Lesson 25: I do not know what anything is for

The watch glistened inside the case. It was so pretty. I had waited for a long time to buy this. Saving and scrimping through the past 6 months to own this beautiful thing. I had imagined the compliments I would get when I would wear it. The envy in my nemesis’s eye, the admiration in my friend’s…I was waiting to elicit so many compliments for it.

And then when I had finally saved enough, bought it, and worn it, it was special for just a day or two. It elicited some compliments, some snide remarks and was surprisingly ignored by some people. By the third day I felt like no one cared. By the end of the first week, even I had not felt it was special anymore. It was a pretty watch. So what?

Looking at it now, I felt guilt emerge. I remembered Mom’s shock when I told her how much it had cost me. “We could have run this house for 6 months with that money,” she had screamed! “Why did you buy it!”

Why did I buy it, I asked myself? Had I proved my worth to others with its purchase? Had I silenced the people who put me down? Had I proven my worth to myself? Was my worth really defined by a watch? I had really hoped it would make me popular. But it looked like watches don’t make you popular. They just get you in a whole lot of trouble with your parents. Did I really have lame goals? Why did I believe buying such an expensive watch would be good for me?

Slipping the watch on my hand, I noticed who heavy and uncomfortable it actually felt. I felt scared to do anything when it was on my arm, for fear of damaging it. And yet, I had made this watch a symbol of hope, of friendship, of popularity, of success. Truth was I did not know what the watch was for. I looked around my bedroom. All around me were the symbols of my life. The handbag on the chair, the sunglasses on the table. I did not know what anything is for. I gave things my meaning of worthy and unworthy, good and bad, but it all seemed meaningless. It was nothing. Neither good nor bad. They were all just silly goals I pursued, believing they meant something.

Walking to the cupboard, I kept the watch inside the locker. Maybe I could sell it. It surely wasn’t going to give me what I wanted because I didn’t seem to really know what I wanted either.

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