WOULD YOU CHOOSE POVERTY?

I will soon be turning thirty-nine years old. I’ve been telling people that I am almost forty for the last few years. They laugh and tell me that I have a ways to go. “You are not there yet.”

Sometimes years feel like days to me. I was still a girl yesterday. Except that yesterday is so long ago that it no longer matters. I look back and everything has changed, even the way I lived it.

I remember that I was supposed to grow up to become someone. I remember learning that ‘pretty’ is not important. I was taught that intelligence is the highest currency. I read a lot of books. I still wanted to be pretty. I do not know why it is important to me. The closest I can come is to say that I equate attributes to love.

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The thing that is difficult about aging, for me at least, is the realization that I simply can not keep up with it all. That figurative family, those people we call ‘The Joneses.’ Now we call them the Kardashians. I am too damn old to keep up with the Kardashians. I do not want to spend the rest of my life trying.

I was born poor. We lived in a trailer in North Platt, Nebraska. My parents were young and they were outcast. My mother and father made choices that people could not approve of until everyone withdrew support. My mother’s family especially. Her sisters live life as of she is already dead, even to this day. My mother’s family does not own her.

It was a hard day to hear my father say, “I can’t see much that was good about my life.” It was hard for me because I know it to be true. My parents lived a tragedy. They live it still.

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There comes a time when pain will not allow love to get close. Human souls are vulnerable that way. Animals are the same way. I noticed it the other day after my dog was injured by another dog. I wanted to hold her in comfort but she could not allow it. She pushed away from me. She needed to hide. She looked at me with regret in her eyes, like she was ashamed to know that she could lose in battle. She was a puppy last year. Who would hurt a puppy?

(Puppies hurt other puppies. Betrayed by their own kind)

We all lose at battle. We all are perishable. It’s a trick to not know the expiration date. Many of us gamble. We gamble with our time hoping something better will come along. The same twenty-four hours come our way, day in, day out. Our lives keep going like bombs that have yet to go off.

I can understand why there are so many religious people. People who find reason through faith, an understanding that suffering is part of God’s plan. We are all equal in pain. I write of pain instead of joy because it is pain that the world wants you to understand. You out there who manage to be happy. How can you be happy when there is so much suffering? You must be greedy. You must have more than me.

Guns are a hot topic issue. We have murder because there are guns. Or do we have murder because people somehow crave it? War is always justified by some great leader. Leaders with enough power to command a movement. Powered by people. People who are free to make choices. People who choose to join the armies of the world.

I choose to bear arms and to trust no one. It’s just plain out common sense. I know I may seem like a bleeding heart liberal because I genuinely care about people, all people. A humanitarian. Yes. I believe in the good of mankind. I also see people for what they are. People are savage. I’ve only known a few truly gentle souls. The rest would kick your ass in battle. Hot blooded Americans. We are a feverish lot. There were close to 750,000 deaths during our civil war. Brother killing brother in the same land. People slaughtered each other for freedom. One of those freedoms is the right to bear the weapon that may later kill again. For protection. Of course we need to protect ourselves from each other!

History repeats itself but the world is changing. Now war is random. Like duds of people are exploding in public. They kill enough in their personal short circuit that it inspires fear which we sensationalize. We want our government to keep us safe from the boogieman. Except, none of us have ever been safe. It is written in every history. There are no boundaries through time. We live it again and again and again. Death by the hands of other people. Survival takes a special cunning.

It takes my breath away to imagine my daughter living a life of suffering. I’ve kept her so sheltered that she has yet to experience not having. I do not know that life will always allow her that luxury but I feel accomplished to show her what is possible. She had more than a decade of bliss. I would carry every burden to grant her more but then how will she know how to bare the weight for her own future.

We struggle because we must. Those who are the easiest to find contentment will settle where they will. Some people are happy living with nothing. Some people are happy living in poverty. Those people do not see themselves as poor. Those people do not care about wealth at all. They care about living a life free of things, true to the land and the simplicity of nature. They want a simple, quiet, respectable, country life.

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Resources are important to me. I do not want to live a life lacking resources. I want to make enough to pay my debts and to not need to ask to borrow because I can save. I would like to live reasonably and responsibly. What income do I need to secure to hit that bracket and how do I maintain it.

The new year is almost here. I am both inspired and challenged to begin fresh again. A brand new me, a brand new company, a brand new opportunity to create a future that is agreeable.

Perseverance pays off. This will be the year to prove it. To each his own gain. To each his own prosperity. We are as rich as we feel. I feel like I have half of my life left to live still. That will take some planning. Adventures to follow.

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