The Burden of Wanting

Elisa A Escalante/ LMSW/ 7-9-2020

“I am tormented, and not because of what I have been through, but because of what I have chosen to commit my life to.” -EaE

There is a device in our hands with a world of knowledge, but there is a world around us that we can choose to see for ourselves. What did we dream of before the new reality crept in. Before obligation, work, savings & retirement planning? What did we want before we were taught what to want? Did we realize that we were being steered in a dangerous direction?

What really changes as we get older? All I can really feel is that time is passing me up. I am terrified that I am not living. Fogged down and ‘zombified’ for a community to use my talent, while my spirit withers away.

How often do we find ourselves at the mercy of the clock, for the purpose of the paycheck, for the payment of those bills so that we may enjoy the things we were told we NEED to achieve pursuit of happiness. We also need the paycheck for the “drugs” that get us through those days, because they are rarely enjoyable days. (Yes you do it too, even if it’s caffeine, sugar or carbs, that’s self medicating.)

Unfortunately, by the time we realize we are roped into this cycle and buried underneath it’s burdensome weight, it is far too late to get out. Why? We are indebted, we made a deal with the consumer devil and we must pay the price for the mediocre luxury we bought into.

It’s always fun for a time, it never lasts. Humans may get older, but the habit of a toddler in regards to toys stays the same. Get the latest and greatest, play the shit out of it, discard. When we see another with the same toy, we go after it. Steal it, share it, or scream at someone to get one for us, some things don’t change.

To this day I am still very fascinated and horrified regarding how quickly a want turns into a perceived need. When a want becomes embedded into a persons daily routine, it is then perceived as a need. Humans get conditioned and then have no desire to go back. A life without pursuing those addicting wants would just feel deprived and meaningless.


The cycle of frequently fulfilling our wants can often get out of control. We then pass the thin line into greed, making it all the more difficult to dial the issue back. Greed- when we compulsively give into our wants. When we get things for the sake of having them vs the sake of using them.

One day, this is no longer fun. Just like the toys and games we played as toddlers, we outgrow things. But was the investment worth what we outgrew? What did we lose in the process of working ourselves to near stress death to buy the latest and “greatest”?Not just money, but time wise, what did we give up? Why was it worth the debt? As we are older and wiser, hopefully, we realize it. It was never originally, about things. It was about finding quality in our time here on Earth. We forgot to value the most important thing of all.

I sold myself to the consumer Devil at the age of 19. At the age of thirty, I am finally working my way to significantly less debt. Every painful credit card payment is a reminder of what I must change moving forward. A painful reminder of that young brain washed capitalist ‘crackhead’ that was shopping to self medicate because there was a void I just did not understand yet. I was being exploited off of this void and in complete denial about its existence.

Moving forward, I know what I need, and I want much less. More importantly, my wants changed to things of value. What is more important for us to work toward? What are things we can attain and do that can fulfill many voids while keeping us out of the burden of over wanting, greed and debt? It’s not a coincidence that minimalism, tiny homes and van life is becoming more mainstream. A new American Dream is coming to the forefront. Less is more, less means, more freedom.

Published by functionallymentall

Social Worker, Writer, USAF Veteran

3 thoughts on “The Burden of Wanting

  1. Agreed with this. Life can often seem like an aimless cycle due to anxieties and consumerism. But really i think everyone at heart just wants the little things from life, and the things which really matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I absolutely agree–the whole nature of consumerism is to perpetrate an endless cycle of wanting and receiving and wanting more. This is why it’s so important to change our whole approach towards materialistic goods. Once realizing that we will never be fulfilled, we need to shift our ideation of what makes us feel “fulfilled” in the first place. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this blog. I think everyone At a young age, spreading their wings for the first time, gets caught up in consumerized,overspending,dreaming big to keep up with the Jones cycle. Like you I have found I want to live a less stressful, modest life style.

    Liked by 1 person

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