This is a post that I’ve struggled with even writing. It’s a very personal one for me.
First…a little background. If you had looked at my life a little over 3 years ago, you would’ve seen a mess. I was a mess. I just had a baby who spent 2 weeks in the NICU. We were broke. As a joke. Except…it wasn’t funny. And I didn’t want to go back to my corporate job. I can remember specifically sitting in our living room, watching Levi as he slept in his swing and crying. Crying so hard I could barely breathe. I didn’t want to leave him to go back to a job that wasn’t my dream career. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to handle everything we had just been through…I was still trying to figure out how to be a mom…processing the emotions of a 2 week NICU stay and a very sick baby were things that I wasn’t prepared for. I had a choice. I could sit and feel sorry for myself…or, I could do something. I chose to do something. I chose to stay up late, get up early and do whatever it took to figure out a way to work from home with this baby. I chose to take chances, reach out, make connections and make things happen.
Now, three years later: I own a successful business. I absolutely adore what I do and I feel like it helps others, which is so rewarding. I am home everyday with both of my sweet babies and a few months ago, we brought my husband home to work full-time with me. To say we’re blessed is an understatement.
But, here’s the thing: success comes with its own issues. From having to tell people ‘maybe later’ who come to me asking for a job, to the negative comments that I can sometimes hear (or see) people whisper.
I see it so often, especially in the influencer world. People make nasty comments on Instagram feeds-degrading influencers who purchase and have nice things. I saw a post the other day where an influencer had shared her new handbag, one person commented “why don’t you fund your kid’s college instead of buying these bags?”.
WHAT?! Seriously. The influencer responded in a very straightforward way that let the person know 1. they were out of line and 2. her child’s college fund was HER concern, not some stranger on Instagram’s concern.
Why do we feel it’s ok to judge what people have? Why is there a negative connotation to having nice things? Why is it ok to be belittle people who enjoy nice things?
Before I dive into this post even more, I want to preface it by saying this: no matter WHERE you are in your life, WHAT you’re doing or WHO you wish to become…I firmly believe that you must be content where you are, with what you have and who you are today before you can grow or reach your goals. If you aren’t content and happy with what you have and where you are, the ‘next thing’ will never be enough. That is an issue that is completely separate from what I’m about to discuss and address.
I want to discuss something that I honestly have never seen one person address in a public forum: it’s OK to have nice things.
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A few months ago, I purchased my first Louis Vuitton purse. I saved and saved, and I was near a store- so I went in and purchased one. I had been eyeing a designer handbag for years. Since then, I’ve saved and added a few others to my collection. This week: I purchased my dream car. One that I have been looking at for months (even years). One that if you had told me 3 years ago that I would walk into the dealership, write a check and leave with my dream car…I would have laughed in your face.
But, guess what? It happened.
We had to travel two states away to pick it up. On the way down, I was telling Josh that I had this horrible sense of guilt. I know he thought I was crazy. His simple question: “why?”. All I could think of was: because I’m afraid of what people will think. They’ll think I’m being excessive. Or they’ll think that I’m rubbing my success in their face. Or they’ll think….
He asked me: “Are any of those things true?”.
“Of course not”, I answered.
Then I realized: I’m doing this for ME. I’ve always loved cars, even as a teenager. Cars were my thing. The Range Rover…d-r-e-a-m car. To someone else who doesn’t really care about cars, they probably don’t ‘get it’. But, I love it. Could I live without it? Of course. Do I need it? Nope. Am I 100% happy without it? Absolutely.
Will it put a smile on my face when I drive it? Sure.
I’m doing this for ME.
I have worked SO hard for this. It’s not affecting our family’s financial future (or present). I’m doing this for ME.
I think so often we, especially as women, feel guilty for doing things for ourselves. From a simple mani-pedi to purchasing our dream car. We are afraid of what others will think of that time away or that purchase or…
And I want to ask, why?
It’s OK to have nice things. That doesn’t mean it has to be a designer bag or a new car, it could simply be a new set of kitchen knives, a new mug from Target or a trip for your family. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.
If your heart and your soul are happy and content without these things, I personally see nothing wrong with purchasing things that you like. We know that it’s wrong to judge people for not having as much as we have, so why do we think it’s ok to judge people for having more than we have?
I’ll leave you with this. The next time that you worry about what someone else thinks, just remember:
There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.