Have you ever just sat and listened to people?

Like, not conversations you were apart of, and not eavesdropping for gossip. But just listen to people speak.  Listen to their conversations.

I have always been in the camp of you will learn more about someone by listening than by talking to them. 

When you are not apart of a conversation people will say things they do not realize are against everything you stand for as a person. But they will not apologize (not that an apology is necessary), or acknowledge what they have said because they are not actually talking to you. They think you are not listening because you are reading, or working, or on the phone. They are not even aware they are talking about you.

But you hear them. And you listen to what is being said and you wonder how you could ever even pretend to like this group of people.

They are not your people.

You learn what they think about people outside of that conversation.

You hear them talk down many aspects of your life. A lot of the material possessions you own. Possessions that never bothered them when they wanted to enjoy them.

But now those things are beneath them somehow. In your heart, you know that if you invited that person to indulge in those things tonight they would happily come over. You don’t. And you make mental note to never again include them in such activities again.

They think they are better than you in some way.

You do not even make a rebuttal because you know their response will be well, you’re different.

Well, why am I different?

If you did not know me, and you saw me with these things you would think less of me, right? You would think you are better than me; I am lesser than you.


Once upon a time, I was a girl who bought designer bags and had aspirations to drive a BMW. I did not realize it but I wanted to look and come off as “cool”. I wanted to hard to fit in and be accepted by my peers. There were times that I actually thought I was better than someone else because I had a college education, and I had a decent job.

Now? Now I have grown up. I discovered the really important things in life have nothing to do with the labels they may or may not have.  I go to great effort to NOT wear or carry items with designer logos. I have given up on a BMW (or anything of the like) because it is simply outrageous to drive a car that requires a $300 oil change.

I am surrounded by a lot of people who make twice as much as I do who are miserable regardless of all their flashy material possessions. These people have crumbling marriages and struggling finances, but on the outside, they look amazing.

These people do not impress me.

That is not what I want. I want actual happiness and peace.

And I think I am achieving that with my “affordable” bag, my plastic “Walmart” chairs and inflatable pool.

If you think less of someone like me, you think less of me. And you are not the kind of person I want in my personal life.

I do not need a $2000 bag to be “someone”. I drive a $25,000 car with all the bells and whistles (if not more) than your $45,000 car. Yours has a fancy emblem, mine does not.

It is hard to put into words just how hard it is to be around someone materialistic and high maintenance when you yourself are not. Different lifestyles, different goals, different aspirations in life.

I am not a DINK (dual income no kids; learned this phrase this year), but I do not think that those that are made a “poor life choice”. You made a choice about your life just like I made one about mine; that does not make one better than the other. But you think you’re better than me because you can do things I cannot do because I have kids.

I do not think that I am better with floor seating than those with “nosebleed” seats.

I am living my life intentionally. Which does not make my life better than yours, in any way.

Not everyone wants or needs the labels. It is okay.

I may spend $200 on headphones, where you will spend that amount on designer clothes for you or your children. That is fine. But I will not spend that $200 on headphones and then complain about the cable bill.

If I can spend my money on my wants, I cannot complain about my needs.

I would rather someone judge me based on the person I am instead of the things that I own (or not own). And realize when you make generalized statements about how someone you may not even know is choosing to live that you may be directing those statements at someone you say you love and respect.


Photo by Jean Gerber on Unsplash

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