The uncomfortable truth about gaining financial freedom

Hello all, Ms. LLP here. I thought I would share some thoughts about personal liberty and financial freedom.

Last night I attended a social event for a ladies volunteer organization that I am a member of. It’s the sort of well-to-do crowd that makes small talk about careers, families and update each other on who just got engaged and where. Now, I’m not totally indoctrinated but it is tempting. Anyway, over our ginger ale infused cocktails, it suddenly struck me how hard it is to be authentic in high pressure settings. I mean, we may have a vague idea about what we want and how we want our lives to play out, but it sure is hard to stay the course amid Tory Burch ballet flats and Kate Spade handbags.

One young lady in particular was trying really hard to fit in. I mean really hard. You know the type, laughing a little too hard, agreeing a bit too much. The odd thing is that she was the quintessential member of this type of organization. She had all the trappings of someone who should easily find comfort in this group and demographic. I found it odd that she felt the need to “play up” her social status by constantly name dropping and validating her inclusion in the elite social circle.

As for me, I’m an outsider really. I attended the event to make new friends since I’m still relatively new to the city. I had no social proof, no names to drop… I could only offer myself. I didn’t try to jump in and make the conversation about me and my personal history, instead I took the moment to study a bit about human behavior.

In a surreal moment, it struck me as ironic that I was comfortable in my own skin and forging my own path. The experience further cemented my desire to craft the life that I want, on my own terms. You see, I never want to feel trapped or limited by social constructs. I don’t want to feel that I have to fall in line and have society accept me. I want to surround myself with people that genuinely want and enjoy my company.

Working towards financial independence can be hard. It can be lonely. It can be unpopular. It can be downright unsexy. The reality is that more than brand name handbags prevented me from truly fitting in with the group. I’m focused on big picture goals that have implications far beyond whose wedding is on my summer calendar. It can make you an outcast, unpopular and not aware of the cultural nuances that keep the masses comfortable.

There are groups and organizations where you can find like-minded individuals. But in the beginning it can be lonely. With time, living your authentic truth will draw a vibrant social circle. In the end, money gives you options. Financial freedom gives you a ton of options. Ultimately even when times are hard you have to stay true to what’s important to you. So you don’t feel lonely or left out focus on your hobbies or build a business. Figure out what’s important to you so you know what you really want and don’t stray from it.

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