I have followed The Minimalists on Twitter for years and a minimalistic way of life has always been something I was interested in but never properly looked into it or paid it enough attention so why am I suddenly taking it so seriously? Let me tell you why.
No it’s not because I want to sell all my stuff and travel the world with one suitcase, I also don’t want to move into a tiny house and live with the bare minimum (major respect to anyone who does either of the above) but because I have always been very aware of my attachment to material possessions, my addiction to shopping and my never-ending search for happiness in material things but the past two weeks I realised just how bad it was.
Much like The Minimalists, Joshua and Ryan, I grew up poor and that put me on a determined path to work my ass off for all of the things that I want. I never wanted to go without ever again. I never wanted to want something really badly but not be able to get it and this began my obsession with buying and having.
The problem with this is that I thought I could buy happiness. And as I am typing this I realise that I actually didn’t even need to watch the documentary to know that happiness can’t be bought because even though we were poor I wasn’t an unhappy child. My best memories from my childhood don’t involve things.
Anyway, back to what I was saying, I felt like the answer to happiness was to have it all – and not in the good husband, the amazing mother, the best friends, type of way, but the nice house, the walk in closet, the cool car kind of way. And I always thought that this came from the fact that I may have always felt a bit “deprived” because I didn’t have much growing up but now I know that it is just a search for happiness.
I wasn’t brought up to be materialistic and I was happy even though I didn’t have it all, but since my life became revolved around materialism I am unhappy.
So the real reason I watched the documentary is because as some of you will know, we bought a car recently and it was super exciting and I am so glad that we are finally driving around in something that we don’t feel is going to break down any second but something was constantly in the back of my mind. I was worried. A car is expensive and it is going to be a big adjustment going from not paying a car instalment to paying one so I was scared. But I was also sad that I wouldn’t be able to go out and shop like I used to. The car was a necessity because our old one had completely given up on us and there I was feeling a bit sad because I wouldn’t be able to buy luxuries.
Payday arrived and there were sales everywhere and I just wanted to shop but I had to control myself and again, this made me sad. It was at this point that I realised the true extent of it all. How the rush of shopping made me happy for a short while and then I would have to do it again. How I have a lot of clothes but still want more and more and more.
I watched the documentary hoping for an aha moment and I had several but I think I just had the biggest aha moment while writing this post and my mind is pretty much blown because it’s almost as if I just had a therapy session with myself. This is the reason I write!
I was putting a price tag on happiness and it was getting me nowhere so I am going to try the alternative and take the price tag off it and see what happens.
Also, the documentary is really worth a watch. I might do a follow up post with some things I learnt – it was meant to be this post but as you can see this post was basically a conversation with myself so thanks for eavesdropping.