Friday, April 30, 2010

Ask and you shall Receive...

Today I felt like myself again. After months of soul-searching, moving, waiting, and not shopping, I felt rejuvenated.

I ventured downtown tonight to scope out the art district. It's galleried streets offer window art ready for you to take in, green tea frappucino in-hand. It was also home to a style event that showcased Chicago designers selling and talking about what they love: the living art of fashion.

It was wickedly hot inside, but the complementary cocktails and sushi helped. It also helped being surrounded by so much creativity. Jewelry, bags, dresses, get the picture. I even ran into a designer who graduated from Purdue! I, of course, purchased a lovely dress for summer from her. I looked at it as my way of supporting local arts. It was a fantastic evening of food, new friends, and our love of fashion. Being able to talk to the people who worked so hard to present these pieces was awesome. It's like any other artist, really. They have these brilliant thoughts and things to say. They just don't verbalize their thoughts, they instead create them for the world to enjoy and interpret. It was nice to be able to compliment the person who fabricated the garment you'll wear this summer. Despite the drive into and out of the city (Chicago construction is awesome!), I'd do this every day if I could.

It's important to have these days sometimes, to remind us of what we truly enjoy. It refreshes you, keeps you on your toes. Or luckily, for me, motivates me even more to continue on the path that I'm on.

Speaking of which, the last time I posted I mentioned waiting for opportunities. My opportunity came the day after, and I interviewed and officially accepted a new position. Funny how things work out, huh?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's Enough?

I left my full-time salary-with-benefits-job to pursue a career in the industry that truly interests me. This particular industry is a blast to work in; I have fun almost every day. The hours are all over the place. The clients are interesting. And I get to dress people in fabulous clothing and accessories - pretty sweet!

Since I moved back to the Midwest, money has been a huge concern for me. Living in FL, I was starting on the path of financial hope - hope that my bills could get paid, I could money in savings, and my debt would be finished. My job was steady, so it was completely feasible to accomplish all of these things. However, I love to shop, eat, go out for the occasional beer/cocktail, and travel. So saving real amounts of money was difficult for me. Then I moved home for 6 months with no living expenses, a car to pay for, and a credit card and apartment fees to pay on less than half my previous income. Totally capable of taking care of myself financially in the comfort of my parents' house, yet it still didn't happen. So, moving to a new, steadier job seemed like the logical thing to do next. Living at home with no living expenses wasn't deterring me from spending on silly things, so living on my own working my way up in a company made sense.

Now I'm here. And it still doesn't feel like enough. I work hard, things are progressing well. I tell myself weekly that financially, I should be good to go within a year. Once I'm making more money, my concerns for finance will cease. My credit card will be taken care of, I'll have money in savings, I'll even make enough to live in my own place again. But I can't shake the nagging feeling that I'm going to be poor forever. (Ok, that was dramatic, maybe not forever). When does this feeling go away? How much money does it take to not feel poor? Is it a specific number? Maybe when my credit card is paid off, will that mean I can relax a little? And will I really be able to do it in a year?

Perhaps it's time to make myself truly accountable by using the internet to budget for myself. By sharing my credit card progress, maybe I can keep motivating myself to keep up on my finances better instead of just paying bills because they're there. I try to tell myself that I don't need to go out all the time because I'm still paying off probably 2 years of fun on my credit card. Shouldn't that be enough motivation?

Maybe there's never enough. Enough money, time, motivation, energy...maybe it's all about doing the best you can with what you have. Maybe that's the question I should start asking myself: am I truly doing the best I can with what I have? If we ask ourselves this question regularly, I wonder what kind of answers (and excuses) we can come with...