A few months ago, sat on a bus on the way home, I looked at the scenes of Causeway Bay outside.
A giant busy junction of people, traffic, and neon billboards. Think Times Square in NYC or Picadilly Circus in London but somehow more packed and less glamorous (and I hate both those locations anyway). It suddenly occurred to me that nothing that was being advertised appealed to me.
The latest running shoe with some new bouncy technology. The new phone that’s the same but different. The new eye-lifting-wrinkle-reducing magical serum. The guy in the bear costume holding a big placard pointing to some restaurant up in one of the buildings. I looked at them and realised I was indifferent. I didn’t care for any of those things.
Speaking to someone in the advertising business, I was later told that these large ads try to appeal to as much of the market (aka humans) as possible. They are aiming for the majority. So it just means I’m outside of that majority (and perhaps just a niche that needs to be sold to through other means).
A few days later, while sitting in my room surveying its contents, I suddenly realised that I actually have everything that I need. I have general everyday things like a few pairs of jeans and work shoes and underwear and towels. I have specialty things like hockey sticks and swimming goggles and a ukulele and a hiking backpack.I have things I rarely use like the yoga mat and climbing shoes and that boardgame I bought on sale. I thought: Do I really need anymore stuff? Is there anything that I don’t have that I really need to get?
It was quite a revelation personally – to know to that you have everything that you need. It was liberating! I suddenly felt this sense of freedom to do all these things that I want to do – any limitations I’d placed on myself due to imagined lack of clothing/equipment/gadgets were false. No more excuses of not having the right shoe or the proper shirt or new flexi pants. Unless I’m going to climb Mount Everest or start BASE jumping, I’m equiped and dressed to do most things and go most places.
Since I’ve been trying to save up and pay for things like a possible career change and the various classes I’m taking anyways, I thought maybe I can try and see if I can get away with curbing material spending as much as I can for the rest of this year. (Disclaimer – I’ve bought a Kindle and a winter bobble hat while on holiday in New York earlier this month. But no more buying!) Not that I was a big spender at all to begin with, but I can definitely use more cash in my savings account, so why the hell not. Let’s see what happens!