Indulgence Today. Downfall Tomorrow.

Do I want to have fun today? Or do I want to be financially responsible? This is my daily struggle. We all have our indulgences: the thing we rationalize are okay to do or have because we work hard and deserve the reward. All the while knowing we sure as hell do not deserve that reward and stress is soon to follow as a result of this decision. The devil on my shoulder constantly whispers in my ear saying “Buy it! You can save money tomorrow. It’s only $10.” Before I know it, the innocuous $10 has turned into $200 and I’m struggling to make rent. It’s a juvenile attitude. I’m not proud of it. But it’s definitely one of my current realities.

For Tory, it’s riding her dirt bike, buying new clothes, and eating delicious food. For me, it’s about buying new books, going out with friends, and buying shit on Apple TV. Inconsequential things that if done sparingly are not egregious, but if done frequently, can be detrimental given that we’re constantly living paycheck to paycheck. I start off each month with a budget for variable expenses, like my social life and sustenance, and somehow by the second week of each month, I’ve already committed some financial error. I then scramble the latter half of the month to save and scrimp so I can survive yet another month without begging my parents for more money. And around, and around, I go.

I hate to paint the picture that we’re not trying to rectify the situation, or that we’re just another set of immature, and irresponsible women looking for instant gratification. We’re not that at all. It’s an ebb and flow that we’re still trying to figure out as we learn to fend for ourselves and grow as people. I’ll repeat, it’s not something I’m proud of, or hope to evangelize. Most people would be surprised to learn these things about me. (at least I’d like to hope so).

Which leads me to my next set of questions: at what age am I, the late-twenty something person, supposed to have these childish actions in check? Do others struggle with this very topic as much as I do? Outside of becoming a recluse, or getting a high-flying job – how do I balance my indulgences with my fixed expenses?

Until next time,
Girl in this World

 

Carrie Bradshaw vs. Oscar the Grouch

Sex and the City fucked me up. I always had this fantasy that the first time I lived on my own I’d have this creative, forward-thinking career, glam friends, and a hot-rod boyfriend to compliment my stylish lifestyle. It was entirely realistic that a newspaper writer could have a lifestyle that afforded her both designer clothes and a swanky night on the town. Essentially, I thought that by the age of 27, I’d be a sexy, boss bitch who was kicking ass and taking names. What a cosmic joke that was!

Living on your own is hard. Really. Fucking. Hard.

Naively, I still had hope in the beginning that everything would work itself out. Can’t cook? That’s fine, I’ll learn. Long distance relationship? That’s fine, I’ll travel back and forth frequently. Underpaid? That’s fine, I’ll work hard and prove myself. So many things I believed only required my will and determination and presto! I’d have the resolution I so desired. And to some degree, I still believe that. (hello! Naïve party of 1), but mostly, things happen, like my promotion, at a much slower pace than I need them to.

Living in California is wonderful, beautiful, and everything Hollywood portrays it to be. It’s also very expensive for a tiny box called an apartment! I live paycheck to paycheck, and unfortunately, I’m still young enough in my career that the big bucks are a few years off. The care-free lifestyle I had while living with my parents isn’t sustainable anymore. The learning curve for being financially responsible, being timely with paying bills, and learning how to cook is much steeper. And holy shit, it’s stressful.

I think every person out there in my position can agree that balancing a social life, or at least what you can afford, and a bank account for bills is the hardest task one can undertake in their twenties. Add to that, a desire to eat healthy and nutritiously, but unable to cook and an emaciated budget for grocery shopping, and the entire thing has turned said fantasy into a nightmare.

Which brings me back to my earlier statement, my fantasy of living like Carrie is looking more like Oscar the Grouch these days. My struggles against the self-actualization and accomplishments of my peers leaves something to be desired. I want to be fab, but at this stage in my life, the challenges are stacked against me. But again, I remain hopeful. Every day is a new day. Right?

Xo,

Girl in this World