It has been just under a month since I last posted here. So much for those New Year’s Resolutions, right? As I sat down to write this post I found myself crafting something that, more or less, apologized for not writing. I apologized for being busy, for being depression and anxiety ridden, for not having a damn clue about anything that resulted in an identity crisis. But then I realized that I apologize too much and too often for the normal things that every human person in the world experiences and, more than that, I don’t owe anyone any apologies for being me. I’ve not been having the best of times, we’re moving on, the end. There is something incredibly liberating about not grovelling for approval of your human condition.
So what, then, have I been up to since I’m not going to offer a mea culpa for my humanity? In short I’ve been seriously taking a cold and critical look at myself and trying to figure out what is next. My mother’s death shook me up, but I’ve been watching from a cool three-hundred mile distance as my seventy-one-year-old father has picked up the pieces and begun to thrive in his new reality. He got an iPhone, goes out with friends, visits family, and generally manages the bad days of grief by sandwiching them with days of being alive. He cooks now, and very well so if the reports I get from my brother are any indication. How is it, exactly, that a man who lost the only woman he every truly loved gets up and gets on every day? And if he can do it and I’m made of a cross section of the badass that was my mother and his stiff upper lip (German style) can’t I manage to pull it off, too?
The answer is, of course, yes I can. However in order to do it I have to get real. I have to look at what holds me back and then work actively on managing those barriers in a way that gets me where I want to go. This has resulted in panic attacks, a couple of afternoons spent crying in bed, eating an entire box of Thin Mints, cutting off something like seven inches of hair, contemplating a tattoo, buying plane tickets for a completely spontaneous trip to California to see two Third Eye Blind concerts back to back, and a lot of coffee. It has also resulted in me confronting my boyfriend about something that has been bothering me, making a new friend, and buying semi-vintage style clothing. It’s been a lot of noise and gnashing, but somehow I’ve gotten to where I want to with myself: a solid look at myself.
Here is who I am: I spent too much money and I’m vain. I don’t read enough, but I love making people happy in small ways. I’m highly organized and forgetful as all get out. I’m ambitious, though, and I’m driven, and I’m not afraid of hard work. I have a lot going on in my head and I love french fries. I can do anything if I actually try and give it 100%, which means I have to commit to 100% because real life isn’t college and I can’t skate by on being clever.
No more skating.
This weekend I discovered the Thoughts from Inside the Box blog. Long story told short, this guy lives in a box truck and saves a ton of money as well as ends up with some pretty solid insights about himself and life. I binged read his entire site on my lunch break at Nordies today and found myself deeply moved and inspired. It was an interesting juxtaposition, really, to be reading a minimalist blog while sitting just a few hundred feet away from fabulous Pendelton blankets and fancy Kate Spade trimmings. That juxtaposition got me thinking about my own life and how I’ve put a lot on my credit card lately and bought things I frankly don’t need. That’s when it dawned on me that I was going to make a change. I decided to let myself buy a few more things. I’d order the skincare I wanted/needed, pick up a couple more things, load up my Starbucks card, and then just stop. No more buying clothes, purses, makeup, skin care, shiny things, etc until I had an honest-to-god need. Considering my stash of all of the aforementioned items I probably don’t need anything until the apocalypse. Then, instead of buying things, I could focus on paying things off. I’m not even touching my student loan debt just yet, but wouldn’t it be nice to pay off all the credit cards (there aren’t that many) and then fluff up the savings account? Maybe buy a new couch? Yes it would be, yes, yes it would.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to start by living my life in terms of need instead of want. I want to see where it goes. I’ve also come up with a list of allowed purchases:
- I can buy up to two new books per month. I read a lot, or used to, so this would be a nice thing. I’m considering reading the Harry Potter series since I’ve never read them before. (I am the worst of the nerds, yes.)
- When I run out of my present moisturizer, I might actually allow myself to replace it with the same thing. I’m really damn partial to my Paula’s Choice products lately.
- Coffee. Duh.
- Merch at the three (yep, three) Third Eye Blind shows I’m going to in the next two months.
- Jewelry my friend Lucy makes because she is bomb and I love her work.
These seem reasonable. Let’s see how it goes. This is phase one. Up next are the projects, but that will be another post. Another post this week even! We can do this.