An hour before the Powerball drawing, I decided to spend ten bucks and scratch a few numbers on a ticket.
Shortly after, I spent a few minutes doing what every other ticket holder was doing: thinking of what I would do with four hundred million dollars.
(Because to me, $400 million is like a billion.)
So at 8 pm, I had two things to look forward to: American Idol and the Powerball drawing.
Welcome to my glamorous life.
In Los Angeles.
Anyway, at 8:11, my mom called to ask me if I checked my numbers and I looked at the clock and said, “oh, I almost forgot.”
As she was reading off the numbers, I had FOUR out of the five, but not all five and the Powerball.
I promptly took my pinky finger away from the bottom of my lip.
My mom relays the numbers to my dad and he yells out in the background, “well, she won a hundred bucks!”
And my mom points out the obvious, “you were one number away from a million and two numbers away from the Powerball!”
I began to play tricks on myself– mind bending ones, like, “did I almost pick 19, instead of 16? What if I flip the six over and it becomes a nine?”
I still didn’t have the 13.
After having flashbacks of playing MASH with my friends growing up, a peace poured over me.
My life isn’t going to change!
I don’t know if I could “upgrade” my life right now.
I’m truly in love with where I am.
I would bawl my eyes out if I were to leave my antithesis-of-a-mansion apartment; this little space that I’ve often fought to keep.
It’s the very place which, many mornings, motivated me get out of bed to do what I love, so I could come back to just live what I love.
Plus, everything in my little space reminds me of the countless hours I worked for nothing until I was able to get real contract work. Every piece of furniture, (for which I checked my savings) or hand-me-down piece I repurposed, sits indicative of how much I’ve grown.
Long ago, I adopted the toddler mantra, “I do it all by myself!” And let’s face it: the LA common-place “sugar daddy” was never in my plan.
Could you imagine looking at these same things with disgust?
“I dated him for that handbag and chandelier?”
I feel bad for the girls who do and just wish I could pass out magic erasers.
You know, for bad decisions.
“One for you, one for you, and you? You’ll need two.”
Ladies, just don’t.
I’m able to look at “things” in my life and feel the same satisfaction I had when I rewarded myself upon landing a new contract or job.
For example, when I worked for the New England Patriots, I was making two hundred dollars a week, (I knew it would be a great resume builder).
When they won the Super Bowl that year, I bought myself a ring to commemorate my experience.
From Banana Republic.
It’s a giant flower with fake diamonds.
(But I’ll forever know what it represents in my life.)
Had I won the four hundred million, sure, I could buy a real diamond flower ring, but would it have the same effect on my heart?
And when it comes to home, the feeling you get when pulling inexpensive art, a hand-me-down table and your grandmother’s old pictures together is insurmountable.
If I had millions, I’d fire any designer who didn’t at least get me one piece of cheap art from TJ Maxx.
Look, I’m not crazy. I could think of a million wonderful ways to spend a giant fortune; sharing it with my friends and family.
But my one fear is that I’d find myself leaving my new mansion to hop into whatever car I wanted that day and drive past my little apartment…
wishing I could afford what I once had.
Because no amount of money can buy the satisfaction that comes with a life
where you feel like you really win
when you first have to try.
Thank you, God.