The precipice

September 2015 I went to the USA for the first time. Officially it was for work, but the main point was to go and buy makeup with my good friend Lexi (oh, and visit San Francisco. Its amazing. You should go).

Things you should know about me #1: I have a really bad impulse shopping habit

Back when I lived in Indonesia I had this weird hangup that if I went into a mall I had to buy something IMMEDIATELY so I’d have a bag to carry. This hangup cost me a lot in weird necklaces or nail polishes I’d never wear, and honestly was a manifestation of the anxiety problems I’ve dealt with since the first time I had a conscious thought, but I have, and am aware, that despite my ardent socialist leanings, I love to shop, I love to acquire, and it is a Problem with a capital P.

So picture me, in Sephora for the first time, the bounty I’ve dreamed of stretching out around me, and I have a panic attack. I am gripped with the knowledge that I am about to lose control, and it terrifies me. I look at the lipsticks and my vision swims. I am aware that I lost my credit card the day before I flew, and so money I’m spending is real. Its a real thing.

I got over it, but in doing so I still managed to spend £1000 on that holiday and bought 17 lipsticks, which everyone I tell this to finds hilarious (but I wear lipstick every day and work part time as a makeup artist, I mean, its not that weird.)

The reason I mention this is because this morning, when looking at sofas on ebay, I got the same feeling that I felt when I was standing in Sephora surrounded by beautiful paints and potions. The feeling that it would be very easy right now to get my credit card out of my bag and spend, spend, spend. And that while I have spent years dreaming of the day I can furnish a house how I want, own a sofa I want to sit on, sleep in a bed untouched by strangers, I’m still paralysed at the top of the cliff. The precipice of financial ruin stretches out its arms and beckons me into its grip.

My anxiety is a lot better these days. My financial situation is stable. But there’s that pull of self inflicted financial ruin that when I look at beautiful flats on Apartment Therapy and I am overcome with want so badly that it terrifies me.

The precipice