By Sasha G.
“Is there anything else I can get you at the moment?”
“Not unless you have a million dollars to give me.”
This used to be a very frequent dialog with my customers in the days when I worked in the service industry. I heard this answer so many times, yet each and every time I would get stuck not knowing what to say, and how to handle such a request. I would awkwardly reply back with something like: “Yeah, I wish,” stumbling away from the conversation. Obviously it was just a joke, but still … did these people sitting down to dinner all really need one million dollars?
There was a time in my life where I dreamed of expensive stuff. If only I could have the latest edition Gucci bag and wear Chanel clothes. Not even expensive houses or cars, but just stuff like bags and shoes and watches — all that was flashy with big name brands. I thought that I could have it all if my wrist yelled Rolex and my jewelry was Cartier, or something like that. Only the thought of how expensive I would look gave me some sort of satisfaction. It was almost as if the fancy names like Prada and Dior ruled my life.
I remember one time sitting down with a good friend of mine for dinner and telling her how I thought I was rich. I wasn’t wealthy or anything, but I felt that I was made of money, and I was happy about it. I really had this feeling of being a wealthy person deep down in my soul and it felt great.
In reality, I was an average person at the time — working 2 jobs, making decent money to live and buy stuff. I was working towards a dream and a goal then, and that life gave me a great feeling of accomplishment. I had a great support system, and the sky was my limit. I was happy, and it was all I needed, I was feeling “rich” in all aspects of my life.
Later on, when that dream had fallen to pieces and my entire world crushed, I started to re-evaluate and honestly think about what it was that I really wanted in my life. Was it success, money or did I just want to be happy? Would I be happy if I had a brand new car? Yes, and I was for the first few months until it came time for its first oil change. New cars are fun, and I looked good driving it, but I needed money to take care of it — money that I didn’t always have.
Maybe if I went back to school I would find something fulfilling to occupy my time? That certainly was a gratifying choice — I had found myself a new goal that came with new accomplishments that in turn made me happy. The want for stuff faded away. I didn’t even feel bad giving away my expensive TV when I moved — for free!
At one point during my school days it hit me, I will always be lacking for something. It is hard to reach absolute happiness and truly feel like you’ve got it all. Once you have a little bit of money, you want more. Once you have a small car, you need a bigger, better one. Once you have one house, the need for a vacation home comes along with it. If you visit one place and have a great time, you need to do it again and again somewhere else.
Have you ever met someone who sincerely believes she has enough? I haven’t. Whether or not I had the money, I always needed a pair of cute high heels; it was never enough.
After all this time, I never have owned any of the expensive stuff except for a fake Moncler winter coat ordered on a Chinese website, and my iPhone. However, I have come to a realization that stuff doesn’t matter. It was just a temporary need that was meant to mask and hide some deeper pains. Stuff doesn’t matter, and I don’t care for it anymore.
Even more, now I could care less about any of the world-renowned name brands. Now I care about my parents being healthy, spending more quality time with my husband, traveling as much as I can, and I don’t even care if my shoes are 2 years old.
I’m not even sure what I would do with a million dollars — probably give it away because really all I need in my life now is a small house near the beach, warm weather, and quality time with the people I love. My recipe is simple: be grateful for what you have, appreciate where you are and enjoy life to the fullest even if it means you have to wear the same cheap sweater next winter.
Sasha G. is an exceptional risk taker. Her life is ruled by passion and positivity and she believes that everything she does needs to be fun and fulfilling. She lives and plays, and is continuously looking for opportunities to improve.