At last, my friends, the resolve to pull myself out of the pit of debt I created has finally come to fruition.
But as I take a moment to appreciate this hard-won victory against my credit card and spending habits, I know it is only the beginning of a longer life journey.
True, eight months tends to ingrain a habit. But this is like recovering from an addiction.
Every time I went shopping, what I really was trying to buy was happiness. Of course, the pleasure you derive from buying something is short-lived. As soon as the excitement wears off, you find yourself buying something else to fill the void left in its place.
Once the pattern is established, it’s hard to break. In the end, all you are left with is a bunch of stuff that no longer makes you happy, you don’t use, and which you paid a lot of money, even got into serious debt, for.
Or at least that was the case with me. I envy people who don’t face this struggle. Because, despite the months I strived to make real change in my life, it still requires a conscious effort to discern what will add real value to my life. Only those items are truly worth their cost.
And, spoiler alert: It’s not stuff. The things that make me happiest are books or life experiences. Skydiving? Hell yes, sign me up! Travel? Of course! These things add a deeper meaning to life. They change my perceptions and give me memories I can cherish for years.
Cliché though it may be, it’s true: The things we own end up owning us. We spend our time working to pay for them, acquiring them, and then immediately look for more.
I used to think that freedom was the ability to buy anything you want. Now I know that freedom is not wanting anything.