One day I was talking to my brother on the phone. He was driving and I was shopping in the aisles of Target. I stopped where I was and had a 30 minute conversation with my older brother. I could have called him back. We could have just talked when I saw him during our planned get-together later in the week. But instead I just stopped walking, and talked.
I expressed to my brother my dissatisfaction in working for the place I was employed by. I explained that it looked good on paper, it sounded respectable, it seemed noble and worthwhile. But in reality, it was none of these things.
I said out loud… to my Big Brother, DDS, “I make $2,000 a month. I make so little money that I keep thinking that it cannot be that hard to make that much cash doing literally anything, and so it may as well be something I enjoy. I only make like $2,000 a month! I might DIE every day that I go to work, and I make $2,000 a month!”
Robert laughed. He was not laughing AT me. He wasn't laughing at the amount I make. He wasn't laughing at what I said or how I expressed it. His laugh was almost in relief. And then I laughed. My wise older brother then said something very important to me. “It is amazing how making a small amount of money can be liberating.”
I immediately felt just that!
I felt freer than ever before. I felt a super release.
Shackles taken off.
“I might DIE every day that I go to work, and I make $2,000 a month!” I was putting myself in seriously risky situations. I was continuously unsafe. I no longer loved my job. I no longer felt fulfillment. I could feel my essence leaving me with every moment I allowed myself to be in such a scenario. And that is not okay.
If I was making $100,000 a month and hating every moment, I would still want to leave. I would still be grasping to my soul in every way that I could… but I do think it would be more difficult and require 50 times more bravery for me to just walk away. (Doable YES… and I know people have/do. I applaud everyone and anyone who takes a hold of their life and makes it what they desire.) But in my circumstance… at that time… my minimal hourly rate that would be capped in the near future became good news to me.
Thank you Robert for being the best big brother a person could ever ask for. Thank you for caring to speak with me. Thank you for laughing in such a way that I felt relief. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Thank you for giving me insight that you had no idea would have so much impact. Thank you.
And so it was that my small paycheck became a monumental liberation.