Where we could have been
Behavioral economists tell us that if we perceive ourselves living somehow better than we thought we would, we are happier than if we think we should have ended up better.
She wonders what value to the results it would be to have started out with no expectations at all other than to do what one loves starting right from the beginning — no matter what rewards other than what one derives from the doing.
She was lucky enough to have a mother that finally realized she couldn’t eat her peas and couldn’t work a civil service job either — and bought her all the stuff she needed to practice, because all she ever wanted was to be an artist.
Food, clothing and shelter.
There are the three essentials and it is possible that doing what one loves might not be able to accomplish even those let alone the others that Maslow believed we need.
- love and belonging
There are always cardboard boxes to live in for free and clothes can be had for fifty cents a piece — sometimes even less. The salvation army used to let you stuff a big bag, with whatever you wanted for one single dollar. Food is a little bit more tricky, but it can also be grown in someone else’s yard, if you let them have a little bit of the harvest. A cardboard box isn’t good in the rain, but there are always tunnels or houses of sticks and mud — though there isn’t much esteem in living like that —
— Both of the cats are sleeping on chairs — they like her enough to want to be near her. She likes that they want to be in her tribe. It’s raining outside and cool inside, she got all her chores done and feels actualized. She has plenty of supplies to sew up into fashions but that isn’t what she really wants to do at the present. She might if she had a store but she doesn’t and has somewhat ceased thinking that she still wants one.
Since all she ever wanted to be was an artist and even though she hasn’t quite gotten there yet — a big fancy house or an SUV, would never suffice to set her free. She did have a big house a long time ago, but it was only intended for planning that future. She was pretty good at believing ahead.
The great thing about it, was that all along, everything she did was getting her closer and what ever she did, it was creative. Even her job as a manager, had her designing systems to make thing run smoother — her artistic muscles were always at work.
It does seem that choosing is the greatest matter. If one has no choice, they seem to have little voice either and it looks a lot like a prison they are living in. It does seem that more people would have more choices if other people choosing more would instead choose less. It is probably the ones that are choosing so much that might be the ones that think they should have ended up better.
Most of the time, she thinks she has it all — probably one of the lucky ones who thinks she is living, better than she ever planned for or thought she would.