friend, so far

January 21, 2008 at 8:03 pm (friendship, history, mothering, wealth)

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my best friend lives far away. we talk on the phone once in a blue moon. the thread of our conversations pick up right where they were dropped as if no time has passed.

i miss her.

i wish we could raise our children together…create a modern commune of parenting and life. it’s tough to be out here on my own, no family worth mentioning.

she and i have a lot in common. both raised in affluent homes, both chose to strike out and live a life of adventure, both married to men of heart with little to no resources.

my mother used to say that the last, unspoken american prejudice was against the rich. i thought it was silly to complain of being so fortunate. now i see how this prejudice has shaped my choices. i felt self-conscious about our wealth, our home, the excess of it all. i felt a keen sense of injustice for those who had less. i never wanted to be identified with fur coats and fancy cars. i never felt comfortable fraternizing with the upper crust.

my friend feels the same though now, both of us with children, we lament the lack of security.

still we live rich lives. in my case, there is a richness to my struggle. if i had chosen to marry for money, to stay true to my upper class upbringing, i fear i would be floundering around trying to find meaning. i would be drinking heavily for sure and fighting the rage of another lunch date to discuss my most recent european holiday.

instead, i’m fighting the rage of seeing a culture out of balance, the inequities horrifying and dangerous. fighting to build the security my family needs with my own two hands and a mind that was idle too long. i feel grateful for the opportunity to discover my own creativity and strength now that the promise of inherited wealth is gone.

i continue to count my blessings for i am so very, very fortunate.

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6 Comments

  1. journeytime said,

    hi,
    it is amazing when one has the opportunity to gain a different perspective and see both sides of the tracks and then make a choice.
    sometimes the richness of the struggle outweighs the struggle of of the riches.
    i am sure that the blessings that you have would not be traded for any amount of riches, although there are always the thoughts of having a bit more than one has got.
    thanks
    derick

  2. fallenwoman said,

    i love that line…
    SOMETIMES THE RICHNESS OF THE STRUGGLE OUTWEIGHS THE STRUGGLE OF THE RICHES!!
    so true, but tough to remember sometimes.
    thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  3. Kris Cahill said,

    This is a wise and profound post. That you consciously chose love over money is how you freed yourself. I think you are correct about what you would be doing if you had married for money. There is such an emptiness to that. Your choices, and your story, will inspire others to love themselves enough to choose…Love! That is how we will transform this crazy and wonderful planet. Thank you.

  4. fallenwoman said,

    Kris,

    so lovely to get validation on choices! the one thing i miss about the wealth is the beauty. visiting beautiful places, being surrounded by beautiful things…but in the end, the beauty that moves me the most doesn’t cost a thing. sunsets, trees, hugs from little children, sunshine splashed across the bed.

    thank goodness for the small pleasures.

  5. christine said,

    Wow. I need to hear this perspective you offer from the other side too. For me, lack of wealth meant that one had to daily practice being grateful for the Beauty and love found in the sometimes hard, cold reality. … homemade bread, pockets of warmth, shade of trees. It is evident you have learned Much from your choices… and choice, in and of itself, is a beautiful thing.

  6. fallenwoman said,

    sometimes i wish i had grown up without all the damn stuff. still working it out and i ain’t no spring chicken! i wonder if i would have been more inspired and creative without the ease…too much money can really kill the spirit FOR SOME…not all.

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