Money vs. Passion

S.J. Elliott
5 min readOct 29, 2021

Passion can pay the bills, but your money mindset has to change.

Photo by Amel Majanovic on Unsplash

In seven-ish months I’ll be 40. An age that feels impossible even as I watch it approach.

Slow, steady, day by day — like an old horror movie, where the bad guy just keeps coming no matter how fast the frantic teenage girl scrambles. Scary indeed.

I have friends my age who are sending their kids to college. I know people that are talking about starting a “second career,” and I even know a few privileged individuals that have cashed in and are beginning an “early retirement,” with a heavy focus on travel, of course.

Meanwhile, I’m over here childless (by absolute choice), working a job that is very much not a career, and although my partner and I aren’t necessarily scraping by, there isn’t much time or nearly enough saved for more than a long weekend trip once or twice a year.

None of this used to bother me, but lately, it’s been gnawing at me. This underlying feeling that somehow my life has less meaning because I haven’t done things the way traditional society approves. Although, the 13-year-old who makes a million dollars a year dancing to fifteen-second music clips isn’t “traditional” either, and no one blinks an eye at that.

And that is what it comes down to. Money.

Money is power. Money is freedom. Money is the physical manifestation of choice. Money buys you a second chance.

Money can also be a psychological bandit.

In 2021, your financial status is seemingly more important than anything else that makes you a person.


The pressure to be “rich” is suffocating.

The dream of financial independence feels more like a hamster-on-a-wheel scenario than something achievable.

The end game of a huge house filled with kids and crap you don’t need feels counter-intuitive to the mindfulness preachings you’ll find on every corner of the internet these days.

Striving for more isn’t new. It’s been around my whole life and long before — but the volume has been cranked up to eleven.



S.J. Elliott

Aspiring story-teller. Ordained coffee connoisseur. I write about processing personal trauma, & my quest to be a better version of myself as a human/woman/wife.