Are your life choices and decisions based in reality or fiction? Do you feel entitled to a better standard of living than you can currently afford? Are you deep in debt because of it? These are questions I always ask myself when I see stories of people living in trailer parks but driving $40,000 cars, school bus drivers living in $800,000 homes, or single women having 14 children when they are on welfare. Why do people try to live the life of a millionaire while working at minimum wage jobs? It would be an interesting psychological study, I think, to really look deep down into the psyche of the people who act out this kind of behavior.
I do believe that there are the obvious causes of this behavior, such as the “Keep up with the Joneses” routine or the “I will buy my way to happiness” route, but there has to be more than that. It’s almost as if people do, in fact, feel entitled to a certain standard of living, even if their means do not justify it. They are living a very fictional life, both in substance and in their mind, which just leads to even more unhappiness. They pretend to their family, their friends, their neighbors, their co-workers and even themselves.
I am always quick to blame TV for some of this behavior, because it does seem like the more crazy crap that happens on TV, the more fictional some Americans’ lives become. More reality TV, giant houses, blingy cars and trucks, celebrity rehab centers, more game shows encouraging contestants to be greedy, etc. – the nonsense never ends. It is very easy to blame TV for some of this behavior, but at some point one has to take responsibility for one’s actions, as no one can stop the spiral of a fictional life other than the person living it. I don’t know if I was living a fictional life or just making stupid mistakes, but back in the day I bought whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it – and I had no one to blame at the end of that run other than myself. The credit card bills were my responsibility, and I had to basically make amends with myself as I paid them off. I had to start living a non-fiction life of living within my means, not caring what other people thought of me or my “stuff”, and working to ensure my own financial stability. No one else could do it for me, I had to do it myself. It was a long road, but I finally got it right.
I guess the point of my writing this is to remind anyone out there feeling like they are living a non-authentic life that the only way it will change is if you decide to change it. You cannot really blame it on TV, your friends, your boss, or anything else – it all comes back to you. Living a fictional life only leads to worse and worse situations, and it’s better to realize what you are doing sooner rather than later. It’s never too late to stop it, you are just better off the earlier you do so.
Stop living a fictional life and start living a non-fictional life; it’s the only way to go.
photo by kretyen