Rich People Stuff

Last week brought something of a professional milestone: my first bit of online shade from a total stranger.

A Toronto publication had just run an article outlining the reasons behind my decision to quit my day job and become a writer — reasons which press on the sorest spots in my psyche and hence, I’d long avoided discussing. But growing comfortable sharing my story has proven healing in ways I never expected, and the encouragement and support on social media in response to the article is something I’ll never forget.

So brave!

So inspiring!

I had no idea!

Good for you!

But only one comment has managed to work its way into the household vernacular:

Rich people stuff.

(I’ll pause here while those who create for a living finish laughing maniacally; I myself hope to sell enough books by the time I’m a hundred and eighty to almost break even).

When I first showed my husband the comment he grew about three inches taller in our kitchen, declaring with the same calm Clark Griswold displays when fixing the newel post that he’d like to go out and find this random commenter, bring him or her back to where I sit in my outrageously weathered leggings (my treasured “work wardrobe” for the past five years — apologies to every delivery person requiring signature) and provide a detailed accounting of just how many sacrifices I’ve made on this journey to date.

But of course, the commenter is absolutely correct, and not just for the obvious reasons (I’m going to go ahead and assume we’re all in agreement on the whole best things in life are free shtick).

Obviously quitting your regularly-paying job to follow your gut for free implies a certain degree of privilege, regardless of how hard-earned. But it’s no coincidence that a great many people turn to their passions — their Rich People Stuff — later in life. The safety padding (time, sleep, helping hands, money) has to reach a certain thickness before we can take those bigger, riskier leaps.

It’s only upon exiting survival mode that we can turn our minds to thriving. In the meantime, it can feel like the rest of the world is moving ahead without you.

But isn’t it during survival mode that the real Rich People Stuff, those things we do whenever we’re free to choose, is seeded? Don’t those weeks or years spent in fight or flight end up being the moments we get really clear on our own definition of luxury?

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that the unhappiest, emptiest people I know have surmounted far fewer hurdles than the brilliantly positive, empathetic ones with countless reasons to be bitter.

Or maybe, resilience is how we get to “rich.”

To be sure, doing what lights you up is one of the greatest ways to live out this life, whether it be running a marathon, painting what appears when you close your eyes or writing the book that’s wearing tracks in your heart. Pulling my tattered leggings on each morning, I know I’ve never felt richer.

As for our cynical commenter, it turns out they run not one but two social media accounts dedicated to quaint coffee shops near and far, filled with reviews and the most inviting views and delicious-looking scones.

Some seriously lovely Rich People Stuff indeed.

And, I’m genuinely ALL for it. (In fact, I’d really like to go follow both those accounts…)

3 thoughts on “Rich People Stuff

  1. This was fun and “lit me up”! No doubt your holy leggings aka, your work outfit, must be expensive designer ones cause I think now-a-days you have to be rich(er) to afford the clothing brands with holes!


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