Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life of Panic and Shame

Rarely do I feel bad about the things I do. I smoke, I drink, I don't give a **** what y'all think. Actually, I only drink (in polite company) (polite, is a loose term) but this is a line from a track I like so I thought to cite it here. Anyway, the spectre of world events has forced me into a corner of self-reflection and I don't like what I see.

New York, as I see it, is a ghost town. The stores are empty, restaurants are empty, and people have a look of white-knuckled, quiet panic about them. Conversations with friends, even the twentysomething set, aren't brimming with laughter and possibility (martinis after work? corner office by 30?) instead, everyone is "busy." So no weekend dinners, no boozey nights after work, everyone is busy. Busy panicking.

Like me, for instance. Fresh off my jet set weekend in Puerto Rico I'm looking at my bank statement and I'm saying to myself "how could you be so stupid? The world is falling apart and you're paying $12 for margaritas? You're pushing 30 and live in a rental - what is the matter with you, man?"

Then, in the middle of a frantic work day, I skim the New York Times and find an article bemoaning the plight of down-sized finance types who just can't live on $500,000 a year in this town. I almost sympathized with the characters in the story...and I shop at H&M (sometimes)(OK, a lot). I feel guilty for spending, I feel stupid for thinking I had it made at 25 when I moved in with James and left communal living in the past. What will become of me now?


Red Tulips said...

Oh man!

This could have been written by me! I have the same thoughts and feelings, same emotions!

Sad how common those thoughts you expressed are in these tough times - soon to be tougher times.

Anonymous said...

You will be fine. You are just boiling over with talent. Just keep moving and making the next right decision.

James said...

Add to the panic, having two large (and unused) credit lines shut down by myh banks without even a letter. I haven't used either one of these lines in about 2 yrs. but they gave me such peace of mind. Now, what to do if that unexpected expenses comes up or sudden unemployment. Best thing to do is ride this through. Be prudent but if you can afford to go on a weekend trip or buy that really nice jacket you wanted, go for it. The more we keep our heads down low, the worse it's going to get. Attitude and confidence aren't everything, but it does a lot in this economy.