When I was 10 years old, I dreamt of owning a Troy Aikman Dallas Cowboy jersey. At the time, every boy my age wore their favorite NFL player’s jersey to school. I felt like I was the only one who wasn’t part of this special fraternity of jersey-wearing 10-year-old boys, but I was determined to be part of the club. So I saved up every penny I earned from doing chores. After a few months, I finally saved up a whopping $40 to buy the jersey.
Marveling at the plethora of shiny new jerseys at the store, I pointed to the bold blue one hanging in the center. I pulled out my electric green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle velcro wallet and poured a heap of loose change and crumpled fives onto the counter. After that, I had 25 cents to my name, but I didn’t care. All I could think about was rushing home to try on my new purchase. Once home I laid it across my bed. Still fresh in its plastic packaging, I carefully unwrapped with the attentiveness and deftness of a surgeon. I ran my fingers across its smooth surface and held it up so I could see the back with the number 8 and Aikman emblazoned on the back in all its glory. Shortly after, my mother entered the room and asked if I liked my new jersey. I didn’t know how to respond. I had never wanted something so much in my life and when I was finally able to get my hands on it I felt like I had everything I could ever need. Instead of trying it on, I decided to wear it tomorrow so I took it out of the package and hung it proudly in my room. That night I could barely sleep for the excitement of wearing my new jersey the next day was almost too much too handle. As dawn broke and light seeped into my room, I sprang out of my bed and jetted towards the jersey. Just as I was about to put it on, I realized that it was too precious to me and that I wanted to keep it in pristine condition so I wrapped it back up and hung it back up on the outside of my closet and never wore it. At that point, I didn’t care who else saw it. It was special just to have it in my presence.
Over the years, I purchased more jerseys, even more expensive and rare, but none was ever so close to my heart as that first jersey. In fact, the more I material items I acquired, I eventually I learned that the more you have, the less you appreciate.