I’m out of my mind, staying up until now. I have not been to bed yet. I’m thinking about so many things, and a lot of them have to do with food, music, my life, and finances. This was supposed to be a lengthy, reflective post on what I’d do if all those spam mails I get all the time were real. What if all those people and European banks had millions waiting for me? What would I–some Brokey McPoverty dame from the Southside of Chicago do with all that cash? Would I empty out my Amazon list, would I make smart investments, or would I turn into a freak of nature, stashing huge wads of cash all over the house in a hoard-like fashion?

I’ve heard stories about people like that–money changes them, but not so much for the better.

A lot of my writing heroes have become millionaires. Or, at least have enough dough for Prada sunglasses and Nars lip tars and glosses. Folks constantly say that money doesn’t buy them happiness, but let me be very honest–if I could skyrocket into my writing career, reach people, do what I love AND kick Sallie Mae and Great Lakes in the butt, I would be very happy. I would march to both offices in person, throw a bag of money at somebody and be like “y’all can’t bother the kid no f*cking more!”

I would be very happy to donate money to my uncle’s church, pay off my dad’s bills, and invest in all the cool companies that pretty much run the world. However, isn’t that material happiness? AH! Nichiren Buddhism strikes again! So early in the morning. I suppose it reminded me of a discussion meeting that happened some time last year, when we talked about relative happiness, and absolute happiness. (it took a minute for me to remember what it was, lol. I KNEW in my heart it was there, but the words were failing me.)

Relative– That kind of happiness that comes from money and material things. It comes, it goes. Always in transition. Fleeting, moving, might be here today, might not be here tomorrow!

Absolute– Longer lasting happiness. Nothing and no one can take it away from us. Comes from internal transformation. In the discussion, we went over absolute, and defined it as an emotional-type feeling from doing good for other people. In other words, perpetuating kosen-rufu.

Believe me, it would be a blessing to come up from where I am right now. However, what I’m doing right now is just as important. It’s MUCH more important. What is money, materials, and riches if my soul is not at ease? What is a fancy house, cars, and an Amazon wishlist if I still don’t like who I am? I can be debt free but still not like the person I am. Wouldn’t that be bonkers? Wouldn’t that make the windfall very hard to celebrate? There would always be something missing.

It would also be very lonely to have all those things, and not have someone to share them with. As sticky and sickening as it sounds, I would like to have a family someday. I’m pushin’ 30, and let’s face it–sooner becomes later, later becomes a regret. I think I’ll fight that part tooth and nail just to prove I’m worthy of a husband/wife, and some kids. I’m not a Susie Homemaker, but I think I’d make a pretty great wife and mom. I’d love to share the fruits of my labor with more than just myself, other fam, and community.

I think moments of reflection allow me…any person…to see where they are, and what work still needs to be done. What parts of selfishness still linger? Where do I still need to change and grow? Lots of places! Inside, and out! Those are things money could probably speed up, but time and wisdom create a much more organic progression.

(although tbh, I would LOOOOVE to donate a big ol’ fat check to the SGI Pride Parade committee, and have a sparkly, fabulous float!)

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