As a child I was constantly exposed to negative money sayings. I still remember that saying “Money doesn't grow on trees” from my childhood. It was used to argue against buying an item. In the end I had built a framework in my mind, that money is not inherently bad, but scarce. That is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I had created my own world where money was constantly tight. That was just the way of life. I learned to constantly want more money. And yet, when I had money, I'd immediately spend it. Keeping me in constant need for more.
But on the other hand: To have money is something negative, something to hide. It's commonly believed that money causes people to do horrible things. However, money is just an amplifier of a person's character. Being in possession of a lot of money doesn't turn someone evil. It simply allows them to be themselves on a larger scale.
The gentle nudge of awakening
I had a need to spend all my money. I realize now, I did this to avoid being an evil rich person, and to keep me in my comfortable state of financial strain. By December of 2015 I could no longer stand it. My apartment was overflowing with stuff. The energy in the two rooms was thick and numbing. I felt lethargic and heavy. And I knew that I had to change something. Do you know that feeling, when you just can’t take something anymore? That for me is the best point to start implementing changes!
This decluttering also started other processes. Some people report that the decluttering also facilitated weight loss. For me it was my finances. I finally came to the conclusion that I had to get a grip on my finances.
From here, things moved fast: I found Mr. Money Mustache and binge read his whole blog in a few short weeks. Then I went to the Financial Independence conference in Chautuaqua. This was a complete turning point for me. During the conference, I was able to relax for the first time in months and finally put all the puzzle pieces together and start towards the future I want to have.
Having such a clear and strong view of how I want in live, and having a blueprint to get me through stressful days at work have helped me tremendously.
As I write this, I'm sitting here, looking forward to the next ChooseFI episode–which I also found during the Chautauqua! And even though I am only a few years into my journey, I feel a calmness I did not have before.