Everyone has considered it.
Finding that genie lamp.
“Only” three. Because we’re greedy and we want more. We want to wish for more wishes, but the genie says “No, no, no!”
Three wishes to improve your life.
So, you start brainstorming… what do I really want?
Peace. Love. Money. Sex. Fun. Adventure.
What I really want is happiness. Legitimate. Not fake happy. Like alcohol. Like cheap sex. Like drugs. Real happy.
So, if I find the lamp, right here, right now… what do I choose?
My Three Wishes
Wish #1 – $5 million
“Um. Hey Matt! Are you retarded? Why not just ask for $50 million? Or $500 million? Or $10 billion?”
Because I’ve really been hung up on this one. I’ve been thinking about it all morning, because I take my hypothetical nonsense very seriously.
I’ll tell you why not all those bigger numbers. Because I can’t trust that I wouldn’t become a complete asshole with a billion dollars.
As silly as it sounds to non-rich people like me, $5 million is a conservative wish.
Here’s what $5 million does for me.
- It eliminates my debt. Whew. That was annoying.
- I can put $1 million away for my five-year-old son to accrue interest for the next 20 years before he’s allowed to touch it.
- I can put $2 million away for myself to accrue interest for the next 20 years. That’s $7.7 million if I earn 7 percent over that period. I’ll be 55. I’ll be comfortable. But not a rich asshole.
- I have time. I have about $1.5 million left over to just live on. I can write. I can travel. I can pursue my individual goals and interests with the freedom of not being chained to a corporate job, and not being a slave to debt.
- It’s enough money to eliminate worry. But not enough to make me lazy. It’s enough money to make me more attractive, but not so much that I’d have to worry about a woman only wanting to be with me because of the money. I would still have the drive to pursue my writing interests. No wishing for shortcuts. I’d have the time to write books. Maybe even ones that matter. That someone cared about. But I would have earned it on my own. That would be amazing.
That feels like the right number. Maybe the genie will talk me into $10 million.
“You gotta think about inflation, Matt. You just gotta,” the genie might say.
“Fine, genie. Fine. Make it $10 mil. Whatevs.”
Wish #2 – Musical competence
I want to take my love of writing and my love of music and put them to use creating songs. And if I really understood music and knew how to play instruments and could carry a tune, I might be able to pull that off.
I want to play guitar and piano. I think that’s enough. I can learn other instruments the old-fashioned way, but I’m not afraid to cheat my way to talented musician.
What a gift that would be.
Maybe people would like my music. Maybe they wouldn’t. But I’d love to be able to create it.
This will probably sound really vain. But I would love to make people feel the way I do, when I’m standing in the concert crowd. Just totally moved. Very, very powerful stuff. And if I had an expert understanding of musical composition and the talent to play and sing? Maybe I could pull it off. Regardless, it would be awfully fun to try.
Wish #3 – A no-gamble marriage
And by no-gamble, I mean the genie magically guarantees that when I decide who I want to be with for the rest of my life, that there’s no chance she leaves or ever wants to.
I don’t need a fairytale. With the freedom of having a few million dollars in the bank, and the freedom to pursue my love of writing, cooking and music, and travel anywhere I want, I would have the opportunity to create the fairytale myself.
She’s in it for the long haul. Maybe with the magical stipulation that if I’m an asshole, the spell is broken. No quitting. That doesn’t mean she never gets upset with me. If she didn’t, how would I ever grow?
I just don’t want to invest another five, 10, 20 years in someone only to have it fall apart again.
That will be my biggest fear in this new chapter of my life.
I want to find her myself. I want to earn her love myself. But when she arrives, I’d like to never have that ugly little voice in the back of my head poking and prodding like I know it will.
Maybe she doesn’t like you anymore. Maybe she doesn’t love you anymore. Maybe she doesn’t like having sex with you anymore. Maybe she’s having sex with someone else. Maybe she wants someone else. Maybe she hates you. You’re not good enough.
I could do without that.
That will be the curse of my current wish coming true. Just to meet someone who really matters. The person to share the couch with on Friday night. To sit on the other side of the breakfast table. To at least be open to the idea of being a stepmom to my precious son.
Once that happens, it will be a whole new set of problems.
All that doubt creeping in.
Poisoning my imagination with jealousy and paranoia. Things I never experienced until a couple years ago.
And never want to experience again.
The Really Important Stuff
In the end, we all just want to be happy.
To be happy, we must feel grateful for the many blessings in our lives. Our health. Our opportunity to even be alive. Our various blessings in their various forms.
We must feel physically healthy. Mentally healthy. Emotionally healthy. Spiritually healthy.
I think with money.
And a healing talent like music.
And the love of a beautiful woman—beautiful in all the ways that really matter.
I think I can feel gratitude.
I think I would have the time and money to pursue a supremely healthy lifestyle.
I think I could stave off my demons and find the spiritual peace I need to be the best me possible. The best father possible. The best friend possible. The best husband possible. The best man possible.
I don’t want it handed to me. None of it.
I don’t just want to wish to be a famous musician with millions of dollars and the happiest marriage on the planet.
The journey matters.
The ability to discover ourselves and mold ourselves into the people we want to be is how we achieve that happiness we all long for.
So, a pile of freedom in the form of financial security?
A talent I don’t, and never will have, without the help of my new genie friend?
The promise of loving without fear? Forever after gift-wrapped for me once I find her?
That sounds like providence to me.
A special thanks to the Daily Prompt for inspiring this post.