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I’ve been feeling a growing sense of contentment. I couldn’t place my finger or understand. We have so little. What in the world could I be happy about? Then I had an epiphany – I have what I truly need. Not much more, but enough to get by.

I worked a couple weekends ago at a bar. I remember being blown away when a customer came up to the bar to ordered a drink and pulled out a wad thicker than my fist, full of hundreds. I was actually stunned into temporary silence. I went home and told Patrick about it and how nice it would be to have all that money. True to form, he put it in perspective for me. That gentleman may have all that money, but it is likely all he has. He keeps it with him at all times and shows it off, not because he’s well off but because he wants to seem like he’s well off. It’s like a house of cards: You build it up so it can stand but there’s no security in it. And like everything insecure, it too will fall. The sense of sadness I feel for someone living like that is profound because I can relate. I didn’t realize I was living in my own house of cards until it all fell.

A good friend of mine comes to mind. I feel our friendship was strained because I was/still am/always will be envious of her financial security. She had money to buy things for her children, go out to eat, buy gifts for her friends and family, etc. She had money. I always felt insanely insecure around her. For so long, I felt she had everything I didn’t. I look back now and I wonder if she felt a similar sense of insecurity. I often interpreted her statements of spending $150 on a nightgown or the new car she was getting ready to purchase or the expensive vacation she could afford to go on as catty comments, rubbing in that I couldn’t do what I was supposed to for my family.

Now I wonder if perhaps she was similar to the gentleman above. Maybe she felt she was showing off all that she had to offer. She often made statements about how lucky I was to have that complete family unit. I wrote off her comments as an attempt to make me feel better. But I see the truth of her words now. There is a great sense of comfort knowing I have my family to come home to. No money, certainly, but I’m happy. I hope she knows that her true worth wasn’t in the money she has or the clothes she’s able to buy or the trips she can take people on. She is awesome because she is a kind and loving person. Plain and simple.

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