Being a grown up, even only occasionally, is hard. Platitudes, on the other hand, are easy.
I've found myself, if only now and then, making certain tough decisions. To most anyone else they're probably trivial; to me, they feel grownuppy and responsible.
I recently posted about wanting some kind of android tablet. The other day I got an email offering me one of my top choices at a ludicrously awesome, though still unattainable, price. Something like $250 or $300 instead of $4hundredsomething or higher. At the time I only had about $250 in my account so I couldn't buy it on my own, but hot damn did I want it.
I had to fight back the impulse to do what I've usually done in these sitches--when I want something bad but can't afford it (entirely) on my own and possibly find some good deal. Usually, I'd bring in my dad. Maybe I'd pay half or argue it's my Christmas/Birthday present all rolled into one or otherwise involve his spending power to make the impossible possible. I've done it for years--run to daddy to (help) buy me something.
But I had realized that if I actually saved up to buy myself a tablet--now that, for more or less the first time, I can do such a thing--how powerfully satisfying that would be. How grownup. I've heard that that first thing you save up for and get all on your own gains a unique dimension of significance, and I believe that.
So I really, really wanted to go get Dad that morning, show him the deal, persuade him to help me finagle it; I really wanted to--I really want that tablet. But I didn't because I knew what a cop-out it'd be. Even as I began telling myself, "well, maybe just this one, last time..." I knew that was bullshit. I actually wanted to do this like a grownup more than I wanted to get that laptop fast & easy. It was hard, man. I still haven't even mentioned it to him--even as a "So I felt so mature the other day....".
Besides just wanting to feel like a grownup, I also acted a bit like one: I identified that although I really do want this tablet, it's just that--a want, not a need. That I could get it next Spring without much difference or even next Christmas and I'd be alright. It's a toy--a potentially exceptionally useful toy, but still a toy--, not a heart transplant.
It also turned out I'm not in quite as good a standing as I thought--I'm not making quite as much extra cash, for now, as I'd believed. Later that same day I looked over at some upcoming billpayments I remembered. They weren't quite due but they totaled about $200. And I paid them. Ahead of the due date, I paid them. Like some kinda grownup, man.
Soon, though, I'll be switching departments at Macy's; the new job is going to be amazing and probably a serious source of income, so I'm totally stoked. Perhaps in the very near future I'll be able to act like even more of a grownup--moving out, paying rent; hanging out with my friends somewhere other than my bedroom; or even buying myself toys on my own and after my bills and other duties are attended to.
I'll have to sacrifice that ad hoc sense of gratification, accomplishment, excitement from getting what I want badly that much sooner, sure, but if it means finding a deeper, longer lasting forms of gratification, accomplishment, and excitement, it's worth it, no matter how hard, eh?