How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
~ Anne Frank
It’s been a little while since I posted about something other than food, which is strange to me as the truth is just this: I never set out to be a food blogger. Funny how you just never know where the path will take you after you take that first step, and I can’t imagine anything else I would rather be doing with my life right now.
Just recently, me and my husband shared a meal with a special couple, and after dinner, with the wine flowing and the hearts opening, the conversation got real. I should say that this couple is very dear to me, and two people who have known me for a number of years now – through all the good and the bad. They were the ones who ‘outed’ me unintentionally at a dinner party I hosted several years back….asking me about the latest item I’d purchased: an expensive leather bag I’d just paid off and told all my closest co-workers about, but sadly not my husband (he was always the last to know about any of the nice stuff I bought) .
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have read this post I wrote about my struggle with something more common than we might think: compulsive shopping, and how the past few years I’ve worked hard on my search for healing, hence how this blog came to be and my charity project called Not So Fast.
What’s crazy, is at dinner just a few Saturdays ago with the very folks who outed me (unintentionally – bless their hearts), I was asked about shoes. If I’d bought any, what I was loving. What my fave store was these days.
What followed next took me rather by (pleasant) surprise. I sat in stunned silence for a moment, as the circle seemed to close in a most quiet and profound way: because I had nothing. Literally not a thing. You see, what used to be an incredibly unhealthy (and borderline destructive) obsession is now, for the time being, completely shifted. My energies are now pointed directly towards something productive, and purposeful. I was actually blown away that not only could I not remember a single shoe purchase since my trip to France in August, but I hadn’t even stopped to think about it in any way. No pomp & ceremony. Just real change.
Even as I write this, its shocking to even think that with everything & everyone I’m surrounded by, it still wouldn’t be enough. But this life isn’t always easily explained, and us humans are complex, sometimes too complex. It was time to dumb it all down and get real. Simplify and let go. Be a better example of the kind of person I want my children to be.
Have I stopped buying stuff? Hell no, but my priorities have straightened out, majorly. I no longer troll second-hand stores, collecting pieces I ‘might’ wear one day, or cruise internet shopping sites to satisfy intense desires that will never be fulfilled even if a pretty package landed on my doorstep every day for the rest of my life. I gave away anything I didn’t wear or love in the last year (and I now pass those on to the teenager) and I no longer have a secret credit card. ‘New’ is not better, and ‘now’ is where I am. Plus, I get dressed on the first go and no more neurotic obsessing in front of the mirror (an amazing freedom). How’s that for awesome?
That dreaded & painfully confusing emptiness is now long gone. Sure, it’s been replaced by other stresses and neuroses, but that’s just growth. It’s sometimes painful, and it’s hard work. But it’s real, and it feels amazing in every conceivable way. Inspiration now lives & breathes itself into every corner of my day.
I hope if you are reading this, you might take comfort in knowing that while addiction & destructively compulsive behavior of any kind are not pretty, there is great hope in returning focus to the simple things: food, family, love, community. Fullness is a feeling, and it comes from inside. I believe we all seek a certain contentment in our lives, and that feeling of truly being, well, just good. I’ve found great satisfaction in posting here every week, and each and every one of you have played such an important role, I simply cannot thank you enough for allowing me to speak, and to share, and to listen.
Excitement exists in not knowing what is coming up next, and no number of shoes or bags or white t-shirts could ever give me even close to that same exhilarating thrill…not in a million years, or with a thousand shimmering gold-lined threads on my back. It’s all just a giant, sprawling, messy & beautiful experiment and I am here for good.
You can’t just plan a moment when things get back on track, just as you can’t plan the moment you lose your way in the first place.
~ Sarah Dessen
Eat. Drink. Love. Give. It really is what it’s all about. Much, much love to you all.
Yours in Less,