“Buy the damn purse!” repeats my boyfriend and my male roommate. As I sit between them scrolling repeatedly through the Nordstrom website at the Kate Spade purses I have been fawning over for months, but now is obviously in the in-season colors and better than ever. “You work your ass off… what did you get yourself for your birthday?” Nothing, really. “Will the $400 put you out?” No… not at all. “You deserve it.” I suppose I do…
The mental conversation with myself continues as follows:
“Fuck yes I need this glorious beast of an accessory!”
“You are a bad ass business owning woman!”
“Other chicks have nice bags, why haven’t you bought yourself one?”
“I make my own damn money and I’m feeling myself.”
… 90% sure that last one is a rap lyric.
Get Your Shit Together Rule #5: Get what you want because YOU want it, not because comparison tells you to.
When I was seventeen, I bought my first Dooney and Bourke purse that I saved up two of my waitressing paychecks for so that I could be like the popular affluent girls at school… only to have it swiped at a sketchy party in Lebanon, Oregon. Classy. I was devastated. I considered it instant karma for putting so much value into a material item. The poor kid who tried her hand at the big league. Mark me down as scarred for life.
Here I sit, a twenty-eight year old business owner and female entrepreneur terrified to buy a purse that makes my heart pitter patter out of guilt of gifting myself with a material item. Me, who raised money for an animal shelter in lieu of gifts for my birthday, is now feeling internal guilt on purchasing a handbag. The worst part? It’s a fucking HANDBAG. This is a non-issue. This is first world problems at it’s finest.
So what is it that makes us believe that we either need an item or a brand to feel as if we are “good enough” or accomplished? On the flip side, that if we DO succumb to materialistic items or status symbols that it lessens us as moral individuals or diminishes our individuality? Perpetual female guilt. “You’re not good enough… but don’t TRY to be good enough because that’s selfish. And don’t even THINK of asking or accepting something you want… unless you explain yourself profusely.” What. The. Fuck. HAAAALLLLLP. All too often I hear this same thing from my clients. They feel guilty setting aside time and money to have a personal trainer, or buying themselves new clothes when they reach a body composition goal. Constantly hiding how much they pay for hair/nails/shoes/massages… claiming everything is on sale or hiding appointments.
So lady boss, here is my advice:
You are worth it – you are so worth everything YOU want. Your purchases or guilty pleasures do not need validation from anyone. However, do not feel like you are ever obligated to stress yourself out, or place yourself out of your comfort zone to “keep up with the Jones’”. Guilt is not necessary and is counterproductive in Treat Yo’self-ville.
This concept can be translated into many areas of your life. I used to feel guilty when people would tease me about buying all Lululemon athletic wear, and would constantly validate it by saying things like “Technically it is a tax write off”…when my only answer should have been “Yep. And they make my ass look phenomenal.” Would I buy these high-end workout pants if I couldn’t pay for my cat’s food, or if I felt like I would be strapped at the end of the month? Nope – because nothing is sexier than a girl with a savings account, that doesn’t depend on someone else to live a comfortable and blissfully happy and personalized life. Who also has cats. Cat ladies are sexy….?
A MATERIAL ITEM THAT MAKES YOU FEEL COOL IS NOT WORTH GOING INTO DEBT OVER. I repeat, PUT AWAY THE NORDIES CARD. Dave Ramsey said “If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it” Now, this doesn’t mean credit is a bad thing, but if you are not able to pay for this (not technically necessary) material item in full at the end of the month, and have to eat WinCo frozen chicken breasts and bulk oatmeal for two weeks to accommodate – maybe hold off homegirl. Don’t add unnecessary stress in your life over an accessory. Stress = cortisol, cortisol = bloating.
You work hard, life is short, and you are a logical human being that happens to like nice things. Big fucking deal.