Today is my last day of housesitting. After almost a month of being ensconced in 15,000 square feet of luxurious space, I’m moving back home to my one bedroom apartment. You think I’d be sad, but I’m not, and it’s not just because I’m looking forward to seeing the Hollywood sign. (my apartment has a partial view of the Hollywood sign if you crane your neck and it’s the right time of the year when there’s not a lot of foliage)
Sometimes when I look around at all of the abundance in Los Angeles it’s easy to get down on myself. Why I am still not able to own a home? How have my choices not made me more successful? What am I doing wrong that causes me to not be as fabulous as I wish I could be?
Money makes everything a little easier, a little less stressful, a lot more comfortable. In a few weeks I’m off to France and I’d give anything to be able to purchase an upgrade into the front of the plane. I’ll be kicking in coach however, trying to elevate my ankles so they don’t look like a couple of pythons that swallowed a tube of tennis balls. It’ll stink, there’s no two ways about it, but once we get there, Sam and I’ll have the time of our lives.
My friend Tate told me once (when I was complaining about not being a “real” writer since I’ve never been published) that success doesn’t bring happiness. If you’re miserable before you hit it big, you’ll be miserable afterwards. Once in awhile this crosses my mind…as I balance my checkbook, as I wish on every star I see for a publishing deal, as I figure out how to make a vintage dress look new again…and I think, Tate is the dumbest guy I’ve ever met. I would give my eye teeth to write a check for a million dollars and not blink. I’d love to be able to buy Carrie’s Bradshaw’s closet. Actually, I’d be thrilled with just the closet. Mine is so small I have to rotate seasons.
And yet the truth is, the house, the designer creations, the fat checkbook of success…how long would that happiness last until I’d be chasing the next fix? There’s always something that gets in the way of happiness. I’m returning to an apartment where I can run around and touch every wall in less than ten seconds. When I climb into bed at night I can hear the woman downstairs talking (and by talking I mean screeching in Irish) on the phone. At my house there’s no dishwasher, no flat screen TVs, no washer, no dryer, no pool, no jacuzzi…it takes five steps to be in the bathroom and five more steps to be out the door. And yet I’m leaving paradise and I’m not only okay with it, I’m truly happy to go home. What’s wrong with me?