The Three Wishes

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No wishing for more wishes. Just three.
No wishing for more wishes. Just three.

Everyone has considered it.

Finding that genie lamp.

Three wishes.

“Only” three. Because we’re greedy and we want more. We want to wish for more wishes, but the genie says “No, no, no!”

Just three.

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?”

Good questions.

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.

  1. It eliminates my debt. Whew. That was annoying.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

$5 million.

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.

Growth 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.

56 thoughts on “The Three Wishes”

  1. You know what I like most about your list? You didn’t list fixing your marriage as a number one. The reason like that is because that’s what I would wish for first right now, you’re in a different place..been there done that kinda thing. I hope one day when I think about my wish list fixing my broken marriage isn’t #1 anymore.

    She moves out by the end of next month.

    BTW I would definitely go with the 10 mil.

    1. Interesting observation.

      You have every reason to believe that things will get better every day, and that the healing will come, and that it’s okay to look forward to those times that lie ahead.

      Because all of those things will happen.

      I’ll very much look forward to reading you write about them, too.

  2. I’d love to think that there’s such a thing as a no-gamble marriage, but there just isn’t. I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing, though.

    I can’t help but think of a comment I made on Facebook a couple days ago in response to a friend who essentially told me I had bad taste in men because I posted some mindless comment about cloning the guy on The Bachelor. Here was my response, minus the stuff about that show being inconsequential:

    “Have I had experiences that I wish I hadn’t had? Possibly. Have I learned from them? Quite a bit. Do I think I’m a better person for it? No doubt about it. Do I plan to get hurt again? I’m certainly not planning on it or hoping for it, but it is absolutely possible. That’s a risk I’m willing to accept, though, because I don’t think you can truly be happy if you’re not willing to open your heart and take a chance. Plus, I’ve met some absolutely amazing people along the way, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

    “I like the person I am today. No, I *LOVE* the person that I am today, and I wouldn’t be that person without the experiences I’ve had, so I’ll take it, warts and all.”

    I truly hope you get to that point someday, Matt, if you’re not already there. 🙂

    1. I am FULLY aware there are no guarantees in this life. Which is precisely why I’d work a little genie magic on this one particular area if I could. 🙂

      I like the person I am today. I do. I’m so much better at so many things than I have ever been.

      But I have the least amount of fun I’ve ever had before. Life is full of chores, and short on adventure.

      And for me, that’s unsustainable.

      And I haven’t quite figured out how to solve that problem yet.

      But I’m working on it. 😉

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  4. I hope all your wishes would come true should you meet that genie. All of them are reasonable.

    You get to a secondhand shop and find a guitar… or a ukulele for that matter. Songs sound better on a uke. I’ve been considering one of those small, four-stringed magic makers myself.

    Heck, try sketching even. You never know.

    Warm regards as always.

  5. Grant me these things, not just given’m, but grant me the ability to see it, seize it, and the courage and strength to hold it…

    Or at least that’s what I’m reading out of what you wrote.

    That we know what we want, and by imagining it as granted wishes, we then become open and willing to do what it takes to get it.

    1. I certainly have a lot of growth and work to do in a variety of areas. But I really would like a little help from a genie, too.

      I’m not too ashamed to admit that. 🙂

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  7. I can’t help but notice that in wishing for a no-gamble marriage, you speak only about the other person bailing. Wouldn’t you want the guarantee to work both ways? That you’ll never get bored, that you’ll never start to question if you still love them?

    1. Not to sound cocky or anything, but I already proved to myself I know how to stick it out when shit gets really hard.

      And I’ll do it again, too. 🙂

  8. hmm a pretty good list. Definitely make it $10 thousand tho. Never know when those rainy days might happen.
    I’d be happy to just be an incredible singer. I can’t sing at all. Unless you find cat fights appealing.
    I’d be worried about a no gamble marriage. I totally understand about wanting security and being free from the fear and worry. But I think a no gamble marriage might tend to make one complacent. We don’t really value what comes too easily. Might take the other person for granted, or not try hard enough.
    Maybe just a No Cheating marriage?
    Thank you for another great read, Matt.
    Have a wonderful day!

    1. That is a totally fair observation.

      Complacency without something to lose.

      I need to think about that a little more.

      But it’s a definite hole in my not-too-well-thought-out plan. 🙂

  9. #1 buying the time to be able to quit the corporate job and do the creative stuff that really makes your soul sing… ahhhhhhhhhh story of my life….

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  12. Good wishes. I would stick with 5 million though. Money makes even good people crazy & 5 is enough to live off and have great adventures with out getting completely carried away.
    I would also wish that The Doctor (from Doctor Who) was real and that I could travel with him in the Tardis. Why? Because my life needs more excitement (not excitement like We almost died in a car accident or My roof just caved in excitement…fun good excitement). Plus my kids would be wicked impressed if I was The Doctor’s companion for a bit.
    Aaand maybe I would wish that my ex-husband would die…but in a really good way. In a way that made him a hero or something. Then everyone would think of him as a really great guy, I wouldn’t have to deal with him, and I’d get my kids one hundred percent of the time.
    Is that terrible? Probably but I’m just being honest.

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  14. Excellent post! I always enjoy reading your words. 5 million is a good amount to have and I would use it to do many of the things you’ve mentioned like eliminating debt, putting some away for my sons, writing, and learning to play the piano. I hope you find a genie and never stop writing.

    1. I’m going to try very hard to never stop writing. I’m not going to hold my breath on the genie thing. 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading and taking a minute to say nice things. I really appreciate it. Very much.

      Hope you have a great night.

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  20. Great post! Hope all your wishes come true. Start rubbing lamps at flea markets and estate stores and you never know what might happen!

  21. OK Matt, here’s what you do: Write the lyrics to a song about dumping Taylor Swift. Send it to John Mayer. BOOM! There’s your 5 mill AND your music gig, done. You’re welcome. But as far as seeing what’s behind Door #3… Everyone is afraid of something, and most of us fear rejection in one form or another. That won’t change. But maybe everyone’s self-doubt and worries and YIKES! can just cancel each other out. Or, maybe you just wake up every morning, and she’s still there, and you’re still there, and the horse is still tied up outside and that’s all that matters. Hey, I just wrote a country song! See how easy? You’ll be fine. Stop worrying so much. It give you wrinkles. And then you’re fucked.

    1. You’ve just solved all three of my “problems” AND given me a horse AND made me smile all in one comment.

      That was impressive!

  22. I like your list…I think mine would be pretty similar. However, my lack of singing skills has served me well in the ever loving torchering of my kids when they get on my nerves, so I’m not sure I want to give that up. Having the opportunity to have my fear removed and replaced with faith…That would be a true gift. Not just in love, but in everything. It would be nice to have a break from all the garbage in my head…Poof…gone. Yeah!!

    I’ve thought about winning the lottery…and what would be the least amount of money I could win that would set me free…My thoughts have always been on the smaller scale, I wouldn’t want to be greedy…lol.

    Another thought provoking post. Matt…Thank you.

    1. 🙂

      I try to be unselfish in my greed fantasies.

      Fearlessness. That’s a very good one.

      Fear is super-debilitating. Life would be better without it.

  23. One, and two….yeah, a little wish-granting intervention may be necessary. But you don’t need a genie for the third one. You’ve got everything you need to make that happen.

  24. The journey does matter, the journey is what makes us, us. And I’m so very glad you took back that 3rd wish (Because yes, I take your hypothetical nonsense very seriously, too!). Having said that, I am going to journey out and buy a lottery ticket (or five) today when I’m out and about. Cause, hey, it’s all about the journey.

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