I used to buy a t-shirt at every concert I went to. And I used to go to ALOT of concerts. Strange thing was, they all ended up folded and tucked away in one of my overflowing t-shirt drawers.
I never wore my concert t-shirts. It was like I was saving them for a day that never came. As of today, I have donated all but one concert t-shirt and all the t-shirts I have now I wear. It’s so nice to have a sparse t-shirt drawer that gives off that empty drawer echo when opened.
So what was with my concert t-shirt obsession? Why did I consume each time I went to hear live music? The experiences were solely about listening to live music yet I felt like I could not leave a show without a t-shirt. Maybe to prove to myself that I was really there? Maybe to prove to others that I was really there? Maybe it felt safer to form an attachment to an object which I thought would preserve the memory of the concert for me?
The fact is, I am the only one that can preserve my memories. Even if finding a concert t-shirt years down the line makes me smile at the memories that come rushing back. It is not the t-shirt that holds the memories. They are all within me and I can remember them whenever I want. I don’t need a t-shirt to do that for me.
Having said all that, I still do get the urge to shop. My eyes become transfixed when passing by window displays exhibiting cozy boots, begging me to wear them all. My consumer mind is screaming buy buy buy! But my rational mind tells me to breathe and to keep walking.
I keep walking because I know that the giddy adrenaline rush I’ll feel going home with a new pair of boots in hand will only last an hour or so. I know that the next day I will stress about my bank account and wonder why I can’t seem to save. I know that the planet suffers each time a needless purchase is made. I know that I will suffer each time I make a needless purchase. I just remember the soothing sound of a sparsely occupied drawer and I keep walking.
I recently attended a Noel Gallagher concert at the lovely Beacon Theatre. I was making my way through the crowded lobby area when there it was right in front of me, the concert paraphernalia booth. Without much thought or self awareness, I gravitated towards the booth and my hand was already creeping inside my bag, ready to pull out my hard earned cash to purchase a t-shirt I do not need. Thanks to the rowdy crowd, I was literally pushed out of my consumer stupor and I realized what I was about to do. The mental lightbulb turned on and I quickly removed my hand from my bag, found my seat and allowed myself to focus on a much more powerful adrenaline rush, live music. Incredible show by the way!
We don’t need inanimate objects to preserve or hold our memories. Even with no t-shirt from this show, I can still remember the music, the crowd and the whole experience in detail.
I am faced with opportunities to make decisions that can further my commitment to a minimalist and Eco-conscious journey every day. When I say yes to my commitment, the benefits consistently outweigh saying yes to the consumerist path. I am not perfect, and sometimes I do buy stuff, but this journey is free from judgement. As long as I am self aware and learning more about myself, I can always make a better decision the next time around.
Check out this great Daily Love essay, How To Know If You’ve Really Decided To Follow Your Dream. It is a very encouraging piece of writing and extremely helpful.
Any particular article of clothing or object you have a hard time resisting?
What do you do to curb the purchase urge?
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