Terrified.I have discovered, or rediscovered perhaps, that I am desperately terrified of being poor. (By poor, I mean having all my money run out. I couldn't think of a better word, my bad).
This is not because I come from a family that is rich, or has even been all that well off until recent years. The only time that my parents felt financially comfortable was the latter half of my teenage years. I am not saying that we were ever even below the poverty line, mind you. The real problem is that it's not what you actually have that truly counts, but the attitude towards what you don't have. And in this case, I appear to have been deeply imprinted with the unspoken attitudes toward scarcity that existed in my family as I was grown up. That sort of stuff you don't realise you have, unless you dig right deep down.
After all, I have pretty much always had anti-materialist and anti-consumption values. The excesses of the super-rich appal and horrify me. I do not believe that happiness has anything to do with the accumulation of newer or more or better stuff. I have mostly second hand furniture because of an environmentalist ethos, haven't bought new clothes in years.
Perhaps that's what threw me off the track. If I don't really have much need for money, why would I be afraid of being poor?
And yet, there it is. Lurking so large that if I was to go and stand underneath its shadow, I would collapse, overwhelmed.
What on earth will I do when the money runs out?
I don't have the courage to find out. Or to even really work through the idea.
Here is an interesting lesson that I have learned from it though. Being independent and self sufficient is actually a fallacy if you are able to do so only because of money, because it has no truth. Of course, any good Buddhist, or follower of the Abrahamic religions knows this. And anyone who has lived hand to mouth might well find this story causes incredulity.
But it is what it is. An irrational phobia, and those things are never rational, funnily enough.
I don't have the courage to face it, so I think I will just go solve the financial situation by working. (If you can't see the problem with that, it's because that would be me fleeing fear rather than facing up to it. Sure, we should all contribute to society, and do what we can to support ourselves, but that really, really, really isn't the point).