Hi there readers, and some viewers now as well. I appreciate the feedback I received regarding the vlog version of part three of this series. I had a lot of fun making it, so you may see more. I may also keep those limited to my YouTube channel which you can view here.
This week I will combining two chapters of the book as they were flowing together in my head as I read them. They are also the true anthem to being an independent person, something Georgia and Karen do not shy away from in the slightest. I feel like once you hit a point in your life when you have a job and are buying your own…stuff, you truly have entered adulthood and now get to make some really daunting yet liberating decisions with your life. It is the ultimate example of what is important to you. You decide how much time and effort you want to put into a job to get the dollars you believe your time and effort is worth. Then you take those dollars and decide what itch you want to satisfy. Now to really test your adultness, you have to recognize your itches properly. For example, I have an itch to have gas in my car and food in the fridge. That itch is much greater than one I have to blow some cash in Vegas. This is where I see far too many people get stuck, my younger self being one them. I would always justify scratching the wrong itch by saying “I worked hard this week, I deserve to buy myself something nice.” Then the next week I would be searching for change in hidden spots all around my apartment so I could get enough money for gas to go to work.
As I read the chapter Buy Your Own S***, I kept thinking that you should not only buy your own…stuff, but you should own your own…stuff as well. As Karen and Georgia talked about their purchases, the emotional attachment to these purchases was front and center. There is definitely a pleasure response to buying things and a drive to buy things to define who you are. Shopoholics are real people. To be cognizant of the psychological response to buying a new iPhone as much as how awesome your pictures are going to look with your new iPhone is rather special. This helps make those adult purchases all the more satisfying. When I pay my rent I don’t look at it as a depressing expense I don’t want to pay. I instead remind myself of the fact that I am able to pay for a space that I have made my own. A space that is in a good part of town and close to all of the places I like to go. A space that is better than my last. I don’t know if this makes more sense in my brain since I grew up poor and had many financial setbacks during college and my early career days, but regardless, it definitely works and it puts a big ‘ole smile on my face. On the other side of this, we are all human, and we all act on impulses especially when it comes to purchasing things. When I act on my own impulses and buy something that I probably shouldn’t have or don’t stick to my budget, I don’t beat myself up over it. I recognize what brought me to the point of buying it and remind myself of why I created my budget. This is one of the final stages of adulthood, and when you unlock that achievement, man you feel good. You not only own your tangible items, but you own and respect yourself.
Now how does one buy their own…stuff? Well by getting a job of course. Ok I know this isn’t the case for everyone, and I can hear the cackles about those born with silver spoons in their mouth, but I actually feel sorry for those people who have everything handed to them and don’t get the rush of receiving a hard earned paycheck. I know we all have days when we just don’t want to work anymore, however there is a line in the book that really sticks with me, and keeps my mind in a positive and motivated space.
“Self-sufficiency is your first form of self-defense.“
Really think about that. I know I have triumphantly said “I am an independent woman, and I can take care of myself!” And although it is usually said in jest, there is a tingling hubris present as I write it. Not because I think I am superior because I worked two jobs as a full time student to pay my way through college and keep a roof over my head, but because I can’t believe I was able to do that. This week I got a promotion at work and was beyond thrilled the call came. Then I started to panic. Am I doing the right thing? There are so many unknowns, but you are comfortable with where you are now, so what the heck are you doing? You are going to be a little fish again! In a huge ocean! THAT’S ENOUGH! I had finally had it. I worked my tail off for eighteen years to get to this point. A point I didn’t know if I would get to as I cleaned up spilled popcorn from the theatre floor as a teenager. A point I dreamed about as I was yelled at by parents during the holidays at Toys ‘R Us (RIP). A point that kept me inspired as I took phone call after phone call in not one, but two different call centers. I was sufficient. I defended myself. And whatever my career throws at me, I am ready for it.
I know I haven’t peaked when it comes to being an adult and overall a healthy human being, but I have some great momentos collected throughout the years that help remind me of just how far I have come. Some of these are tangible things that I bought myself. Most are the intangible that I cherish no matter the emotional response to them. They are mine. All of that work got me my own…stuff.