|Great car, great man, great weather. Life is good.|
The other day something my dad told me when I was young crossed my mind and since then I can't stop thinking about it.
"As people get older, no matter how much money they have, it's never enough," he told me. "You have more bills, more responsibilities, bigger desires." Of course when he told me this back when I was around 16, money was fun but it wasn't everything. I was in high school and worked part-time at Pacific Sunwear (not like I wasn't already at the mall enough without that job). My biggest concerns were friends, boys and clothes. Money was an afterthought. As long as I had my bi-monthly paycheck and I could afford to pay for frivolous amounts of clothing at Forever 21 and all the gas needed for cruising the strip downtown (yes, we were very American Graffiti) then I was happy.
From age 16 to 25, my father's words never quite rang true and so I assumed they must have only applied to him. But then this crazy little thing called 30 started knocking on my door the other day, warning me of its impending entrance into my life in about one year, when I realized, suddenly, that my dad was completely right. I have more money now than I've ever had since leaving the comfortable confines of my parents' house for college many moons ago. If I see something I want then I buy it. Rarely do I have to "save up" for most of my purchases (purchases like homes aside) -- a far cry from where I was just one year ago in DC. I now dine at fine restaurants, drive a nice car, tote around my stash of Nars as though I've owned it my whole life. So why isn't it enough?
Needs aside, I think what it basically comes down to is the more I have the more I want. I know that money isn't everything (in fact if I could pick just one sticking point for my entire life it would be perfect health), but money is amazing. It's fun and so far it's freeing. Suddenly things I never imagined owning or doing in my 20s -- designer things (aka not from Forever 21), trips to cute destinations like Napa, routine massages -- are a reality. It's surreal. And as disgusting as it sounds, it's not enough. I don't know why I should feel ashamed or apologetic for saying it.
I want more; I want better. Not just material things, but experiences, tastes, sights. I love where I am right now and I enjoy myself in the now, but I never want to stop fine-tuning our guage so the only way is up. Maybe I'm turning into a full-blown hedonist. Who knows.
We all have different wants and needs, but I think my dad was right: The more comfortable you grow to be, the more your standards rise. In turn many of us are forever playing the magpie -- reaching for that sparkly whatnot just out of fingertips' reach. And once you're able to grab at it, then there's something else even sparklier on the horizon. Your nest and your memories become more distended by better things and better experiences but you continue reaching. Because everyone should see a sunset over the Mediterranean once in their life, because that wine aged 18 years was the best you ever tasted, because that nice car you commute in to work makes you smile each time you fasten your seat belt.
I guess we continually strive for more because we want to top what we've already done, no matter how great.