Sunday, November 24, 2013


  I've been thinking a lot lately about wants and needs. I've been involved in many inspiring conversations with friends and read wonderful posts such as this one by my friend Milla (and I recall several wonderful posts over at terrallectualism on her changing city) that have me putting much thought into wealth, scarcity, my city, my own relationship with spending (ahem, complete inability to budget like an "adult") and consumerism in general.
  I spend time thinking about my chosen city (Seattle) and the Yuppie evolution/invasion I've witnessed in the 17 years I've lived here. I moved here from, what was then, a way too expensive (and not artistically stimulating-in my mind, at the time anyway...) city in Southern California. Seattle was a bargain priced gem in the rough full of struggling bohemians, coffee enthusiasts, outdoorsy fanatics, young families, aging hippie transplants from No Cal, emerging computer peeps, and more than a fair share of junkies. Things have quickly evolved in a squeaky clean, condo strewn landscape laden with high end SUVs and Supermodel trophy wives pushing thousand dollar strollers. All the old characters still exist but are being gradually pushed further and further out of the city limits. Priced out by the money people.
 I look at myself and the initial trigger response of "treat yourself" at the end of a hard workday or stressful interaction. I feel a (sometimes) unavoidable urge to rush off and spend money on myself on anything from a fancy almost $5. coffee drink to a new book. I have been working on retraining my reactivity and instead of rushing off and getting the brief "hit" of elation that comes from a luxury purchase, instead sitting in the feeling and being in the now and  redirecting my energy into writing about it or allowing it to pass through me before I move onto the next thing I am doing. All those $5 coffees add up. And I really do not need to be buying books when I already have SO MANY and our library is wonderful, The treating myself is how I was taught to deal with life, feelings, anything. I wasn't encouraged to feel or understand feelings. I was taught to flee them. I do indulge in treats once in a while but I have to set clear boundries with myself otherwise I tend to be reckless.
  I was, at one time, very into the accumulation of stuff. I still am but it's much more limited to a few special things. I came to feel very suffocated by all the things I brought into my home (and as someone who sells vintage, it is a very fine line between work stuff and hoarding!). The last couple years have been a process of uncluttering and letting go of objects. All these things and stuff take up emotional space too as I attach memories and sentimentality to them. They became sometimes harmful talismans because they interfered with my ability to be in the moment and move forward. I allow myself very few precious items anymore. Being a single mama, it seems unwise to keep anything I find that I can sell for profit.
 I was at a writing workshop recently and we were to write about a "treasured item" and I couldn't think of many actual items. I treasure friends and family, nature, sunbreaks after a rainy, dark day, the sunsets in autumn... I ended up writing about my sewing machine.
   I am overjoyed when I have the chance to be a part of a swap and small gifts come to me from other cities, thoughtfully curated by amazing women. I think developing relationships with others that are kind and real are the most wonderful inspiration in my life right now.
   Letting go of things and creating physical and emotional space has allowed me to feel a new openness in myself. I have been practicing meditation and just trying to be patient and kind to others (which can be so hard for me at times). I have been exploring my spirituality and paying closer attention to my intuition. These are things I want to concentrate my energy on, rather than attaining more and more money and stuff. I feel the pull of the country and the simplicity of fewer choices (fewer stores, etc) sounds liberating. I am happily surrounded by the most amazing community of people but there is so much fluff and filler because the city is just so big and there is SO MUCH ALL THE TIME that it can be deafening to the spirit. I am working on striking a balance, evolving my career path. I currently have 2 retail spaces (I rent a little cubicle in each) and one of them has started bringing in lots of made in China sweatshop new merchandise and I am so not ok with that and so I have to deal with how to handle that situation... I am striving to spend more time with thoughts, words and herbs and less time with clothes...
  I realize that I actually need very little and I'm trying to bring my wants (and those of my children especially the teenager...) into what I feel is a healthier realm...
  Hmm... that post was kind of all over the place, hopefully it makes at least a little sense. I'm off to take pictures in the back yard for etsy and eat my baked oatmeal while I do it. Happy Weekending! xo m

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post. You have me thinking about fleeing feelings.......


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