‘There must be more to life than having everything!’
Six months back from now, I was a hoarder.
Hoarder of clothes. Hoarder of things, I don’t need.
Hoarder of emotions relating to buy things which I couldn’t buy.
I was a purchase freak. I admit to it.
I used to buy clothes. Buy unnecessary food. Spend so much money at unnecessary places and for unnecessary things.
It was all too much, when I look back now.
My regular pocket-money used to get over too soon. I had no saving. I used to ask advance from my parents almost too soon.
And, on some occasions, I remember picking money from Dad’s pocket.
When I look back, it’ll seem I was a slave. And perhaps, I was. I won’t deny.
I started to find happiness in stuff. I became attached to the idea that more stuff means, more happiness.
More food means, more happiness.
It almost became my like my therapy to avoid the void of emptiness.
So I started to fill that void with stuff. More stuff. And much more stuff.
I started desiring more stuff. And things. And more money.
And it was terrible.
It was a vicious cycle.
I got money. I spent money. I got more money. I spent more money.
It became a therapy for me.
To purchase things. To spend on clothes. To spend on gadgets. To spend on unnecessary eating out. And such unnecessary things.
And then I stumbled upon the idea of Minimalism. And it struck a chord with me.
And I decided, I’ll do this.
I decided, I won’t be buying for months now. Not unnecessarily at least.
That would be mean no random clothes shopping. No gadgets. Movies. New games. Excessive rickshaw travelling. Spending overly on restaurants and food.
It all had to be stopped. Really.
And it was terribly hard. I remember in the first month, I became cranky. And angry. And anxious. And sad.
Sounds extreme. But that’s how it was.
I felt like a drug addict. Really. For the first time in my life, I felt this much anxiety.
Whenever I used to come across a new gadget or fancy restaurant or food items or clothes, I used to get all sweaty. Worked up.
And I almost gave in many times to the urge of buying. That impulse rush.
And, soon, I realized the problem.
The problem was that I was trying to buy emotions.
You heard it right. Buying emotions.
Whenever I used to buy clothes, I attached the emotion of comfort and emotion of being happy to purchasing clothes. I used to feel a momentarily rush. And, I became addicted to that rush and forgot that’s not real happiness. Or comfort.
Whenever I used to buy excessive food or overly expensive food, I attached the emotion of happiness and security and comfort to it. I was trying to buy the emotions.
The problem however was that emotions can’t be bought. Things can be. Emotions can’t be.
I realized this soon enough. And I was stunned. In shock. I never imagined what I have done to my mental process.
I started to associate emotions with hoarding. Emotions with purchasing. Emotions with consumerism.
So for me, more clothes was more comfort. More food was more happiness. More gadgets were more security and more fun. More shopping was more love.
But the reality is different. Such emotions wore off soon. They don’t stay for long and soon again, I’ll be anxious. That’ll again force me to buy more things.
This cycle would have never ended. Never, ever.
That’s why, my first month was so difficult. There was no quick fix available to my mind. There was no purchase to be made.
It became better. And, I started to find real emotions seeping in.
I found comfort in a good friendship and good chat not clothes.
I found happiness in a good time spend with friends, a good cup of coffee over reading a book and being volunteer for the community.
I found security through genuine relations I have in my life and not through excessive eating.
It became better. It became good. It become awesome.
And, now I am healthier, happier and better than I ever was.
I am not saying there is inherently wrong with consumerism or buying things.
I am not even saying that, I don’t buy things now and have gone all sanyaasi.
All I am saying is that don’t try to buy emotions. Really. You can’t. You never were able to and you never will be.
You might feel a rush of pleasure after a shopping spree but it’ll wore off soon. What then? You’ll want to do another shopping spree. You’ll want to buy more things and stuff.
There is no end to it.
And really. The idea of tying your self-worth to materials is something scary.
Imagine your happiness, security, comfort and all emotions being tied materials. To purchasing. To owing. To buying.
It is a scary, scary thought.
Don’t be a slave.
We’re more than what we own. We’re more than where we eat or what we eat.
We’re more than what we wear.
We’re more than all these.
We’re not defined by these.
Don’t try to define ourselves by these.
There will be only loser. That is us.
Come out the shackles of excessive consumerism. It does you no good.
Get free from the cage. And be more.
Fly. Fucking fly.
SHOPPING OR FINDING MEANING- The Minimalists
Breaking Free From Consumerist Chains- ZenHabits
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