If you have been paying attention to the news, then you have seen that designer Kate Spade passed away due to suicide June 5. June 8, Anthony Bourdain was found dead after killing himself inside his hotel room in France. Bourdain was filming an episode of CNN’s “Parts Unknown.”

It got me thinking – Kate Spade had the world at her fingertips. She had money, fame, fortune, a family and she could travel the world and go to any hot social event as she pleased.

Yet, this was not good enough for her and the rest is now TMZ headlines.

It’s often said that money makes the world go ‘round and that money can buy happiness, but as I have recently discovered, this is not the case.

I am currently in Paris, France studying and exploring and I found myself inside a large, elegant department store called Galeries Lafayette.

Stores such as Gucci, Coach, Tiffany & Co., Top Shop and plenty more have made themselves at home in this department store and as I stood there an ugly thought crept inside my brain.

I thought, “If I had more money and I could afford all this lavish stuff, I bet I’d be happier. What I have isn’t good enough – I can do better.”

I literally thought this and I felt my self-esteem plummet. I had spent three weeks staring at beautiful Parisian boys and girls and I felt like the key to feeling and looking as good as them was more money.

Then I did the worst thing I could have done and called my mom complaining about my despair. My mother – who has done nothing but support me and paid to send me to France for a month. It was the most ungrateful thing I could have done.

However, I was blinded – blinded by my own unhappiness, comparing myself to others and wallowing in the fact that I was an offender of repeating outfits. I told my mom that I was upset that I was too poor to dress and look in a way that best represents my personality.

My mom said something that brought me back down to earth. She said, “If I was there with you right now, I’d slap you across the face. Stop comparing yourself, you are in Paris! Enjoy yourself!”

She was nothing but right and I knew that I deserved that slap in the face she wanted to give me.

I worked hard to earn my place on this once-in-a-lifetime study abroad experience and here I was wallowing in materialistic items.

It brought my mind back to the news about Kate Spade. Depression is blinding and it doesn’t matter if you have the world at your feet. If you aren’t happy, then what are you?

I feel sorry for Spade’s family and friends as they mourn their loss. For me, it was a wake up call. Here I was, sorry for myself that I didn’t have more money to make myself happy when Spade had it all and that didn’t make her happy.

It reminds me that materialistic items aren’t important in the long run. What is important is nurturing relationships, discovering new things and the continuation of doing things that make one happy despite what others think or say.

The right people will come along and stay without caring about how much money you have or what brands you are wearing on your back.

It’s important to take care and nurture our bodies and minds because in the end, we’re all we’ve got.

BECKY FLETCHER is a News Editor and  Columnist for The Vidette. Contact her at rlflet1@ilstu.edu Followe on Twitter at @becky__fletcher

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