I did something very uncharacteristic today- I refused to compromise, I fought over silly things and I really stuck to my guns. I said, “No.”
I think I really pissed off my ’employers’ today. Not only did I refuse to wear formals (simply because I would have to buy some) but I also refused to do anything other than what I had signed up for. This is strange since I have always done things I don’t like doing just to please people and just to not get into confrontations. While I always rationalised it as ‘not caring’ and being pretty blah about most things, it dawned upon me that I was actually just too much of wuss to actually stand up and say ‘no’ and assert myself. It is not a good feeling to realise this after years of being in denial over this rather disturbing fact.
So, I made myself a promise- I will no longer do anything I don’t want to especially not for money. Strangely enough, I really need the money at this point in time- my bank balance is at an all-time low- but I still refused to give way. I could do with this job but I am not willing to compromise on certain things. I want to do only what I am interested in and not a whole gamut of things. I, no longer, want to be a slave to money and sell my soul for it. I, no longer, want to miss out on my friends’ birthdays and engagements simply because I am too much of a wuss to say ‘no’. I want to do things my way with me as the priority while being fully dedicated and committed to whatever work I am doing. I do not want to do the whole 9-5 gig. I want to be able to attend workshops, classes and lectures and learn things even during the week. Or even watch a movie, lunch with my friends, visit my friends in another city when I want to, go home when I want to as opposed to having to take permission for 10 days of leave and then spending part of that leave working. I want to be able to pursue interests and not hold myself hostage to other people’s whims and fancies. I don’t want to waste my time on things I do not like doing.
This is a promise I made to myself years back as well and then life caught up. After all, it is extremely easy to break promises one makes to oneself. I started making pots of money and I enjoyed spending it. In a way, I got addicted to money (I wonder if there is a support group for something like this) and was afraid of losing it. The lifestyle was exciting and I did not want for anything. It made sense to make all sorts of compromises just to keep this kind of lifestyle. So, yeah, I broke this promise I had made to myself and just continued to enjoy the money and all the pretty things I could buy with it.
Interestingly enough, even though my bank balance at present is not even a quarter of my monthly salary at one point, I am much happier than I used to be. My needs have reduced and the addiction to pretty things has gone away. I, no longer, have this need to own things- the focus has shifted from ownership to utility- and I have developed a minimalist outlook. While I recognise that this an inevitable fallout of a low bank balance, I feel that my thinking towards money has changed. I am a lot more relaxed about it and believe that I can make it doing what I like. While I may not make pots of money, I no longer feel the need to do so. I, also, don’t think that money and happiness are mutually exclusive but I do feel that in my quest for money, I lost out on a chance to be happy. In fact, I do believe that money can buy me happiness at some level but that is the subject of another blog post.
So, yeah, I made myself another promise this time, to do things I want to do and not what will please people. I know I will piss off lots of people, but so be it. I am a lot more conscious about it this time around and I have decided to ask myself one fundamental question: Would I want to do this even if I wasn’t getting paid?
This time I intend to stick to this promise and not cave in for any reason.
And I expect you all to hold me accountable to this. Thank you, in advance. 🙂