Tuesday 7 July 2015

The Pursuit of Happiness

(Photo credit to www.southvalleychurch.com.au)

Are you one of those people who buys countless amounts of crap they really don't need but are somehow able to justify it to themselves in order to achieve instant gratification?

I'm currently going through something like that at the moment from what I've noticed.

I've been shopping a few times and left with a lighter credit card, heavier hands and more cluttered living space. Sure I can justify it in a way that all the craft stuff I've bought will make me happy when I get around to using it, and I think that's fairly legit. The same with the books I've bought/ordered despite having an almost overflowing bookcase and being a few pages into about 7 different books at present.

I told a close friend the other day when I got an email from Dymocks saying I'd accumulated enough points to get a discount or something about a missed birthday, either way I had a couple of bucks to put towards another book or two which had to be used up by the end of July. The friend jokingly asked me if there were any books left for me to buy/read. I told her I was banning myself from buying more books until I'd read AT LEAST one of the one's I'd purchased recently.

Skipping ahead a few days and 4 books later, that really didn't stick. Although to be fair to myself, I'm spending money on books, not something meaningless or crappy that will fade after a while. I've essentially purchased a whole bunch of different worlds and headspaces that I can get lost in as soon as the mood strikes. That's definitely worth the investment!

More importantly, I know what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. I feel sad, really really crappy as one does when experiencing grief and adjusting to the loss of someone close to them. I have this giant gaping void in my heart/soul where the crux of my mother's love used to be. Now that she's gone, I have this huge chunk of something missing from me and I'm trying to do whatever I can to fill it or not focus on it. Some methods aren't as helpful as others, but admittedly at least I'm doing better than I think a lot of others would be in the same situation, that's something I need to give myself credit for but sadly don't.

(Photo credit to www.thethingswesay.com)

I told my therapist over the last few sessions I've had that in order to cope with everything that's happening including my grief and the crapload of emotions that come with it, I'm filling the gaping hole with 'junk' until I have enough strength to return to myself again and do or focus on things that actually benefit me for the better.

I've been obsessively stalking people on Instagram even if they don't update anything for ages, I'll still go through all of their pictures until I feel better or find something else more interesting to do. At times it's not even about the person/s, it's just about not thinking about my life or my feelings for a few moments at a time. After a while it's become a habit or an addiction which I'm not exactly unfamiliar with. I know it will pass though because it has before. The last time I just wasn't ready or in a position to be able to deal with the underlying cause. This time it's more that the process is so much longer, bigger and more mind-warpingly personal than before, so I feel like I need a 'fix' to get through even if it's of nothing.

(Photo credit to www.tinybuddha.com)

It's not that I don't want to feel better, because I'd love to. I know people don't actively choose to feel like shit about themselves or their lives if they find a way not to, but it depends on your personal strength. I told my therapist last session that I'm just tired, completely exhausted and drained. I give myself a 'get out of jail free card' to do whatever I need to in order to get through this incredibly trying time. I'm not the same person I was before who didn't have something else to focus on, I just need a time out to not deal with my own life, a sort of 'pick-me-up' if you will. It's not going backwards, it's going sideways or sitting out until I have the energy to move forward and despite my subscriptions to Claire Baker, Gala Darling (whom I absolutely LOVE), Melissa Ambrosini, just to name a few. Each email I get from them does make me happy, especially if I'm in a relatively positive mood. If I'm not, then I just file them under 'to look at later'.

I can remember one time in my life so far that I've have been beyond ecstatic with my life and everything I had going for me. It was last year, when I was a few weeks into my second semester at uni and leading up to my 25th birthday. I was studying a few different things which absolutely fascinated me, my job was going well, I was getting along with my family, I'd developed some truly amazing friendships which I valued dearly. There was nothing in my life that I would change if I had the chance. I even stopped going on Facebook because I just didn't care enough to get embroiled in other people's dramas or feel the need to have myself validated by other people and count the number of 'likes' anything I posted got. If I liked it, that was enough for me. Who cares what anyone else thought!

(Photo credit to www.zitaben.hol.es)

I know with time that I can get back to that place and even drastically improve on it. But like most things in life, it will take time, even more so with the grieving process.

In the meantime I'm trying to curb my spending to things that I actually need or that aren't completely meaningless. If I really don't need another 3 hoodies even though they're $5 and look pretty awesome, I'll refrain from buying them (with extreme effort mind you). If I've already downloaded an album, I really don't need to spend another $20-30 on the physical copy of it. The same goes for a movie or TV series.

The same thing goes for luxury items. A big fancy house, an even fancier car, a boat, designer this and that. Whenever I see someone driving an expensive car (in my experience, 8/10 fancy car drivers are pretentious assholes who think they're better than everyone else), I wonder if they drive it to make themselves feel important, to impress other people, or if it was really just a childhood dream to own one and have spent their lives saving up for it.

(Photo credit to www.impfashion.com)

It's like the quote which has been said allegedly by Will Smith. "So many people buy things that they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like".

Everyone deserves happiness whether they believe it or not. I don't think it lies in a physical object or the acquisition of one. As soon as you buy something you feel happy for a moment, then the chemical reaction dies off and you want more.

Sadly though, we live in a very materialistic world *cough* Kardashians *cough*, where the main message is to sell, sell, sell and buy, buy, buy because we apparently NEED an item which a rational person would look at think it was completely useless. I remember listening to the 3pm Pickup radio show with Chrissie Swan and Jane Hall I think. Chrissie was talking about informercials and how at the start of them she always thought the product was completely ridiculous and wondered why anyone would possibly by it, but by the end of it you were convinced that you couldn't possibly live without it.

Unfortunately though, people do spend ridiculous amounts of money on things for instant gratification and repeat the process when it wears off.

The pursuit of happiness is a never-ending one if you look for it in things rather than in yourself.

(Photo credit to www.essenceofliving.com.au)

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