Lessons Learned: Priorities gone wrong - The Story of Sunny

Do you ever wonder about people who just skate through life? All superficial all the time? What happens to them when the joy ride comes to an end? Check it out…

I met Sunny my freshman year at the University of Texas. She was "attending" the same Principles of Math class I was taking. It's important to know two things here – 1) Principles of Math was the throwaway class where they put athletes and liberal arts majors who had to fulfill a math requirement and didn't care to tax their brains for it. No shade on the athletes, they had better things to do and so did I. Hence the principles of math, no real calculation or theory involved. We balanced our checkbooks for the mid-term. No I'm not kidding and yes, that professor got bounced. Number 2) Sunny only "attended" the class, she was not enrolled at the University of Texas, she was strictly about the business of finding a sponsor. Yes, that kind of sponsor.

Sunny was gorgeous. Half-black, half-German she looked like Vanessa Williams from her Miss America days but with bigger boobs, smaller waist and longer legs. She was a honey-dipped Barbie doll with teal eyes and an accent. She had caramel colored hair that fell in waves down her back and she wore clothes one size too small. Sunny fascinated me. It was years later when I found out exactly how old she was or what her background story was. All I knew was that her plan was to land a football player that was going pro and live happily ever after. An infamous Sunny quote, "I want an Amex black, a white Jag, a brown mink and a huge blue diamond – I'll make the man who can give it to me happy as hell." Even I knew that wasn't the greatest life plan.

In an interesting twist, I ended up dating a football player. She ended up dating a booster she met at a party she went to with me. Some rich dude who owned six car dealerships and was seventeen years her senior. She married him four months later. It lasted for two years. Then she married some wealthy dude from Dubai. That was another four years. After marriage number three to a French film producer, I told her I wasn't up for being a bridesmaid anymore nor was I buying any more presents. Her attorney was brilliant; Sunny signed lump sum upfront pre-nuptial agreements that made her independently wealthy after her second marriage.

She became skilled at things like hiring household help and event planners, wearing fabulous clothing and knowing the best place to do yoga, get your hair done and have liposuction in every major city in the world. I got an email from her was a few months ago. She admitted that she's turning 45 (I thought she was ten years younger) and just finished her seventh divorce. She had been married nine times, one husband died, another marriage was annulled. She no longer wanted to be married; she was dating a 26 year old male model.

Last week she called and sounded like a completely different person. Turns out she had a cancer scare a few months back and realized that she had no one to hold her hand through it. Her ex-husbands, her ex-stepkids, the family she had walked away from at age 16 (and not looked back) were not a part of her life. She is the kind of person who makes friends for a purpose not just for friendship's sake. I was probably her closest friend and we only spoke once a year.

So she was sitting in a doctor's office waiting to find out if she had cancer when the epiphany came to her that she had nothing but material things. Six houses, four cars, one boat and nine figures in the bank. None of which could hold her hand or drive her to chemo. And it scared the shiggity out of her. She called to ask me what she should do. I gave her two words, "Go home." Seriously. I suggested she rewind and reset and figure out what she planned to do with the rest of her life.

I wonder if she will. I wonder how she'll be received in the small Arkansas town she came from. After you've been married nine times, what's next romantically? More boy toys?

As irksome as my friends and family can be (love ya'll), I recognize them as part of my foundation. When I decided to hit the reset button on my life a few years ago, they supported me 100% percent. I had Sunny's epiphany moment when I realized that I wasn't doing what I wanted and my priorities were wonky. But I had a plan and a support system and financial incentive to hustle. She has none of that. She spent a good deal of her life collecting things… now what? Life plan FAIL.

So what say you BougieLand? Any priority out of whack, too focused on the grind stories to share? Any one hit the reset button on their lives? How'd it turn out (so far)? Thoughts, comments, insights on Sunny?