Tuesday, September 21, 2010

emptiness, consumer goods, and what it means to me

Another thing that I've wanted to write about since yesterday and the week before and the months and years even before that is my quickening, hardening sense of "what matters to me" and how I felt/feel about minimalism, consumerism, materialism. All the "-isms". I was reminded of this a few weeks in a row when I went on small trips to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. What better way to drive home these lessons than visiting Shangri-LA and Sin City?

Which is this: somewhere along the line, I realized that material possessions only bought me a fleeting satisfaction and that after I had purchased and sullied the product by making it mine; after caps had been opened and tags cut off with fierce, impatient snips; after shoes had been worn in and the clothes had taken up residence in my closet, I ceased to notice any of it anymore. I wanted off the consumer hamster wheel – or, at the very least, I wanted to slow down the spin.

Somewhere along the way, instant gratification no longer felt gratifying.

Even now, when something shiny catches my eye, I am filled with a sudden rush of want, but on its heels, a practical voice dismisses the feeling. Because I really don’t need it. I don’t even really want it.

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