We start young, aching to prove success.

We add a layer — success means the latest phone.

I hold the display model in my hand, “How many megabytes of storage does this iPhone have?”

We add a layer — success means a nice car.

I ask the salesman, “What is the monthly payment?”

We add a layer  — success means nice furniture, brand name kids’ clothes, adventurous vacation photos on Instagram.

I hold the credit card application in my hand, “So if I pay for it within six months, there’s no interest?”

We add a layer — success means a larger home.

I turn to my husband, “Can we up the counter-offer? I really want this house.”

We add a layer — success means a lucrative career.

I send my husband a text, “I am still at the office. Can you tell her that I’m sorry I missed her game tonight?”

We end up as old Matryoshka Dolls, aching to be free of the burdens of our success.

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