I may not have a seven figure bank account or ride around in a chariot pulled by fire-breathing dire badgers, but I realized something the other day: as much as I may bitch and moan about any number of things going on in the world, I actually have everything I’ve ever wanted to get out of life.
The mind wanders in the dark of the night and mine is no exception – I do some of my best ruminating once the sun goes down and the stars come out. The other evening was one of those times, and in thinking back to where my life was just a few short years ago in comparison to where it is now I found myself filled with the sublime wonder that Emerson referred to as being filled with joy “to the brink of fear.” Just over three years ago, I had suffered a debilitating psychological breakdown brought about by a horrible job working as a call center representative for a major cable provider that resulted in unemployment and the kind of mental and emotional paralysis that left both myself and the woman that would eventually become my wife destitute and nearly homeless, yet today I’ve built a successful freelancing business, gotten married, and managed to knock up my wife.
In less than two months, I’ll be a father. A few more months after that and we’ll be moving from our little cottage to a two-bedroom home in the middle of the Adirondack State Park on nearly 7 acres of land. I’ve got money in the bank – even if it’s going to be spent on diapers – and I earn enough to pay all our bills and still enjoy entertainment like the occasional trip to the movies or weekend visit to friends and family. Sure, the old job working for Cablevision might have paid quite a bit more than I’m earning now, but thanks to the wonders of working from home I don’t have to miss one single moment of my daughter growing up, and that’s worth the price of admission.
I’m never going to pull down the kind of income that will require me to have a whole room full of accountants working over time to find me tax shelters or manage my overseas accounts in the Cayman Islands, but that’s not the least bit important to me. Not that I’m going to rest on my laurels, mind you; I’ve got a family to take care of and you’d better believe that I would do whatever it takes to work my ass off to make sure they always have a roof over their heads and the rest of their needs are met. At the same time I don’t need the trappings of status that denotes “success” in modern society. What need do I have for all of that when I’ve already gotten everything I’ve ever dreamed about?