My Bike was Stolen

Remember the song, ‘Material Girl’ by Madonna?  I remember that song from my childhood as if it were yesterday that I was prancing around my living room singing it at the top of my lungs.  I remember thinking as I was growing up that I wanted the nicest car, the biggest diamonds, the nicest house and the most expensive clothing.  Even through college, I found a lot of emotional attachment to wanting to have a lot of nice things in life when I graduated.  Perhaps that’s because I was raised to earn everything I have.  I had this vision that I was going to be successful enough to treat myself to everything I wanted.

After graduating, I moved to New York City where this desire for material items blew up.  I wanted it all.  I wanted a new television, a new DVD player (I’m aging myself with this one-LOL) and I wanted a surround sound stereo system in my one bedroom Manhattan apartment.  And then, 9/11 hit.  Over 2,000 people died, buildings burned to the ground, I lost a dear friend John Perry, and the city of New York was left with a heavy heart.  I fell into a deep depression from 9/11 as most people did.

A year later, I moved to Los Angeles, leaving my family behind.  Living in LA was always a dream of mine.  I bought a used 4 cylinder cherry red Saturn and drove over the steep hills of America and arrived in one of the most material cities I know of-Los Angeles.  Upon arrival, I wanted a BMW or Mercedes to replace my Saturn. I didn’t get one because instead I decided to invest in a Masters degree with the cash I made at work.  My desire for material items slowly declined over time.  I started to become very financially responsible over the 13 years I’ve been out in LA.  I have worked with the richest of the rich, worked in Beverly Hills 90210, a block away from Rodeo Drive, have been wined and dined in 100k+ vehicles and five star restaurants.  I’ve met women with 10 karat diamond rings and gone to 10 million dollar homes.  Over time, my desire for material items declined.  Why? Because those people I knew who had “it all” weren’t happy and they certainly weren’t healthy.  Today, I’ve decided that I just want to be able to eat well, stay fit, live in a nice enough home and drive a car that’s safe and never breaks down.  Even though I have the honor of driving a BMW, it is a 328i, one in which is well within my budget.

I’ve learned to simplify my life even more ever since I thought I was moving a couple of years ago for a job.  I remember going through all my stuff and thinking, why the heck do I need all this sh&^?  The answer was, I didn’t! My wise friend Jerry Lin told me that he owns only 4 things in his life; a bed, a car, clothing, and a camera.  He lives in a small place and never buys himself anything new.  He doesn’t even have a dresser or a bed.  He sleeps on a mattress that lies on the floor.  I was like, really?  Well then, I thought;  I must downsize my life even more.  And so I began that process and couldn’t have been happier.

Until last night: My fiance’s bike was stolen from right in front of my parking spot.  His bike was chained up to the wall and my bike was chained up to his.  I learned early this morning that both locks were gone as was his bike.  The piece of sh&% thief didn’t steal mine.  I was devastated.  I felt so violated and betrayed that someone can just take my belonging from me.  But then I reminded myself that a bike is material.  And then I cried because memories of what that bike represented started flooding my mind. It was about all the fun bike rides I’d gone on with my man around town.  It was about how these bikes symbolized our Newport Beach days.  I began reminiscing in my mind how riding our his and her twin Schwinn bikes brought so much joy into our lives when he came to visit me from Kansas.  And so, the bike was stolen, and I must realize one thing;  A bike is replaceable.  Memories are forever.  Our health is with us.  There couldn’t be a bigger blessing than that.

The take away message: Detach yourself from the material world because it is inevitable that you will lose things in life.  The more attached you are, the more challenging it will be to move forward.  Look at it as something that you are supposed to have as long as you have it.  If you lose it tomorrow, then G-d intended for you to lose it.  The why may remain unanswered.  But realize that there are a lot of people who lose their lives.  This is not your case. Therefore, get over it and detach from anything that is outside of yourself.  Especially those things that can be replaced.