I wasn't always like this though. I remember when I was younger, if I saw something and wanted it, I knew I couldn't just have it. I would have to save up my pocket money and my wages from babysitting and cleaning jobs and I would buy that thing when I had enough money. And I would treasure that thing, because I would have worked hard for it.
I remember one of the things I wanted was a bag. A schoolbag, one of those canvas ones that were really popular in the nineties. All the cool kids in school had one. My parents wouldn't buy me one because I didn't need a new schoolbag. They were, and still are, remarkably sensible with money. So I saved all summer and finally was able to buy one for myself. I was about 14 or something. I used that bag for years. I still have it somewhere.
When I was 16 I got a job for the summer. A proper job, in a factory, not just an after school job that paid pittance, or the odd weekend babysitting. I worked all day every day Monday to Friday. And I got a proper wage, a couple of hundred pounds a week.
It was a huge thing for me, having money in my pocket, my own money, and knowing that I didn't need to save it, that there was more money coming next week.
I spent all of that money, every penny of it, on cigarettes, sweets, beer, chocolate, clothes, and shitty take away food for me and my boyfriend. When I went back to school in September I had nothing to show for my three months of hard work. Absolutely nothing.
Did I learn my lesson though?
No, I certainly did not. All I wanted to do was get back out there and earn more money. I had spent 16 years never having anything that I wanted and having to scrimp and save for everything.
I loved the instant gratification that came with having a wage every week. So when I finished school that's what I did. Shitty job after shitty job, just so I could have money in my pocket in case I needed to buy things on a whim.
I have wasted years working, on and off, frittering away almost every penny I earned on stuff that was just given away or dumped when I was tired of it. Now I haven't been able to find a job in years, and something just came along that I want.
My dream house. I want it so badly that it literally hurts my chest (I'm not sure if this is medical, maybe I should be worried). I see myself living there, Making pie in the kitchen and hanging laundry outside on a sunny day and playing with the lots and lots of dogs that I would adopt from rescue centers because the garden is huge. And maybe even a cat. And a ferret.
People would come and visit me and we would all sit in my huge kitchen and I would pour them tea from a teapot and they would eat freshly baked scones. Because the kitchen is huge also. I could go for walks in the countryside simply by stepping out of my front door, instead of having to drive to the countryside first.
And it would be sunny there every single day...
It's beautiful and I want it, it's in exactly the area that I want to live, it has an orchard and a place where I could keep chickens and a lovely piece of walled garden where I could grow my own vegetables and herbs.
But I spent all my money on whiskey and beer, so it's no, nay, never for me and this house I'm afraid.
Maybe a few years ago, when I had a job, I might have had a chance of getting a mortgage, but now, with me having no income and almost no savings, I have no hope of buying this beautiful house, that I think I am actually in love with, before someone else snaps it up. And it makes me so so sad. It is my own fault, and the fact that I squandered away everything I ever worked for makes me want to punch myself in the head.
I have come to the conclusion that it's good though. I'm treating it as a life lesson. I've spent years in a sort of stagnant state, just waiting for something to happen, thinking things will be different when I get a job, and things will be different when I finally finish writing a book and get it published... I've written loads of half books and they're all just lying around, waiting to be finished, on memory sticks and scraps of paper.
I have decided that I am the master of my own destiny, or some shit, and I really need to knuckle down and work hard, instead of staring at a blank computer screen, waiting for someone to throw money at me.
I've missed this opportunity, but when another one comes along, in a few years or decades or whenever, I will be ready for it. And I shall seize it with both hands. It shall be mine.