew it would be the one thing that would absolutely make me happy. When it did not make me totally filled with ecstasy, I would go looking for the next shiny and pretty thing. I was born with an unhealthy relationship to money. I acquired many useless and senseless items in my life. In turn, I became a small cog in a really big economic machine that relied on me, and those like me, to run up large amounts of debt that could never be paid off and then the big machine charged, us cogs, horrendous interest rates just to be sure we never left our place in the big machine. I could not leave a job because how would I pay the multitude of credit cards and bank loans I had. I was trapped in debtor’s prison and the prison looked a lot like my overpriced house. Oh, I know some of you out there are thinking, “It’s your own fault.” You are absolutely correct. I take the hit because I squandered away everything I ever made so I could have instant gratification that actually only lasted an instant. I could blame my bad habits on all sorts of things, but when it comes down to it….the choices were all mine. I am not trying to “get out” of anything. So why am I saying all this? I am now almost 53 years old and I want off the Merry-Go-Round. I want to get rid of all the junk and live on as little as is necessary. Guess what I am finding though? Lots of people are in the same boat and they are not spending their money on buying anything, let alone my old, used junk. So I worked year after year to acquire THINGS and now I cannot even give them away. It is a reality that hit me in the face today when I was trying to sell some very nice art that I owned. No one wants it and no one needs it. I have retired the idea of making money on selling the stuff, retired the idea of breaking even, and I have come to realize that I will lose money. Okay, I deserve that. I get it. But in retrospect, I realize that I am the kind of person who could fall into a bucket of money and still come out broke. I have tried several of my own businesses, worked two jobs at a time, and lots of other seemingly pointless tasks to try to get off this ridiculous carnival ride I am on and none of them have worked. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not looking for pity. The mistakes are all mine, they are some of the only worthy things I own. But I hope the younger generation rethinks the idea of the American Dream being new cars, big homes, fancy clothes, etc. I realize now that the American Dream should be about freedom. Think about what life would be like without debt…You could work where and when you wanted. You could live a life most people only daydream about. You could sleep at night not worrying about the bills. You would have choices, being in debt takes those choices away. Think about the real freedom you would have before you buy the shiny, pretty bobble that in just a few years will have little or no value. I sound bitter, do I not? I really do not mean to. I wish beyond all that I hold sacred, I would have understood and lived knowing that the LOVE of money is truly the root of all evil. Jesus knew what He was talking about, even though I thought He was wrong. I want to take the time on my Epic Journey to consider the minimum amount I need to live on. I think I am going to find that I need a whole lot less than I think. I hope this trip teaches me that I do not need to ride the carnival ride any longer and that I can get off and live a life of freedom. Everyone says that if you do what you love, the money will come. I still do not know how that works, but I am going to give it one last ditch effort. If it does not work this time, who knows what will happen. But if, for once in my life, I make a right money decision, I just might be able to experience freedom for the first time in my life. I wish you all freedom from debt. It is a terrible burden. If you are not in debt now, PLEASE stay that way and use your finances wisely. If you are in debt and being held ransom, I pray for you to find a way out of it. I am sorry this post is somewhat off-topic, but it was heavy on my heart and maybe someone out there needed to hear my pathetic story (which I hope has a victorious ending!). Yes, we need money to live, but we do not need to live for money. Good luck to you all!! Thank you for listening!!

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