Ugly Hamsters vs. Peaceful Poverty

I read this story of a woman who is going on a spending fast for the next year: http://melaniespring.com/blog/fasting-time-to-start-saving  (amazing goal btw) and I started to think about shopping myself…

I haven’t been shopping since………… July 22 (I’m really good with dates and days- trust me on this). However only a year ago at this time I would  shop every 3 days or so- just to look extra delicious because I was working at this bar, and there was this guy that I really liked and… not a fond memory so we’re just gonna keep on trucking…

Since its been what feels like years since I’ve tried on a pair of jeans… I’ll relive my typical shopping experience for a minute:

First feeling: excitement. Seeing all of those glittery tank tops and cut off jean shorts (love those) swimming in front of me at Forever 21 and the Gap, I’d get giddy over how amazing I was guaranteed to look wearing them. But then another feeling would slowly creep in to accompany this idyllic haze: claustrophobia. I felt like a hamster running on that little wheely thing, my thoughts hypergeared: “that’s cute and that’s pretty and that’s BEYOOOTIFUL and wait, I’ll look  skinny if I wear that, I’ll be *sexy* if I wear that…” and at the end of it all an overwhelming sense of “I’m-never-gonna-have-enough” would hit me DEEP down and I’d throw down all of my preciously procured $3 thongs and elbow my way out of Forever 21 in a huff.  I wanted to buy everything and flounce around in it all but I was never going to get everything I wanted and somewhere deep down I knew that if I did it still wouldn’t feel good.   I defined myself by how my jeans made my a** look, how much my hair bounced and I completely forgot that my beauty and attractiveness came from how sincerely I could look someone in the eye and truly speak to them. The more I shopped, the more I forgot.

Fast forward to today. I haven’t shopped in 4 months and I must confess-the idea of new running shoes or lululemon workout pants is di-vinnnnne… but I am more happy now (not having shopped for 4 months) than I ever have been in my life. I don’t feel like an ugly hamster on a wheel just trying to “keep up”, I get home from work and rest and relax instead of scouring the sales bins at H&M, I cherish what I cook because frankly when you’re lacking funds, food is the one necessity that you can’t REALLY get away with not buying  and therefore enjoy to the fullest (please see recent post on Freezer Chicken). This is all while my “work” heels are so broken and worn down that I’m clicking on the last remnant of the heel (the metal), I’m recycling the same 5-7 outfits to work every week, and I  haven’t had a dinner out at a nice restaurant in…. I honestly can’t remember.

But I read more. I laugh more. I engage more.  So even though this current state of poverty isn’t exactly comfortable, it’s turning out to be quite… peaceful.

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