life lessons

no shopping...

Monday, July 05, 2010tee

this is my story of surviving without any shopping for four months.

july 5, 2010. monumental day. i had it alarmed on my phone. what does the day mean? i've survived four months without shopping!

if you've told me last year i would've lasted this long (and counting), i would've laughed and call your bluff. i cannot NOT shop. it's in my nature as a girl to not have too many clothes or bags or shoes. leave it alone at that.

it started with a simple banter with the bf. he saw me unpack my bags from my latest international trip and the sight must've overwhelmed him. he said, "you have enough clothes to last a year." i think i gave him a puzzled and quizzical look, for those cannot last a year, i swear. it was an exaggeration to say it'd be for a year. i don't know how the bet started but i think i uttered something like "i can CAN'T shop for a year". trust me, i wanted to smack myself in the head the moment i uttered the words. he took the bait and teased me i wouldn't last. challenged, i think i said something like, "wanna bet?" oops, another drastic foot in the mouth! to make the story short, after negotiations, we had it down to four long months.

the moment i took on the bet, i knew deep down i can do it. i took it on to myself as a challenge.

it was physically draining at first. to go out to the mall and to just windowshop. it's like someone who's fasting exposed to an eat-all-you-can fest. at first it took all my guts to turn away from the dresses and what-have-yous and the lure of online shops. think about letting go the perfect dress or blouse right in front of you, calling out your name. do that for four long months. ugh, right?

little by little i got used to the concept of just looking at clothes and window-shopping and putting them back to the racks where they belong. mind you, i'm not a chronic shopaholic but i have my moments where i go way overboard with retail therapy.

it was an eye-opener for me. maybe i need to reevaluate myself.

was i becoming materialistic with my shopping? so i focused my energy on people, not things. i tried to improve my relationships, and enjoy moments as they come.

was shopping an outlet for me? when i had a bad day or feeling especially low, i'd go on a wild spree. it made me in control and happy. somehow, it was an escape from my reality. one thing i realized with this pattern though, was it may have been therapeutic, but it sure didn't last long and soon i'd be back in square one, unhappier, wanting to splurge again, and my bank balance impacted as well. with that, i decided to tackle and battle the issues within.

was i joining the "the clothes make the man." bandwagon? as much as looking one's best is good, it doesn't mean, shopping and shopping is the cure. more important than the clothes is the man, or woman. cliche, but what's inside counts. so i started looking ways into becoming a better person, no impact on what i wear.

was shopping making me a financial mess?
my parents have taught me well regarding finances. i never shop without the knowledge that i can pay for it. even though i'm lucky not to be a slave to the plastic (credit) card, i wasn't doing extraordinarily with savings. so i finally opened my savings account and pledged the usual budget for splurging to the bank. on my name.

and hey whatd'ya know, 4 months just breezed by. without a glitch. now all bet's are off, i'm not saying i won't shop or go on a budgeted spree once in a while. keyword at that - budgeted.

and it goes on without saying that i definitely learned something priceless in the four months. :D

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