This post scares me. Why? Because it’s an admission of truth. Uncomfortable truth. The truth is that I’m not very good at affluence. By chance, luck, or circumstance, it was unavailable to me as a child, but was given to me as an adult. I guess I’ve seen both sides of the coin. Maybe affluence isn’t the problem, so much as selfishness, greed, and envy. I’ve tried all of those out, but each felt inauthentic and shallow. In fact, affluence made me feel a little ill, but thankfully, I am now in the process of affluenza recovery.
This realization about affluence hit me over the head a few years ago, actually. I sat counting the number of chairs in my house(s), along with the number of Facebook friends I actually considered my true friends, and the chairs happened to significantly outnumber the meaningful people in my life. The rest of the people I didn’t really interact with, but I was definitely spending money on chairs trying to impress them. Not many of those people ever did come over to sit in my chairs.
That is the essence of affluenza. Not feeling secure in yourself or your relationships, and trying to find security in owning more things. After all, chairs don’t judge you, and if you need support, chairs are always there for you. Friends on the other hand, are more difficult to obtain, require regular upkeep, and therefore, feel a little more risky. Sure, friends can also be bought, but not the quality ones.
So, I made a decision. I started getting rid of the clutter on my chairs, followed by the chairs themselves. At first, my life felt a little empty and I felt weak, but I’m now feeling stronger through life experiences and relationships. Soon I’ll be moving on to downsizing the rooms and houses that hold the remaining chairs. If affluence sticks around during that process, then perhaps I’ll now have the skills in place to use it for good. Perhaps I’m building up an immunity to affluenza. I suspect I’ll always own at least one chair, but until my friends outnumber my furniture, I have more work to do.