Wake-up call: 'I no longer wanted to cover up my poverty'

17 Jun 2021Updated: 4 hours ago | 52 people are reading

Wake-up call: 'I no longer wanted to cover up my poverty'

© Grazia Wake-up call: 'I no longer wanted to cover up my poverty'

Name: Elsa (34) | Relationship: married Occupation: executive secretary


"As a little girl I had big dreams. Later I went to live in a villa with its own riding school. I had a closet full of beautiful dresses and when I opened curtains, I saw a pool and a Mini Cooper in the garden.As I grew older, I realized that such dreams are related to your background.Growing up in a terraced house, you are not a hockey girl with your own horse. My parents turned out not to have saved me for school. For lack of money, I chose an intermediate vocational education. I would later follow further courses and climb up. In addition to my studies, I worked hard for employment agencies. Every holiday I filled financial shortages with catering. The day after I graduated, I found a job as a junior secretary, no high-profile work, but full of potential, my parents are not enterprising, and starting for myself was a far-from-my-bed show. contact with managers and direct ie: successful men with fat cars, designer suits and outrageous bonuses I didn't get. Next to them, I quickly felt like a bastard farmer. So when I was promoted to a senior secretary, I bought a Prada bag and a crazy suit. How successful I felt! It was raining compliments. I dyed my hair, invested in expensive clothes and borrowed money for a car. I myself was now one of the rushed women in the pub that I always came to and looked up to. I received respect everywhere. Managers courted me and I got into a relationship with one of them. From then on I wallowed in a world of glamor. Ski weekends, a Valentine's Day trip to New York and finally my Cooper for my birthday. I felt great. Eat that, I thought when I met a curvy, well-worn ex-classmate. "

Cut back

" After a while my relationship went down. My glitzy friend thought I was too domestic and turned out to be cheating. As much as I begged for a retake, he was done. I was allowed to keep the car. Embittered, I rented an apartment and took my ego along with my clothes. I trumpeted everywhere that I proudly kept the honor to myself, but at home I whined the pillows wet. The luxury dinners and shopping spread were over. I had to cut back. But I had become addicted to the luxurious lifestyle. Scented candles of seventy euros each. Six magazine subscriptions and my golf lesson. I couldn't afford all that anymore. I worked like hell, took a side job in a boutique, borrowed money. I sank deeper and deeper, until I owed almost six thousand euros. And then I met Jasper, a fantastic guy. He is a gardener. I used to sniff my nose at that. Jasper was the funniest, fairest and most caring man I had ever met. I fell in love. And he on me, even though he regularly joked that I was "very high maintenance". "

Barbie dolls full of silicone

" Then there was that school reunion. There they were, my ex-classmates. Some were indeed divorced and worn out, but most of the women had dried up super nice. Except for the two strebers, the career chicks that used to live in the villas with swimming pool. Puffed up lips, full cheeks, fleeting, absent look in their eyes and focused on their mobile. It seemed like caricatures. Suddenly I saw myself in that picture and how much effort I spent all this time to be like that. I was embarrassed. I didn't want to be a Barbie. Then no pool or expensive bag. I sold my designer bags and paid off my debts. My cupboards were cleared, and so was my head. Get rid of all pretensions. I no longer wanted to tiptoe continuously. If I now earn a little extra, I treat Jasper to a weekend in Scheveningen. Then we lie in a modal hotel to be very happy and walk hand-in-hand on the beach. Finally I understand what it is really about in life. To accept yourself, to find peace. I found it all and got the perfect friend as a bonus. I am now pregnant. I look forward to working part time, Jasper earns enough for us together and our lovely terraced house. I still have my Cooper, which saves a lot of worries. Furthermore, I no longer care about glamor. Money is fun, but in the end it's about health, love and family. Baking cake and chatting with Jasper in a bistro, in nice jeans from Zara, makes me happy. I have never been so happy. "

Text: Eveline Karman | Image: iStock