For those with high anxiety (when will he tell?!) I’ll relieve you straight out; it’s money. Me and money both get along too well, and get along not well enough.
So, why do I despise/love money as I despise/love myself? Step into my mind; my parents did okay, mostly because up until the mid 90s there was such a thing as a upper middle class, and that’s where I grew up, adjacent to very wealthy people. I went to private schools with them, and nothing I experienced in my childhood convinced me that the other kids had it better; their parents ran after money all day, and mine did less and had more time for me. Well, usually.
My dad had an unstable middle adulthood, the longest he worked for a single company was eight years. He wasn’t getting fired, he was getting laid off, over and over, until all the jobs he was qualified for had been outsourced or automated away. Then he tried his own small business, and that didn’t work.
Right about here I enter the story as a participant. Everything I had learned in the first 18 years of my life said that predictable was better than lush, and stability more valuable than a big paycheck. So, I tried to settle, hard. I worked in several dozen different industries, not seeking to make an excessive amount of money, seeking to enjoy my work, and I did.
Unfortunately my early career years occurred during the largest recession in living memory. So I got let go quite often too, different outcome because around 2008 was when they really perfected making a job so miserable that no one would want it. This was also the beginning of the time you could work full time and not get insurance. When I was a child only small business/contractors were exempt from overtime rules. So we all started becoming outsourced. My wife at the time left me, and I sunk into my first large depressive episode.
That was all ten years ago; that set up the struggle I’m still having, to find worth in an apathetic and materialistic society. Seeking meaning, not wealth. No wonder I’m depressed, that hasn’t been a product in my entire life.