Monday, January 17, 2011

How Did This Happen

I've been reading a travel/location independent living blog called Where is Jenny?. As I follow her journey I've gone through all the typical responses she describes hearing from people. "She's so lucky! I could never do that. I wish..." But I also had the thought of "I can't imagine living with so few things."

Today as I wandered through the house decluttering, clearing out and cleaning up, my mind began to wander as well. And I suddenly remembered driving home after living in North Carolina for 2 years. I made the decision to come back home and very quickly (within 2 months) followed through. And because I was heading back alone, I only brought what could fit in my car. My small two door Pontiac Sunbird. There wasn't much that fit LOL.

I spent 2 months living with a friend at her family cottage, followed by crashing on a friend's couch for several months before finding a job and apartment. So I guess I can imagine living with very little since I did!

Over the next 8 years I moved from a converted garage to a series of two bedroom apartments with my then boyfriend/now husband. Every time we moved we donated/sold/trashed plenty of things. But then we turned around and continued to buy and buy and buy. We had a baby and moved to a 3 bedroom house with basement. We received presents (wedding/baby/Christmas/birthday). We bought all the things we thought we deserved/wanted.

I'm completely stunned at home much we lusted after. I had lists of things I yearned to own. I spent mucho dinero (mostly on credit) buying things I was sure would make me happy. I dreamed of the day we would win the lottery and finally be able to buy a house of our own and travel like we both wanted. And now I look back and am ashamed at how many times we could have traveled if we hadn't spent on things instead of experiences.

I'm dreaming now of a simpler life without the consumer lust, without the consumer debt. I'm dreaming of a life where we live our dreams. And I can see that it's possible not too far in the future. But I worry that I will fall back into old habits and patterns. I don't want to look up in 5 years and be in this exact same place.

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