Friday, February 20, 2009

New York New York - worth the price?

When I started planning for my summer in New York back in August of 1820 (or that's perhaps only what it feels like and it was more like August 2008) my greatest worry was that I wouldn't get the time off work. The pound was sky high, I was rocketing around the Universe (not because of mediation! or substance abuse!), my creativity was painting rainbows and life couldn't have been more overflowing with possibilities of greatness and adventure and... erm... love.

In October I secured the time off, in January I booked my ticket, and the Universe seemed set on me going there to finally do whatever it is I want to do there. But things that from the beginning are simple and without obstacles can of course change in a New York minute. The pound is worth nothing so no matter how much I manage to save I'll still have less than I though, and there are also other matters that are just not wanting to work out.

I have by no means given up on the idea. I'm being mature and am acknowledging that it might not happen in the end, and have come down from my rocket trip, but I'm still saving money like a capitalist swine and am investing in products (like the Bat Netbook) that are really for my time there. I'm not buying shoes despite having sever withdrawal that makes me spend forever looking at them and even at one point picking them up and petting them in a shop (not sad!), only three books since January (which must be a bloody world record), and generally depriving myself things.

But here comes the question - how healthy is it to deprive myself of life for six months just so that I can live for three? I need a new mascara - can't afford it as budget spent; I need money on my phone - can't afford it as budget spent; I need new jeans (NEED not just want) - can't afford it; I want (yup, surely I must be allowed to want things) Starbucks in the morning - can't afford it as that will make me spend over the allotted £15/wk. In order to stay within the budget, I shouldn't go to lunch with my colleagues, drink coffee bought in a cafe, go to the £5 meditation at Leicester Sq on Saturdays, eat food, have the heating on more than an hour a day or something, go to the cinema, have people over for lunch, visits etc etc. Lucky I'm temporarily not drinking alcohol or that would be another thing gone. Living like that might be great for saving and for me to have a nice time in New York, but I will by no means have a lot of money anyway.

When I return in September, with my massive credit card bill because my savings will only go so far and I want to do things - what's the point otherwise?, I will basically be back in the same position: months of not spending to get rid of debt.

So is it worth it just so that I can live my dream for three months? Is it? I don't know anymore. All I know is that I crave shoes, mascara, face cream, books, shoes, clothes, socks without holes in them, shoes, coffee, days/nights out with friends, shoes - a life!

But since I've started, and have after all booked my ticket, I suppose I'll just trundle on then. I'm not deciding if I'm going until May time. But by then I might be so isolated and anti-social from not seeing anyone because I can't afford to, and gone totally rabid by not talking to anyone (apart from Ivan in work and that's not very helpful!) that I'll be sectioned anyway. Perhaps the better idea is to spend time in the little shed in Somerset and accept that while New York would be cool and so much fun and it would be so fantastic to live a part of my dream, maybe it’s not a necessity. The jury is still out.

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