The other day I had the itch to do a some serious shopping. And I mean the kind where you clean out your wallet in a whirlwind frenzy, then spend the rest of the afternoon trying to think of some excuse that would justify you wearing all of your purchases at once. I needed to binge, and my mind was racing with every article of clothing I had to have, scratch that, needed to have in my new fantastic wardrobe I've been working on since I lost 6 pounds. I'm not going to lie, I was probably foaming at the mouth a little bit.
Folks, I was prepared to do some damage.
Basically, I found a goldmine, but at each stop that little downer of a voice inside of my head clicked on, reminding me of the ticket to Italy (or wherever the poll on the right sends me) I'm saving to buy. I returned home having not purchased a single item, but as soon as I sat down in the comfiest chair in the house a familiar feeling crept over me, rushing over me from head to toe:
The guilt you feel when you purchase something you can't afford. Now being the struggling grad student I am, a 'purchase I can't afford' can be loosely defined as anything costing the equivalent of a bagel, but in this case my guilt was completely unwarranted.
I hadn't bought anything.
I have become my mother. I not only tell myself I don't need something, but I also punish myself for ever wanting it in the first place. Now, just the act of wanting something is reason enough to trigger the wash of guilt that would typically come with an "undeserved" purchase.
I refuse to live the rest of my life this way. With everyone else out there probably judging me at one time or another, shouldn't I be batting for my own team? I think I'm a rational person, and I feel if I want something I should be able to think through the pros and cons of purchasing it and then make an educated decision. More importantly though, I need to remind myself that it's okay to want something, regardless of how expensive. I need to be able to tell that little voice inside my head to just screw off once in awhile.
"Yes, condescending little voice, I want a jet ski. Always have, always will. They're effin' fun. Get over it."
I'm not going to go out and buy a jet ski right now or anything, but someday when I do I want to feel excited about it, not guilty.
As a matter of fact, I think I do want to buy those little ballet flats I saw. They were only $2.48, is that so bad?
Oh sorry, I forgot: I don't give a damn.