I had a conversation with my manicurist just now about how kids nowadays were so pampered and unappreciative at the same time. They were the lucky generation as compared to the time when I was young.
I still remember, there was once in my childhood when my electricity was cut off due to our inability to pay the bill. I was still in school uniform and we had to grab our stuff in torchlight to stay in my grandma’s house.
I wasn’t born in a rich family even though there was a part of my childhood when I was rather fortunate to have a maid in the past before my dad suffered losses in the business and our family income went down.
While teens nowadays were planning for their post-grad holiday, I was worried back then about my ability to pay off the bank loan after I graduated. Economic times were bad, I was doing part-time work before I landed my first permanent role after 4 months of graduation.
While teens nowadays were travelling with their family during the school holiday, back then I was part-timing earning extra income as a banquet waitress.
While kids nowadays can ask their parents to buy them the latest gadget, back then I could only save up for the thing I wanted by giving part-time tuition.
I was brought up in the environment when nothing comes for free and I have to earn it if I wanted something because no one could give it to me. Compared to the children nowadays, they are more fortunate than me yet I am thankful for the struggles I have to go through.
Because of these hard times in the past, I am not easily lured by the luxe life in the modern days such as becoming a millionaire, living in a luxurious house or having a high life. I won’t say I’m not ambitious because I still have my goals that I want to work on. I would say I am more down-to-earth and happy with the simple things in life because I appreciate these simple things more.
While others are changing their branded items seasons after seasons, my very own Coach bag is still with me after 10 years (yes, the side of the buttons are mouldy, they are still usable). While my friends are talking about branded stuff, I felt foreign to it. To me, a $30 bag works just as well as a $3,000 bag and even better, I won’t feel the heartache when my bag is slightly dirty and that allows me to change seasons after seasons (more so due to wear and tear since they are not meant to last) without guilt. My very chic lifestyle without a high price tag.
Had things started off on the high side during my childhood, the situation would be very different especially now when I have my own income. Don’t get me wrong, I do spend. I spent it more on educating myself (eg. paying $350 for an one-day course or paying for ticket to watch a good play), on my healthcare to make sure I recover well, on my holiday for a good immersion experience, on a good dining experience with my friends. I spent more to satisfy my soul than my material wants.
I am thankful for my struggles and suffering in the past. They made me grounded and appreciative, more easily satisfied that life has offered me, leaving me more space to understand things around me.