Yeah, well, I guess I have been away for some time. I don’t think I was in a full out depression episode, but I have been struggling with a lot of mixed emotions. I’m still very unhappy and climbing out of the funk, and I don’t know if I may just sink into the morass all over again in the next few months. But I’m trying.
During this period, I got a bit conflicted about this blog. I am reasonably financially successful. By a lot of measures, I am probably quite rich for my age. There are some people out there who look at rich people, and automatically assume that all of these rich people must all secretly be miserly scrooges who are unhappy with life. Some of these people even turn down wealth opportunities because they are scared they will automatically become the same unhappy scrooges.
I understand. Some of these stereotypes help people to cope with the comparison game. One can’t get jealous of other people in better positions if one can find something to not be jealous about. I am sure I do exactly the same thing about other aspects of life. And also, maybe this particular stereotype about the rich is some sort of retaliation against the rich people who stereotype the poor as lazy and unmotivated.
But I really believe that there is little correlation between wealth and real happiness, regardless of those formal studies out there. And I really don’t want to perpetuate any of these unhappy rich persons stereotype, because they don’t help anybody. Yes, I am unhappy about a lot of things in my life at the moment, but that has nothing to with my personal finances. If I were to have nothing to my name, I wouldn’t be any happier. If someone were to give me another million or so, there would still be a lot of things that I need to change in my life to make me really happy.
What I am trying to say is that – my unhappiness and depression has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with me.
I’ve tried to downplay my really negative feelings about what is going on in my life on this blog, and tried my best to be as positive as I can. I never want my blog to be the one people pointed to when they want to re-establish that stereotype of an unhappy rich person. I also write about my journey to an early retirement, a lifestyle which is already fraught with many negative connotations to many people. I don’t really want my personal struggle to muddle the positive message that other ER’ers are trying to establish.
This is blog is about a relatively rich person who happens to also be an unhappy one at the moment. This is not about a person who is unhappy because she is rich. And I do fear that I might just be sending out the latter message if I write about my emotional struggles. But these struggles are also a major part of my life at this point, as much the financials are, so it gets a bit tiring to keep certain negative things out. I also struggle with wanting to keep the blog true, but am hesitant to air dirty laundry. Hence, at one point in the last few months, I really considered giving up this blog.
I’m past the worst now and have decided to continue blogging, however sporadically, because I really do enjoy recording my financial journey. So, onwards to more money talks!