Someone asked me an interesting question yesterday. The question: “What is it you really want? To be rich or to be happy?” I started to answer but they shushed and told me not to answer straight away, to sleep on the question and then answer it soon after waking up from sleep in the morning. Not sure why it was important to answer soon after waking up in the morning, but here I am. I’ve slept on it. I’ve just watched a clip from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I’ve never seen the movie. I’m thinking about putting it in the Netflix queue but not convinced yet. It seems like it might be a little bit overwrought with emotion and sappy and I don’t like things that force me to feel emotional, especially if the emotion is overwrought with sadness.
In any regard, after watching the clip I realized something important. I realized that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being depressed because I don’t have money to afford a 10-bedroom mansion or because I’m not extra-ordinarily talented or extra-ordinarily beautiful or in any way exceptional.
I am going to be 38 years old in just a little over 2 months from now. I’ve spent the last 2 decades being depressed because I’m not what I’ve always wanted to be. I’m not the most beautiful woman in the world. I don’t have the sexiest figure. I’m not more talented than everyone in everything. I am not rich and important. I’ve been torturing myself since I was 12 years old. I’ve always wanted to be more. I have never been satisfied with just being me and it has resulted in decades spent trying to escape the reality of who I am to chase the fantasy of whomsoever I’ve thought it would be better to be. It was always one person or another but never myself that I have considered special; and I have been tortured by wanting to be special not by my own estimation but in the eyes of the world.
I don’t want to continue to torture myself. I can’t allow another decade to pass with me refusing to be happy unless and until I catch whatever it is I’m chasing. I might never catch whatever it is I’m chasing and in that case, if I refuse to be happy otherwise then I will never be happy; or else I might catch it and die a day later. Meanwhile the people I care about are suffering. They are suffering by having to worry about me every day. They are suffering by feeling like they are not enough reason for me to see value in life and to be grateful for each day that I get to spend with them. By lowering the quality of my own life I lower the quality of theirs; and because I am center of my household my thoughts and my feelings control the thoughts and feelings of everyone else. Obviously my husband and my son don’t generally feel too happy or too positive because I am never happy or positive, and whatever I feel they feel.
So what do I want to care about most, my misery over being poor or the happiness of my family, myself included? I don’t like being poor, and I won’t stop trying to change my financial circumstances, but I don’t want to continue putting money concerns ahead of everything. I want to be happy and healthy; and I want the people I love to be happy and healthy. That is more important to me than having millions of dollars. In fact that is more important to me than the fact that I have no money. That we are all alive and well and have each other is not something to take for granted because it is not something that will last. I want to learn to measure the value of each day in the time I get to spend with the people I love, not in how much money I have made.