Sometimes being an adult stinks


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I’m being all grown-up about something. And it stinks.

My husband and I are less than $1,000 away from being at credit card 0 for the first time in several years. We’ve both worked really hard to make this happen and we’re grateful and proud … and not quite there yet. I’m bound and determined to not let it creep up again.

So I can’t do this thing that I want to do more than anything else. For several years, I’ve been part of an online writing community centered around the amazing blog, Writer Unboxed. I’ve commented on blog posts, joined the Facebook community, and become Facebook friends with writers from all over the world. This community has made me a better, more courageous, and more generous writer. They’ve introduced me to novels that I’ve devoured and to writing craft advice that I’ve taken to heart. It’s not exaggerating to say that I love these people.

And they’re throwing a conference.

I can’t go.***

There are only two days left to sign up, so unless someone steps forward with $1,500 (conference + airfare + lodging + food), saying, “Natalie, I want to invest in your dream of being a novelist. Use this for however you need it,” we can’t afford it.

So many of my favorite people from this community are going to be there, including writing craft instructors who command even bigger bucks than that will be leading sessions. But I’ve lived under the burden of bad, stupid debt for too long. I can’t put myself back there, even for something I want to do so badly. I’m trying to be mature about it, and mostly succeeding, except for this little nubbin in my soul that is consumed with jealousy.

So there’s my whine.

How about you? Is there something you want to do, but you’ve decided to be a grown up about it and are saying no? If so, please share. I’d love to commiserate.

***Edited to add: My husband scolded me and told me it was worth it, so I’m driving not flying, and I’m staying at an airbnb place instead of a hotel, but I’m going to the conference. For my husband to believe in my dream even more than I do … is a priceless gift. Thank you, Michael.


  1. Oh Natalie! I know exactly how you feel. And, I’m glad your husband believes in your dream and “forced” you to go to the conference. This past June I had a similar opportunity to attend a conference in Tulsa. I couldn’t figure out how to swing it. I knew I needed to be there with the people who have supported me and pushed me. And then, some of those people told me they would help pay to get me to Tulsa. And I drove. It was worth it. So very much worth it. I hope you have a blast meeting your 2D friends and making them 3D friends!

  2. Thanks, Rick. It’s quite amazing how deep such support feels. The conference week was one of the best weeks of my life, and I’m so grateful to my husband for making it happen.

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