Writer: Ronna Su’a
They don’t tell us much apart from the fact that the real word hits when adulthood is reached. They nag us about the prices of mortgages, cars, groceries, entertainment, bills, debts, savings and so much more. No one acknowledges the fact that we are all different, born with different personalities, characteristics. Instead they throw us in the deep end, labelled as the ‘doomed generation’. Ultimately it is the lifestyle we are working for and therefore each of our life’s endeavours will be different. In saying this, the warnings we receive aren’t totally pointless. We will and do need to consider the many responsibilities we will be handed as we grow older, but in the end it is the life we can afford that we’ll be living.
Many of us don’t realise this when we’re young, but when we’re old enough to understand, it is not only the ambitions we desire which we work towards, but also the lifestyle in general we pay for too. Along the way, we stress over essentials and learn of material yearnings. It seems as if we pay to even live, when life itself is free. To what cost are we really paying for our lives?
What we can afford versus what we want are two different things; if not completely understood, this distinction can land us in debt. For those who don’t have family trust funds, inheritance, and allowance from parents, everything we own is purely based on what we earn and work hard for.
Do we choose a lifestyle to support our careers or choose a career to support our lifestyle?
It is something that they don’t tell us, or rather we realise at a later stage in our lives when faced with making life changing decisions.
Think about it, what type of lifestyle do you picture yourself living in five years time? Or even now, with the career path you’re taking, are you being realistic with whether it can support you in the long-run and the life you hope to attain? We all want a porch overlooking that sandy white beach, sipping on cocktails, flying out in private jets. However, many times those dreams turn into suburban homes, three kids, 9-5pm job, seven seater cars and a dream no longer achievable when it’s impossible to think of you anymore. Not that that lifestyle is bad either.
There’s nothing wrong with either lifestyle, it’s just realistic we are aware with the types of careers that certain lifestyles require and whether you’re willing to sacrifice or attempt to carry on as is. They’re not only visions of where we see ourselves at the end of our degrees, they’re also a wakeup call to whether where we see ourselves at the end of our degrees is where we’ll be happy, and can afford to be.
Ronna was an editor of Hyde in 2015.