I have something pretty shocking to share with you all. You might not even believe me when I say it, but I promise you, it’s true. Up until the need to replace a summer dress that completely fell apart (I’ve been wearing this baby like, three times a week), I had not purchased an item of clothing since January! If I could make the screen do one of those cool shaking, can you really believe it things with pop art word bubbles, I would. I’ll admit, it makes blogging a bit tough. A lot of people read blogs like this for the sole purpose of seeing what’s new and scooping the new up as fast as possible. If anyone understands this concept, it’s me. During one of my more interesting moments in life, the UPS man was visiting our front porch with boxes on the daily. At one point, I thought I would have to add him to my Christmas card list and invite him over for dinner. I was filling a giant void of unfulfillment and unhappiness with things. Lots and lots of (pretty) things.
I’ll be one of the first people to admit that things make me happy. They do. A new, pretty dress. Lust-worthy heels. A brand new handbag to cart all my junk. It all brings me wonderful, temporary joy. The key here being temporary. Things also cause me endless bouts of anxiety, and I didn’t fully realize this until now. When I would find something I had to have, I would become obsessive. Should I buy it? Can I afford it? What if I can’t afford it? How can I afford it? What can I sell so I can afford it? Is it still available? I have to check to make sure it’s still available! Oh look, a coupon code. It’s fate; I must buy! But do I really need it? Can I still afford it? Are your insides in knots right now after reading that? Because mine sure are. Do you know how much time in my life I’ve wasted scrolling through item after item while searching for the perfect coupon code so I could justify my purchases? That’s just a taste of my internal dialogue when I found something I couldn’t stop obsessing over and had to have. I’ve never been addicted to drugs or alcohol…to anything really. So I can’t say that’s how an addict feels. But I sure felt addicted and owned by my need to acquire things. Sometimes it wasn’t even about the thing, it was about getting the thing, owning it, having it.
I’d love to tell you I had this great realization, that it hit me like a bolt of lightening. Unfortunately, that’s not how this all came about. It’s a very sad story actually, looking back on the events that led up to this moment. The biggest pain point of my relationship with my husband has always been my love of the almighty dollar and spending those dollars as fast and furious as I could. I can’t tell you how many fights have started over a box on the doorstep or a line item on the credit card that wasn’t in the budget. When we’d argue, I’d always think he was trying to take away something I loved. But he wasn’t, and it’s taken a long time for me to realize the bigger picture. Our solution to the fighting was to give me one lump sum of money to spend throughout the year. What I bought and how I managed it all was up to me. I seriously thought I won the fricking lottery guys. I was elated! He finally saw it my way! Money to spend, boxes to arrive, things to acquire! Spend, spend, spend! And spend I did. I spent every last dollar and then some in six months time. You want to take about disappointment and shame? I can talk about disappointment and shame. Can you see me out there doing my version of the walk of shame? Because I am…
That’s when I finally got it. I blew what some would consider a pretty obscene amount of money for clothes, shoes and makeup. I tore through that bitch. And at the end of the day, it brought me no happiness. Zilch. Nada. It only made me feel terrible. Where as before I’d more than likely still try to buy stuff, rationalize why I needed it, I couldn’t. I can’t. I don’t want to. You have no idea how freeing it is to not be consumed by the thought of having to have something. It feels like my time has expanded exponentially. I’m much more present in the moment, where before I’d always have something on my mind that I wanted to purchase. I still see things that make my heart flutter. Spring and summer dresses are my drug of choice. For a while I limited the temptation, pairing down the blogs I personally visited while redirecting all of my “Hey, you! You need me! I’m on saaaaaale!” emails directly to the trash. I guess that was my form of therapy. Limit that which drives you crazy.
I haven’t had much of a craving to buy things as of late. Instead I’ve been taking a really good look at what I already own. While I have a lot of really nice things, I have also realized I have a huge wardrobe gap. I don’t own a lot of functional, practical items of clothing. Yeah, that ivory, wool sleeveless dress by Robert Rodriguez with the ruffled neckline is gorgeous, but it doesn’t really work for day to day. So I’ve found myself relying on yoga pants and t-shirts to fill that gap which isn’t exactly ideal. Look, I realize you don’t heal over night. I’ve made peace with myself if and when I screw up. It’s bound to happen. I just hope it doesn’t. I’ve started making a practical items list while doing a serious clean-up of my closet. I used to balk at the thought of a wardrobe “uniform”, but now I think I finally understand the appeal. The time and agony it saves when getting dressed is amazing! It doesn’t mean I have to stop being creative with my clothing. Believe me, you can be plenty creative with things you already own. What do you think I’ve been doing for the past 4 months?
Your take away is this, outfit posts are going to be a little bit different. I’ll do my best to find like items for you, but I can’t promise anything. And when my money replenishes (a current topic of discussion), it’s going to be more filling that void than filling the closet. Have you ever only purchased what you needed from Sephora vs. picking up something new to try? I did that last month, and I survived! No VIB Rouge for me this year, but that’s OK. At this point in my life I’d rather use that money towards a plane ticket, for an experience. I’m not judging you if you are a VIB Rouge or have a much larger clothing budget than I do. Not at all. I’m really going to miss my Rouge status. I wish money grew on trees. I mean, my original budget would be laughable to most bloggers out there. But if I blew what I thought was an obscene amount of money…the amount of money being spent for clothing is absolutely fucking insane. And I don’t want to do it anymore. For a very, very long time, this right here has been one of my biggest struggles. If you’re out there struggling with something, know it takes time to heal. Lots and lots of time. I could sit here and think back over the amounts of money I spent and wasted over the years, continuing to beat myself up. But what good would it do? That’s all in the past. And besides, minimalism is the new black, didn’t you know?