@Fig. 1 *sigh* If I were that girl, I'd steal all my brother's toys too. Well done going for the rodeo set. Horses! When I was a kid, I remember getting a bunch of Lego for Christmas. But it wasn't geared towards any particular gender back then, it was just a big ol' box of Lego (with a few green boards to build on of course), and it was awesome! I made so many houses and animals and undefinable things. And 'how big can I make this tower of 2ers before it falls over' type things.
I didn't move to the UK specifically to make more money, and actually, getting a masters degree here was quite expensive because of international student fees. So I have loads of student debt still, and I don't have a particularly high-paying job, but that's more because I work in the arts than because of what country I'm in. All that said, I do think I have enjoyed a higher quality of life here than I would do if I were in the US. I don't have to worry about health insurance, I get scads of holiday, public transport is excellent and I only ever wish I had a car for trips to IKEA or something, and the UK laws on how animals need to be raised and stuff like that ensure that I can get much higher welfare food here much more consistently and affordably, which is important to me, and is hard for me to do when I come back to the US to visit. So, while I don't think I'm doing better on the money front, there's a lot to be said for the security and comfort of free healthcare, plenty of time to take holidays, the ability to live without a car, and knowing the animals I eat had a happy life. I really do hope I get to stay here.
Tefal makes a combo rice cooker/slow cooker/steamer which is probably the best idea ever on the planet. I have one but the slow cooker function is now broken (it's old and I dropped it once because I store it above head height and I'm a klutz), so I've wanted to buy a replacement FOREVER. I will eventually. So: not single use! And when I manage to get a new one, I'll just keep it on the counter so it never breaks and use it ALWAYS.
Yes! It's like the great secret of life that adults never really admit when you're growing up. No one has anything figured out! But they can't tell you that when you're a kid or you'd be REALLY freaked out. You just have to find out like everyone else.
Stuff like this just gives me anxiety attacks. You can spend most of your 20s figuring things out and feel like you've gotten to a place where you know what you want and where you're going, then it can all get flipped on its head without warning, so, life. You know? It's complicated no matter how you go at it. I've never felt threatened by 30 or any specific age, but I do sometimes feel crushed by feeling like I'll NEVER have anything figured out (let alone 'it all') no matter how much time I've been on the planet or how much experience I have.
This is what was happening in Edinburgh (and I imagine plenty of other places in Scotland) about 5 years ago before the market went downhill. In Scotland, the system is an 'offers over' one, so people put their house on the market with a price, and you offer over it. At the time, things were going for like, 50% over the 'offers over' price and it was totally bonkers because it's a closed-bid system so you had no way of knowing if your bid won until the closing date. There wasn't really any negotiating. INCREDIBLY frustrating. My partner was buying our flat and the estate agent was basically like, when you find a place you want, you have to go way, way over if you want any chance of getting it or else don't even bother. What he ended up paying was actually over 50% more than the offers over price. And you also had no way of knowing what the next highest bid to yours was, so it could have been £2,000 less or £10,000 less. Anyway, then the market died and everything is going for fixed price or way lower than it was then anyway. And it would be silly to sell anything now that was bought then because you'd never get close to what you paid. Uck.
I also read faithfully, and ever since The Billfold started, I've been thinking a lot more about money and my relationship with it, which I think is a great thing for everyone to do. So way to go Mike for following your dreams and creating something super awesome! It is well appreciated by many. It's so good to hear different views on financial situations, and just to be reminded every day that A: this stuff is important but doesn't have to be scary, and B: doing what works for you and your own life is totally ok, and we should all probably be a little less hard on ourselves and our mistakes. My parents have a totally different view on money and jobs and things than yours do, but this piece made me think a lot about why that is and how their views were formed and how they may have changed from their parents. My grandfather's parents were immigrants, and I'm sure there was a huge shift in how they thought about things to how my parents do. And my parents families growing up definitely weren't as well off as we were. I've never considered this stuff before and now I'm kind of fascinated by how my parents came to have the views they do on money and morals and things, and how they've shaped my own. They're pretty sensible, but there are also times where it's hard to see eye to eye, particularly with my dad because he had a job right out of school and has been with the same company ever since. He never had the experience of sending out loads and loads of CVs and cover letters and getting nothing with a huge pile of loan debt on his shoulders, and if you don't have that experience, it's probably pretty hard to understand it when your kid is having it (and much easier to say to them 'you just need to try harder', ughhhhh, Daaaad). Anyway, I will stop writing a novel. Parental relations can be frustrating, if not in one way than in another, but it's always nice when we can recognise they really do just want the best for you. Sometimes your ideas of that just don't match up.
*Sigh* Mike Dang, between this and your last post yesterday on doing what you love (which was great by the way, and made me think a lot like this site always does), I feel we all just need to go sit in a room with some puppies for a while and try to temporarily forget all this troubling stuff.
Oh yes. OCTOPUS PLEASE!
Oh my god, the cinnamon danish in Copenhagen. I have dreams about them. Best things ever.