Once More, with Feeling

I spent the first day of the year helping my mother weed through several closets, the bottom half of each rendered unusable by water damage. Our house, which has never seen even an inch of water in its more than two weeks of existence, suddenly found itself submerged in floodwaters twice in a span of weeks, leaving behind several inches of mud. It was as destructive as it was disgusting.

As I inspected each article of clothing, one after another, I can't help but feel guilty over the effort it must have taken to schlep these items to safety - these shirts that have been outgrown years ago, these coats whose existence have long been forgotten, these dresses that are never going to get worn in the foreseeable future. These were things that, at one point in time, I was convinced I simply must have; things that I spent my hard-earned cash on. And now here they are, completely unused for years, tossed in the donation pile, but not before burdening other people with their storage and maintenance.

I cannot deny that shopping has always been my therapy of choice. I remember the first time I had to work overtime against my will, for reasons beyond my control: I left the office for a dinner break, went straight to Levi's, bought a pair of pants, returned to my desk, and slaved away into the night. When I was having apartment troubles thanks to the prick that ran the HOA, I cried for a couple of minutes, and then proceeded to stock my closet with shoes. I shop when I'm stressed, I shop when I'm bored, I shop when the world seems to be spinning to fast for my liking. The moment I transitioned from getting crazy excited about new purchases to actually being embarrassed by them, I knew it was time to stop, but obviously, that was easier said than done.

I refuse to make my life all about acquisitions, and that is why, regardless of how miserably I'm failing in this whole minimalist endeavour, I am picking myself up and stubbornly soldiering on.

So, a reboot.

Six months, no shopping. I'm getting rid of that loophole where I allow myself to buy one thing each month, because that is just me giving myself an excuse to shop.

I still have some exceptions, though. These are things I know I would need along the way but have not gotten around to buying: ear muffs, a spring trench coat, and one good pair of jeans. Apart from these, I am only allowed to buy replacements, and only of things that have run out or are legitimately destroyed.

See you in June ;)

(Just kidding. Will post monthly updates.)

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