So, I know a lot of rich people.
I guess I don’t know anyone in the .001%. But I do know a lot of computer programmers, a lot of lawyers (employed lawyers), and, then, I guess almost anyone who is employed full time in the private sector looks rich compared to academia. For some reason I don’t really know a lot of nonprofit workers, although given my background and interests you’d think I would.
I bring this up because at this very moment I am housesitting for friends of friends in a large, beautiful house in a very expensive city, and it is making me feel like the biggest, most jealous loser ever.
I made the career choices I made with some very countercultural goals in mind, and it’s not like I don’t believe in those choices or goals, or like I didn’t understand that academic salaries were bad, or that mine was the only paycheck I was likely to be able to count on. But damn it, I want a house anyway! I want to somehow win the cosmic lottery where I both do the thing I believe in, and also get paid real money. And I’ll probably never have a house in a place I actually want to live in, because all those places are very expensive. It’s a goal that seems much further out of my reach than retirement.
So, I am allowing myself this brief moment of whining before getting back to making the best of the circumstances I’m actually in. Which are fine, really. It’s just too easy to casually envy the lives of others.