Halloween: Who Are You?
I ran errands this afternoon. I stopped by The Post Office, filled up the car with gas and dropped off dry cleaning. Everywhere I went festive people were dressed in Halloween costumes. I saw Jack Sparrow and a Harry Potter character. I think he was a Harry Potter character. I saw a fireman. I’m positive he wasn’t a real fireman. I saw a woman with a witch’s hat and nothing else on her that resembled a witch. I saw lots of wigs, too. There are wigs of all different colors. Pink and blue seem to be popular this year. I blame Pink, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry for that.
I’ve never been one for getting dressed up in costume. It’s just not my thing. When asked, I usually tell people that I like being me. Why dress up as someone else? I’m not sure it’s that so much as it’s the fact that I just don’t like dressing up in costume. I was in two plays in
high school and didn’t like dressing up for those.
My rhetorical quip got me thinking about people being who they’re not and how this leads to debt.
Be Yourself When It’s Over
It’s Halloween night! Many will get dressed in costume and go to their favorite bar or club. Many will spend more money than they should. Many will spend money they don’t have dressed as people they aren’t.
It’s ironic that we celebrate a holiday every year to dress as someone we want to be. Yes, of course, often that means dressing as something or someone fun. I get it. Many of us, however, dress up as someone we want to be all year long. We lease a brand new car that we couldn’t otherwise afford. We build up a balance on our credit cards to look a certain way. We need the right clothes, the right hair, and the right accessories. We dine at restaurants and drink at clubs out of our price range. When there’s equity in our home we take out a loan to fund a vacation to which we think we’re entitled.
Why do we do this? Is it because friends and family do it? Is it because magazines and television are covered with glossy images of celebrities leading exotic lifestyles? Do we not understand money and how we’re hurting ourselves financially? Are we telling ourselves that we just don’t care? It could be all of these reasons or none.
Many of us are living a life that’s simply not ours. We’re borrowing from tomorrow to finance an image of who we want to be today. The truth eventually reveals itself either on our terms or its own.
I suggest revealing yourself on your own terms. Learn contentment and live a life better than you’re pretending to live today.
Earlier I posted a quote by Joseph Addison: “A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in the world.” When we start being our true selves, we experience more happiness and enjoyment than anything money can buy. Trust me, it’s not that scary.