I believe money is second to happiness.
When I was growing up I was often told that money wasn’t everything. I never believed that “saying” because I thought money can buy you anything you want. How could you not be happy when you have the ability to buy whatever you want?
When I was thirteen my mother left my father in a heated divorce. While they were together she was financially stable and had the ability to buy a few extra items if the want or need arose. After the divorce my mother moved to a small house in Richmond, Indiana. She was only making about $1,200 a month and was also responsible for the care of my niece. Financially she was lucky to eat out once every few weeks. When I asked her why she had moved, she would only tell me that money is second to happiness.
This quote stuck with me. I would often wonder why one would put themselves in such a position of possible financial peril.
When I was seventeen I decided to join the Army National Guard. It was a big move for me. I also had just started a relationship with a man that would later become my husband. I left for training and while there, overheard talk of the financial benefits of being a married solider. When I got home my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to get married. At the time I didn’t think it was the best of ideas, even though we got along for the most part and had been living together for about a year. Then it struck me – married soldiers make more money. So I made the dumbest move of my life, and I said yes.
Life after marriage became an uphill battle. My life consisted of being a nanny rather than a wife, friend and partner and everyday was a struggle to keep myself going. It became clear to me that I was in a mentally abusive relationship that was too stressful to continue so I decided to leave.
Luckily I have the peace of mind knowing that I am financially able to care for myself and that it is possible to correct my mistake. I realize now that no amount of money is worth wasting life trapped in an unhappy, dysfunctional and possibly harmful relationship. I’ve also heard the saying “live and learn” and know this to be true, too, but moreover – I believe money is second to happiness.
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