I wanted to buy a lot of things today.

Among all the things I gawked at, these three were what I wanted to get for myself the most.

1.  The Quiksilver Rambler Zip Up Sweatshirt.

2. A pair of suede DC Standard or TX shoes

3.  Nike Cheyenne Pursuit 2.0 in Navy

via freshness

Aside from that, I want to buy ballet flats, and I have an HTC One X pipe dream.

I basically spent the entire afternoon window shopping and thinking of stuff to buy.

At the end of the day, I thought “what a sad way to spend an afternoon”.

Don’t get me wrong, I love getting and wearing cool new things as much as any other hot-blooded corporate person who earns her own money, but if I were to spend $300 on these three items in a day…

would I really be happy?

I guess I just needed to ask myself that.

Primarily, because I need that thought to save money haha.

If I didn’t second-guess myself, I’d run myself into the ground with poverty and debt.

My mental shopping spree just really got me thinking.

What happens after I get those three things?  Or if I even buy an additional set of ballet flats I wanted, or the 2 Billabong watches I like, or a surfboard, or an HTC One X?

What, then?

There’ll just be new bags, new shoes, new sweaters to find cool, right?

I need something to fill my life.

Fulfilling work.  Purpose.  Dedication to something greater than me.

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2 thoughts on “On Shopping and the meaning of life.

  1. Sometimes I think of buying something as a proxy for buying into something greater. Maybe I’ve just let Mad Men get to my head too much, but I’ve started to second guess not only my purchases, but what they stand for. They stand for a vision of my life or elements of it that are greater or better than what my life is or has right now. I want to buy something, because I want to believe I’m capable of improving some part of me in a certain way.

    I think about this especially because my husband and I differ a lot about what is a useful purchase and what is meaningless crap. He doesn’t buy into a lot of the stuff that I do, so once I own something new, it often ends up getting misused or used for something else. The same things that seem amazing and transformative to me are just silly objects to him.

    So what happens if you buy all of the stuff you’re looking at?
    It’s yours. Maybe you rock it, maybe it sits in the laundry too long. Maybe you’re cool, but for how long, and what’s next?

    Each of the consumerist ideals is a neverending cycle. Buying leads to more buying. Looking for things to buy is like finding the areas of incompleteness in your life. And once you start looking for shortcomings and incompleteness and needs and wants, you find a neverending supply of them.

    I try to clean out whatever I want to shop for before I make any final decisions. Want a sweater? First organize what I have and see if I still want or need it… That process switches me away from concentrating on what I don’t have and over to concentrating on what I do have.

    That said, I’m far from perfect. I love colors, and when I see new colors come out I lose my cool! …And then, I do rock that “new clothes swagger!” And that “Oh God, why did I buy that?” guilt!

    1. This is such an insightful comment, I feel honored that you decided to post it on my blog haha 🙂

      Thanks for that. Great to hear someone else thinking in a similar vein. Shopping values are quite different for men and women, especially when you’re in a relationship. Your response also reminds me of this e-book featured by Chris Guillebeau in his “Guide to World Domination”, on examining your dreams/wislist (even the crazy, fun, consumeristic ones) to see what each item means for you.

      Great advice, too – on organizing the current roster of what you want to buy. My version is listing down what space in the “roster” it would fill, and whether it would actually fit multiple or sufficient situations.

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