Wanna hear something embarrassing?
When I forced myself to visualize winning the Powerball (which I 100% believe is going to happen because I SAID my word of the year was "billionaire" and people, there ain't such coincidences in this world), my hands full on broke out in cold sweat.
It's a terrifying possibility, isn't it?
I thought seriously about how I'd react, what I'd do in that life-changing moment. Let's set the scene: me, in my messy room, eating Indian takeout in my unmade bed. All of a sudden, I remember. It's time. I have zero clue what TV channel this gig is on, so I turn to Twitter in the hopes that I'll eventually come across the magic numbers. Come across them, I do.
But wait. Something gets triggered in my brain. Why do these digits look so oddly familiar?
Stare at the numbers.
Cackle because for a second, I thought I had the right combination.
Shit, wait. That is the right combination.
Go over every number. Compare it side by side.
Stare some more.
Break out in a cold sweat.
Oh, hang on. I'm on Twitter. This is a hoax. *scoffs*
Go on the Powerball website. Watch replay of the drawing. Yup, same numbers.
Take a nap.
(It's what I do when I get overwhelmed.)
Call my mom.
Hang up before she picks up.
Look up the instructions - how many days do I have to claim my prize?
Hide the ticket.
Retrieve it. What if there's an earthquake and I can't get to it in time.
Hide it again. My hands are too sweaty, what if I smudge the numbers.
Draft an email to work: I need a mental health day. Gotta process this.
Order belated Christmas gifts.
It's fine. I picked ones that are a squillion times more expensive. Like a house in Bay Area.
I most likely didn't win, and now I have to return everything because who can afford a three thousand dollar espresso machine. Or a house.
Call my sister or my best friend or my parents, hiccuping and sobbing. They have no idea what's happening, and think that maybe I fell and broke my face or something more valuable like my phone.
Curl up in fetal position, and wait for sleep to overtake me so I can deal with this situation at a more opportune time.
In all seriousness, what would you do? Who would you tell?
Once I gather my wits, I'm pretty sure my plan would be this: squirrel the money away into a bank account, hire a financial advisor and a lawyer. I'd start writing checks for millions of dollars to my loved ones, writing stupid things like "buying your love" "now can you answer my phone calls finally" "you're stuck with me" in the subject line. Invest in promising startups mostly because I work in Silicon Valley and startups are all I know. Start a venture capital firm. Give most of the money away to those who need it more than I do: charities, people I see going through a rough time, those who are close to eviction or who haven't had a real meal in days, and obviously also the good people trying to take down Trump.
Then, I'd do something frivolous like try to buy my way into Pretty Little Liars or Quantico writers' minds so I know what the end game is. Or send JK Rowling chocolates... of the fancy, not so froggy variety. Or build a cat sanctuary finer than the Buckingham Palace. I want a Starbucks in this sanctuary so I can have my morning latte while I pet cats. Oooh, and a top of the line waffle maker, too.
What I'd ultimately like to do is book a [first class] flight outta here and just go. I'd pick a place. Right now, I'm thinking Montenegro. And from there, I'd have no itinerary, no plans. On a whim, I can decide to stay another week, or say hasta luego for now. In the middle of lunch one day, I could fly to Iceland. Or New Zealand. Or back to SF in time for dinner with my friends.
I probably should've titled this post "day in the life," because I'm pretty sure you just got a play-by-play of my evening. Just you wait.
Anyhoo, if you see mysterious amounts of money being wired into your bank accounts, it's just me saying: you are cordially invited to my cat sanctuary. What's your waffle order?
And also, I'd just like to say that the lottery and the firm belief I actually have a chance at winning the lottery, is everything my very expensive B.A. in psychology told me not to fall for. But that didn't stop me from waving a twenty dollar bill in the face of the liquor store clerk, and most likely doing the same thing again this afternoon before the cut-off.