I had a well-needed discussion last week with my friend on family, work, and money.
Some of my friends consider me to be a workaholic. This summer, I am working full time as a social media and marketing intern (co-op) on top of my part time jobs.
I like all my jobs, otherwise I would have quit them by now. I am lucky because all of them are directly linked to something I am interested in: social media, writing, photography, design, or education. None of them are labor intensive with flexible hours and great people.
I like to work, but I also realize that I give myself a lot of pressure because of my family’s financial situation. My friend and I shared this sentiment and discussed our desires to provide ourselves – and our families – with a better life.
My parents don’t push me to work. They don’t give me any pressure to help out financially, yet I find this pushes me to work even more. I stress about student loans, the mortgage, my sister’s acceptance into a masters program and its implications, and how my parents should be retired by now. Mostly, I get frustrated.
I get frustrated when I think about how my mother cleans toilets or how my sister is so carefree. I get frustrated at my friends when they choose not to work because they don’t have to, even though I think I’ll be the same if I was brought up with the same lifestyle. I get upset when I see my classmates go on exchange, knowing that I don’t have the resources to do the same.
I know everybody is different and we all have our own battles to deal with, but I can’t help but feel slightly annoyed when people show no ambitions or joke, “I’ll just marry rich”. I am severely doubtful when someone says they can’t juggle work and academics at the same time, even though for some people that is the case.
So, sometimes I wonder if my carefree friends understand me. I remember one year I didn’t go to a friend’s birthday dinner because I couldn’t afford to buy a present. I probably could have handled that better, but my friend was upset that I didn’t go and at the time, I was too embarrassed to truthfully explain why.
I think that’s why I was really happy when I had this discussion with my friend. I think I really needed someone who shared the same feelings and worries. Sometimes I am so deep in my own troubles that I forget to reach out to others about them. I worry about boring other people with my troubles because negativity spreads, but I thank my friend for listening and understanding.
What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.
– C.S. Lewis