What We Pay For
TL;DR: 144-character summary.
Originally Written: 20-Mar-2023
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Read Time: ## minutes
When I turned 33, I noticed my net worth passed the $300k mark and I was relieved, to say the least.
Even if I'm not saving some months, I'm still accruing wealth by some means over time.
That number used to be negative and it bothered me a lot. Like a lot a lot.
Now it is not thanks to the attention it had over time like a plant watered daily to survive and grow.
This perhaps was the greatest cause of my being able to afford buying a house not six months after I went on a six week trip to countries abroad with my father right before the pandemic hit.
Then the pandemic hit, and then I came home. And then reality came crashing in.
I sure did put a lot of attention toward it. So much so that I let everything else slip by.
Over the last some-odd years since then, I have been working to cultivate a new practice in attention.
As it would turn out, it is very difficult to harness our attention in the ways we think we can or want.
Better yet, to be a master of attention is to be a wielder of magic itself for all I care.
For it is in the spectacle of society at large and the supposed voices of reason and morality that actually keep us astray from ourselves with each choice we make.
It is not the act of seeking the in-group that is the problem, it is the fact that the in-group at some point becomes a standard by which one must participate with in order to gain increasing returns in this world.
What I mean to say is that conforming to expectations is the lazy way out of any problem.
Oh wait, you probably won't.
Not because you can't, but because I won't let you.
This time, at least.
For conforming is something I know dearly in my heart as one of my strongest adaptive approaches.
It's a mental heuristic, or shortcut, taken to survive in a moment where one feels unsafe.
How do I be enough for the person I am talking to in this moment so I am not a disappointment?
That is truly the hardest pill to swallow when one realizes that is what they think about most.
Suffice to say, my survival mechanisms utterly perish when magnified by the perspectives of the group.
For it is in the light of the group, community, and world at large do we see ourselves more clearly.
Not through the lens we cast from within our heads upon the world.
Which is to say that humans are not perfect and bias should be understood as innate to the process.
There are going to be mistakes, errors, and missteps in judgment.
So when one occurs, do not fret.
Take a deep breath.
Straighten your back.
Remind yourself that you are human.
To love oneself is to love all of it.
The beginning, middle, crevices, and more.
All feeling like flurried brushstrokes on a canvas in time but unfolding into a gallery of life called mine.
With glitter, rhinestones, and more.
Ain't she a beaute.
Now what was I worried about again? ;)