Having No Money Was Ok, But Then Something Began to Shift

Genevieve Smith didn’t care about money, but then she did. Her essay for Elle on the the evolution of her opinions on the stuff, and why she eventually sought out more of it, is super—especially her honesty:

But then something began to shift: My thin resources started to bump against some serious pent-up consumptive desire. I wanted to buy things, mostly shoes, but also vacations, a dog, organic produce, dinners out, drinks. Eventually, I grew tired of our used furniture, IKEA shelving, Chinatown bus tickets—the couch. I didn’t want to feel this abject guilt every time I swiped the credit card, a sense that I was pushing our dreams of children and a home further away with every discretionary purchase. What I didn’t understand when I graduated college was that following your passions wouldn’t always be enough. Sometimes you’d want those other things, too.

She also talks to Emily Gould about working for art versus working for money, and Emily, as ever, has some genius insight of her own:

“I’m aware that my plan, which is to be an exception, is a bad plan,” she said. “That’s my dream. I can’t make it not my dream. I want to own a brownstone and have a baby, and right now I have $12,000 in credit-card debt and haven’t had a paycheck larger than $100 since July.”

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