'Money, Money, Money' by Abba (1976)
I have two shameless things to admit and they're connected. 1) I will not give up until all of my talents and creativity are fully recognized and utilized to their full potential. 2) I will use my recognition and success to save up enough money to fully invest (time and finances) in altruistic causes and also leave America for good.
Both of these facts are probably very common thoughts that people have. I want to have enough finances to back and get more involved in causes that I care passionately about. And there are a lot of humanitarian and social justice causes on my list. Or, I could start my own organization that helps people. There are too many causes out there right now for me to give my time and money to. My wife recommended that for now, I pick one cause per month to give $10 to; otherwise, I feel guilty. If I had all the time and money, I'd back all of the causes I believe in (environmentalism, marriage equality, education, Jewish/Israel issues to name a few).
Also, I want to be able to finally say 'au revoir America.' I don't want to go on a rant on that topic, but I'm done with 'Merica. I feel that this society is unravelling and falling apart. Frankly, I'd rather live in Europe for awhile and then move to Israel. With financial stability, yes, I could travel. That's not enough. I want to live in different countries and experience life from a different perspective. America is not the ONLY way to be.
Don't misconstrue what I've said. I don't want to sit here and say that 'I want to be famous' or 'I want to be wealthier than Donald Trump'. I am not the type of person who thinks that money is the end all be all to life. There's a saying that 'money makes peopel funny'. I do believe that people can turn into monsters and become corrupt by money. I do believe, though, that money allows you to explore the world in ways that you couldn't if you didn't have it. Having financial freedom allows you to travel, explore creative talents, get involved in charities. People who live paycheck to paycheck worry about if they'll have enough to cover rent AND groceries for the next few weeks.
Have you ever walked into a grocery store, looked around, and thought to yourself 'it's really nice that these other people have the luxury to fill their cart with groceries and not worry about the cost'? I used to be in that camp, where I'd throw things in my cart and as long as it's under $80, it's okay. Now, I don't even spend $80 on groceries in a week (it takes almost three weeks to rack up that amount). Or maybe I think about these things because I grew up in upper-middle class suburbia where most people flash a credit card and worry about things like making a haircut or manicure appointment and still have time to get the kids from school. I'm not bashing that lifestyle. I'm not criticizing any lifestyle.
There was a time when I never gave a thought to what I spent money on. I threw away money on many frivolous things when I was younger. That part of me is, thankfully, gone. I am definitely much more aware of the difference between 'need' and 'want'. Moreover, I think that I've finally become thankful for the hardships I've been facing over the past few years. The bubble has been removed and I'm seeing things with fresh eyes. And for the first time I feel blessed for that.
You have to understand something. I am not materialistic nor do I consider myself greedy or a capitalist consumer. Sure, I like nice things like the next person. But honestly, I don't need all of the latest gadgets and toys. I am often the last one to have the latest 'cool phone'. I got an Iphone for the first time this past December, and my wife got it for me as a Hanukkah gift. It was a .99 cent upgrade and I did not get the latest model. Often, when I tell people this, they're like 'oh wow..oh it's not an Iphone 5'. I could give a shit. And to be honest, I only wanted an Iphone because I like touch screen phones for convenience. I also feel like, being in NYC, I have to have access to email and other apps while I'm on the go.
Okay, now I sound petty and materialistic. The fact of the matter is that I've realized how much society relies on a piece of paper that tears when wet and burns when lit on fire. Money comes and goes. So many people take what they have for granted. Or, quite frankly they work like dogs just to be 'middle class'. You know that age old American Dream. Well, a long time ago I figured out that the American Dream doesn't really exist. The American Dream is a bullshit sham. It's programed into our brains from an early age. Buy a nice house with a picket fence; Golden Retrievers are optional. Get married and build a family; maybe have two or three kids. That's plastic. Whose dream is that anyway?
Now, all I want for myself is to be recognized for all of my merits and talents. I admit that I'm a little bit of an ego-maniac, though one with a low self-esteem. I balance thinking one minute that I'm a genius Renaissance Man and the next that I'm a talentless hack. And NYC makes me feel even more manic. Being in NYC, I have to think I'm the cat's pajamas. But often it's a fake bravado, a fake confidence. I take criticism seriously and to heart because I want to impress the pants off of everyone I meet. I don't understand it when people ignore me or don't want to be my friend immediately. Yes, it's sad. But this is all truth speak!
I'm not going to say that I want to be 'famous'. I just want my talents to lead me to a road of success. There are too many individuals out there who have loads of success based on vapidity. I just want to be able to offer the world something, infuse positivity with what I create. I don't want to be another bombastic vampire. I feel like that there are loads of individuals who are successful, and they truly do not deserve it. What's more is they abuse their power and status. Take Justin Bieber for instance who spits on people for sport. What a punk! But there's a difference between true leaders and mere wax figurines of pop-culture.
I want to be a leader, and I've always felt this to be my destiny. Like many people in the world, I have always felt like I was destined for great things, whatever that may mean. However, when they actually do happen, I don't feel like I deserve them. It's weird, I balance humility with pompousness by thinking negative thoughts when I get a compliment. Or I tell myself that the other person is lying to my face that I'm good at whatever they're complimenting me for. Or my reaction is sheer surprise because I don't deserve to be recognized. At times, I really feel like I have an angel and a devil on each shoulder. One part of my psyche has taken up all of the bullying and manipulative negativity I've dealt with. The other part of my psyche tries to build up my self-esteem by reminding me that I do deserve success and eventually will get it.
All I want is to one day have enough financial freedom that has come about from my G-d given talents and merits to be able to do things like travel and explore my art. I'm not saying that you can only do these things if you're wealthy. I do know, that at this juncture in my life, I feel like I've missed out on many opportunities and possibilities. I've missed many friends' weddings (some in other countries) and I haven't been able to take full advantage of living in NYC all because of my current life situation. I'm not going to merely blame it on finances. The fact is that right now I'm just stuck. I'm a motorboat with a propeller that stopped working. And most days I despise getting on Facebook because I see that other people are sailing through life on private yachts and cruise ships.
I'm not jealous of other people's wealth or happiness. I'm just jealous of their success especially when I question how it was attained or if it's at all deserved. And note that I don't want their specific success. As I said, you never know what someone else did to get to where they are. I just want success for myself. And right now I am at the opposite end of success. I don't like seeing old friends or being out in social situations because when I talk about what I'm doing at the moment, I sound like a big fat loser. What I want is my confidence back. I want the ability to talk to people and not give a shit what they think. I've always challenged the status quo and gone against the grain, beating to my own drum.
I guess I'm going to try and pick up the pieces of my life and build my own damn sailboat. Tomorrow is a new opportunity to conquer the world and I have yet another chance to make the world recognize all of my potential and reward all of my talents/creativity. I'm going to carve my own way in this universe and continue spreading light and love. And that's what I need to remember. I could deal to be a little more cutthroat and competitive but without being nasty. Fighting for what you want doesn't mean you need to be a greedy, immoral asshole. The world has too many of those. I will just be me and inject passion and light into everything I do. I will paint the world in a tie-dye kaleidoscope of color!
Love and Light,
NPR: 'American Dream Faces Harsh New Reality'
I swore I'd chase until I was dead
I heard the streets were paved with gold
That's what my father said."