Too Much

Within the first twenty minutes of arriving home last Saturday, my sister announced that she wanted to take me shopping.

“As in you’re going to buy me clothes?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she chirped.

I couldn’t believe it! I was about to go shopping on her dime! I  hadn’t been treated on a shopping trip in such a long time!  And even though I am downsizing my closet, there are still a couple of pieces I wanted.

“Really? Ok. I want to get a pair of grey jeans and a pair of shorts and maybe a light jacket.”

“No no, honey,” she said in a condescending way, “we’re getting you some nice work clothes.”

“But I don’t need work clothes,” I insisted.

“Of course you do. You’re going to need good clothes for interviewing.”

I looked over at my mom. She agreed. Oh man. I knew I had to confess that I wouldn’t be interviewing.

“Can I open the pwesent?” Micah, my nephew, asked my sister.

“Oh yeah! I have your present,” my mom beamed.

Milo was so excited about the present, my sister explained. I wasn’t surprised. Micah was always eager for gifts. My sister and her son when to find the gift.

When they came back into the kitchen, Micah was carrying the gift.

“Want to open it for me?” I asked.

“Yeah!”

Micah struggled with the bow. After I helped him slide it off he tore into the paper.

“Let’s rip it, dibs,” he said to his two year-old sister on my lap.

When it was finally opened, I saw that my mom had purchased me a white button-up shirt. It was the quintessential white-collar work shirt. It was punctual, practical, stable and responsible. I looked at the tag: a very expensive brand.

I looked up at my mom. It was too much. I made a face. I may or may not have said, “what the fuck?” She got really upset that I didn’t like the shirt.  And I feel bad about my reaction. It’s a well-made shirt from a fancy company. And yet, the shirt doesn’t fit into my life. I’m trying to simplify my life and I don’t want expensive clothes. I hate the fact that I’ve wasted so much of my money on clothes and other meaningless things. I want my money to go to experiences.

Over dinner, after my dad sat down, I started my confession. I had been practicing it: “I have some good news and some bad news.”

“Oh no. What is it?” my mom asked.

“Well, the good news is, I have been offered a teaching job at a University. The bad news is, it’s in San Luis Obispo. Now I know you wanted me to live at home for a while, but I hope you can see this as a great opportunity for me.”

Resistance commenced.

“I’m not taking you shopping, then,” she sister said with her eyes wide and her eyebrows up.

It took a little while, but everyone agreed it’s a great job. And yet, my mom made sure I knew there was a caveat for her approval: “Make sure you get a full-time position with them.”

And even though she wanted to buy me interview clothes, my sister and I still went shopping the next day. “We can get whatever you want,” she said. We went the next day. I felt so grateful to have such a generous sister.

As for the shirt, my mom is having me return it. She said this morning I could keep the refund money, which is just shy of the amount of money I need for the new backpack I’ve been coveting. It almost feels like I’m too fortunate; that I don’t deserve these wonderful things.

The blessings keep raining down on me and my life. Ever since I began meditating and really seeking to live for myself, life has gotten easier. It’s almost as though a portal has opened in the universe, or maybe I am just attracting exactly what I need. Now I just have to believe that I deserve a magical existence, the kindness and generosity of others, good fortune, and to live my dreams.

Just now, as I was writing about getting the backpack, I got a strange call. When I picked up a pre-recorded voice was telling me that right now was a time for miracles and blessings. It certainly feels that way.

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