Don’t buy this

Years ago I had another blog. I don’t know why I say “another” because it actually had the same domain, but I deleted the whole thing so it was dead, and this is a resurrection.

A little side story: toward the end of my blog, my domain needed to be renewed, but for the life of me I could not figure out how to do it through Google. I tried repeatedly, and could never log in the way Google wanted me to log in, and eventually my domain expired and somebody scooped it up, no doubt hoping that I would come begging to buy it back. Instead, I gave up on it, and deleted my whole blog because it was no longer the space that I wanted it to be. Well, I guess the entity that stole my domain realized that I was gone and nobody else wanted it, because when I decided to blog again it was available. 

My old blog started as a way to keep me on track to save money for my honeymoon. I used it to share things I wanted to buy – a non-consuming way of having these things I coveted. It actually worked, I did save money during that time, and managed to avoid frivolous purchases for months. I need to get back to that place of focused money management, but I’m not about to blog about things I want to buy. I want to get to a place where I don’t want to buy.

Something that turned me off my own blog was that I felt like it was overly driven by consumerism, and the need to buy stuff. Many of the blogs that I read were the same, all about what to buy for your home or how to dress. Over time, it seemed like all blogs turned into platforms to get sponsorships, bloggers were just trying to get paid to sell stuff and receive stuff for free. I was a willing participant in this, spending my time reading blogs so they could sell me something I didn’t need.

So, I killed my blog. I think only my parents noticed, because by then people didn’t read blogs – probably because everywhere we look someone is trying to sell us something, and blogs are too wordy a platform for advertisements. Now people are trying to sell us that same junk on Instagram and TikTok.

In the last year or so I’ve been drawn to the idea of minimalism. When I look around my house and see how much stuff we’ve accumulated, I feel the weight of it all on my soul. Toys and clothes and trinkets and just so much stuff. At the start of this year I started getting rid of it, and have spent hours going through every inch of my house, pulling out the things we don’t need and that no longer serve us. It’s become a favorite weekend activity – getting rid of things – I find it incredibly satisfying.

This is not to say that I have become a minimalist, or that my house is no longer filled with stuff. It’s that going forward I want to be un-influenceable. I don’t want to attach sentiment to objects, and I don’t want to associate success with having stuff. 

Over the course of this endless pandemic (and before it, if I’m honest), I’ve sought the serotonin boost of buying things. Those early days when the sight of the delivery vans outside was the highlight of another day in lockdown! The increasingly normalized act of online shopping, everything you could ever want at your fingertips and delivered to your door in a day. None of this is good for us, and I reject it on a good day. But not every day.  

My resolution (feels like a bad word these days) for 2022 is not to buy stuff, but to lighten my load further. That includes:

  • Get my serotonin from sources other than shopping for things I don’t need
  • Buy clothes second-hand in stores, and not impulse/online shop 
  • Open an Etsy shop to sell the tchotchkes and trinkets I’ve accumulated, and bank that money – ie, use the joy that I get from treasure-hunting to make money

Maybe resolutions don’t work, but I’ve found that by saying things out loud, even if “out loud” is writing on a blog that nobody reads, I’m better at staying on track to my goals. It worked once before, and fingers crossed it will again.

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