Rick gave me a choice of sorts this weekend. My wish list was long as we made our way to a work function Saturday night and He said, “Babe, if you want to have things, we can stay here in Atlanta and if you want an experience, we can move to New York but we can’t afford both. What’s more important to you?”
What is more important to me……I kind of grew up feeling like I got a bit of both I guess. Back then when the stakes were lower, the things less expensive and my most ardent desires were for two Gap shirts, not just one. Simple. The idealist in me wanted (and still would like) to be a Joe March, desiring a higher life than one dictated by stuff. Like her Professor Baer, I dreamed of marrying a poor yet innately kind and gentle man and hand in hand, we’d be content just living on love.
For the most part, though not penniless, I am living this dream and loving it. Rick and I are grounded as a result of living a life dependent on fixed budgeting and purchasing our pre-owned Ford Taurus station wagon last year or moving into a two bedroom apartment nearly two years ago after spending almost a year in a one bedroom… experiences like these are ones I would not change for anything. Fifty years from now we may look back with a chuckle, sitting on the veranda of a house, finding humor in how easily we were excited.
Now though, I have what I’m realizing as I write is quite the enviable choice. A go in New York, where though we’d be in a smaller apartment again, we’d have a world bursting with life and culture right at our finger tips; where we’d be the norm, not the exception, living in an apartment, having a station wagon if we so choose to bring it, etc.
I suppose there will be comparisons. There always are. But I honestly don’t know, even in a city as wealthy as New York, if there are many places as materially driven as Atlanta. I never knew before living here, especially during my family’s initial stint in the well- to -do neighbor hood of East Cobb, that out ward glitz and image could encapsulate so much of a people’s time and energy. Whether you like it or not, you get swallowed up in it either literally or by just knowing what is up with the Joneses and if you’re a person who cares a lot about what others think, as I do, it can create quite the stress.
Rick also mentioned when we were talking, “I always thought a life with lots of stuff was not what was important to you and that is something I’ve always really admired about you.”
Okay babe…you’re right. That is who I am and what I more want to be.
Oh to shed this earthly skin and get a taste of what is in heaven! Equality in riches but ones that will not fade away and where moth and rust will not destroy. Perfect hearts and minds that will not envy and lust after things they do not need. Rejoicing in others. Content in God’s presence, lacking nothing. Beautiful.