I truly resent when I am forced to deal with the realities of adulthood. Paying for stuff like electricity and gas really annoys me because I feel like I should receive such amenities automatically. And this isn’t to say that I feel entitled to enjoy these modern conveniences for free, as if I’m more important than anyone else, its more the mundane process of paying boring bills that just makes me want to take a nap.
So this past Saturday, confronted with the bothersome fact that I needed a new car tire and battery, I journeyed to a service shop that I’ve been to before in Glendale. Naturally once they inspected my car, I was told I should really have more than one tire replaced. I immediately felt my insides begin to turn. My finances aren’t exactly flourishing at the moment. I was recently out of work for three months, and since I’ve only been steadily working again for less than two months, I am just now finally starting to catch up on my bills and paying for life in general.
Defeated, I decided to wander over to the Glendale Americana while I waited to have my car fixed. I needed a few last minute items for my Halloween costume, so I had a legitimate reason to go near stores. Normally when I have little to no money, I don’t allow myself to go to a mall. Why torture myself? I pretty much hate malls anyways, because I dislike being in an enclosed space with rows and rows of mostly uninspired and overly commercial retail, but the Americana is an outdoor mall, which I can handle. It also houses an Anthropologie, which is basically my own personal consumer heaven. If I could sneak into an Antropologie store every night and live there, I so would. I love the clothes, the jewelry, the bedding, the candles, all of it, everything. The modern Victorian vibe they have going on there is just divine.
Since I had actually dragged myself out of bed to arrive at the tire shop when they opened at 8am (my Dad’s influence rubbing off on me there), I arrived at the Americana before the stores had opened. A farmer’s market was being set up, so I was welcomed with the clean scent of fresh fruit. It had been raining the previous night, so there was a dampness to the sleepy morning that had a true autumn kick.
I was still very mopey as I walked through the farmer’s market, until I approached a giant fountain. I stared at it as the choreographed water show sprayed the water up into the air and then back down, and then all around as if synchronized swimming whales swam just beneath the surface. The sun was creeping up behind the buildings and the reflection sharply glistened off the water, so much so that I could barely see, yet I couldn’t turn away.
That morning I had actually considered not bringing my camera with me because I didn’t know if I would want to carry it around. But I had grabbed it, reminding myself that I never know when I might need it. I’m so thankful I did grab it, because while I was being blinded by the sun, I reached into my purse, fumbled for it, and began snapping away. I couldn’t even really see what I was capturing, but I somehow knew it would be stunning.
I stood there while the sound of the collapsing water slapping against itself began to soothe away my troubles. I continued to wander around the Americana, taking photos. The sickness in the pit of my stomach from knowing I was going to have to fork over a hefty chunk of my last paycheck to the service shop started to go away.
I ended up finding the last pieces to my Halloween costume that morning. While I hate paying for an oil change, I have zero qualms about purchasing a giant pink plastic ring that lights up that I will wear only once that evening. I clearly still have some growing up to do.
But I hope that growing up isn’t just about accepting the hum drum of paying bills, and denying yourself the fun stuff. Because I don’t regret buying that ring, or the rhinestone fingerless gloves, or the glitter tights. In my mind, I need that stuff just as much, if not more than reliable transportation.
Walking back through the farmer’s market again on the way to get my car, there were lots of little kids in costume. One guy at a vegetable stand yelled out, “Hey little fireman! Firefighter over here!” The little costumed boy skipped over to the veggie man and collected his fun sized chocolate bars. Just as I was thinking “AWWWWW how cute!”, I looked up and saw a giant chandelier strung up in the pathway of the produce booths. It was massive, hanging there as if the powder blue sky was an enormous foyer. As I looked up, all I could see was the chandelier, the sky, and giant buildings towering over me.
Stunned by the vision, inspiration again injected in my veins, I lifted my camera, snapped a shot, and skipped back to the tire place with the vigor of that little firefighter swinging his plastic pumpkin to retrieve his treats. I hope to always have a little bit of that little kid spark inside of me, even when I’m depleting my Visa balance on car parts and phone bills.