A few years ago as I was riding down a crowded elevator I had a casual conversation with a friend regarding personal finances.
I remember exclaiming my frustration to him, "I am freaking broke." I said.
I remember his eyes widening in fear as he looked in concern, not at me, but at the people around me. He then proceeded to hush me up, snapping at me to "not make that information known to people".
It was in that distinct moment when I realized just how different we were as people. The divide was almost tangible, like a wall had separated us into two opposite sides of the elevator. We both had similar backgrounds - we were both living independently and we both wanted more from the world than we could take. I think the biggest difference between the two of us was that I never really saw adversity as a form of weakness. I see it more as a barrier - a roadblock. We are all different of course. We are all handed different cards in life, but perhaps we all have the power to make our lives better. I think the problem was that he never fully acknowledged being stuck in his situation - he would lie and deny it to himself and others around him succumbing to his fear. I was reflecting on this incident recently and I thought it was relevant as the next approaching years will really be a grey area for me. If it's anything the man in the elevator has taught me, it's that there is nothing more crippling than fear. If you're honest enough with yourself and others around you to acknowledge the situation you are in, then you can work hard to get yourself out of it. I will strive for progress while doing my best to be honest and unafraid.
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