So for my birthday last week, I got a bunch of beautiful gifts, greeting, hugs, kisses, smiles and memories that I will forever be grateful for. I am so happy to say that this was even better than the best eighteenth-birthday I could ever imagine. Yes, I did have school, I didn’t make myself a cake, I had to sit through my least favorite subject in class, and I had homework to tide me over from fun. But at the same time, the little things that happened in between–when people would give me a hug, say hi, tell me that I sang well at the school’s Coffee House, said “Happy Birthday”, or even acknowledged me and smiled–made all of the difference. That is the best gift I’ve ever gotten: feeling valued as a person by everyone.
Today for my Tuesday Thoughts, I will touch up upon my birthday and something that really speaks out to me about money, presents, and value overall. I was given two gifts this year, both of which costed more than a hundred dollars. Now that may seem really expensive, but that is also very cheap in comparison to many lavish gifts. The two birthday gifts I will compare are an aqua Kate Spade wallet, and a Whole Foods gift card with two small kabochas. Don’t get me wrong, I am so, so, so, so, so thankful for both presents and for both people who got those presents for me. I would have never thought that they would get such wonderful things and I treasure them with all my heart. That being said, to be quite honest, I am much more excited about the Whole Foods card and kabochas than I am with the wallet. I know it’s astounding, but here’s why.
Firstly, I’ve deprived my life of Whole Foods for years and years and years, and shopping at Whole Foods is such a luxury for my family and I that we really only go there once or twice a month, plus we really only purchase a single-digit number of items whenever we go, and it’s usually snacks such as dark chocolate or some Nature’s Path cereal that we wouldn’t necessarily find anywhere else. It’s not easy if you are a self-obsessed foodie and health nut who sees all these people on social media or even in real life going to expensive health food stores and farmers’ markets on a regular basis. It’s completely unfair. Whole Foods is obviously not my number one priority, but it’s something that I constantly talk about and dream of going to because the vibe is sensational. Every time I walk in, I feel zen, I feel focused, I feel like I can express my love for health and food openly. Some people may think it’s snobbish there, but everyone’s different.
Second of all, it’s not like I had to shovel my change and my cards in my purse when out and about. I already had a pretty decent wallet that fit in my purse and was quite sturdy without being too bulky or easily damaged. There was nothing wrong with it. And frankly, I’m not one who goes seeking out designer brand names or luxury fashion items just for name brand or designer brand. I just find that type of lifestyle to be so superficial, so arrogant and actually quite ignorant because you don’t invest in anything that will benefit you in the long run. When my father was just out of college, he actually had to save up a lot of money to buy his first Calvin Klein jacket; within weeks, it ripped. I’m sure Calvin Klein’s quality is much better not than it was thirty years ago, but still.
What’s so weird is that the majority of people reading this would tackle each other and kill to have my new wallet, whereas for me personally, I couldn’t care less. There is so much desire, so much effort that’s being put into buying stuff like this, when in reality, you need to be investing in your own happiness, your health, your energy, your future, etc. I see all of these people obsessing over iPhone upgrades, jewelry, clothes, makeup, they basically have an entire list of what they want. This year, I really don’t have one. Sure, I want little things here and there, but they’re stuff I can get any time I want to with my own money. I don’t need to wait for my loved ones to get it for me.
Recently, I watched this video on Bubzbeauty’s channel called “How to Worry Less About Money”. It was so moving and really spoke out to me; basically, the message is that you have to be grateful of absolutely everything in your life right now. We complain that we need more and more, that we don’t have enough, when there are others in the world who have to travel endlessly for clean water or don’t even know when their next meal is going to be. You can watch the whole video at the link above for the entire discussion, and I highly recommend that you do so 🙂
In other words, I’m not going to say that I don’t like the new wallet, because to be honest, I love it. It’s beautiful and it’s very classy. I’m still incredibly blessed that these people got me that wallet and that I was in their thoughts. However, I prefer presents that will change my life in some way, give me a new experience, or change me in a personal way. The Whole Foods gift card grants me an experience that I can only get once in a while; it sounds crazy, but I love stepping into Whole Foods–more than a boutique, actually. If buying a handbag or a wallet makes you happy, that’s awesome, and if a slow cooker or a ticket to Bali will make you happy, that’s great too. Health and happiness are the best investments.
Have you received any wonderful gifts? What is your favorite?