Friday, August 10, 2012

Hunger Pains

I'm not talking about physical hunger, like "I haven't eaten in hours and my stomach is growling". I'm talking about the hunger pains you get when something in your life is missing, or maybe a lot of things in your life are missing. How do you feed that hunger for love from others, a career you love, a life you love? SHOPPING!

I used to shop my hunger pains away and the degree of my shopping sprees were based on how miserable I was at the time. I think I figured out why so many people buy so many things. Getting new things fills the void.

When I was living in Atlanta I was at the height of hating my life and thus my bank account suffered. I hated my job and felt like I was stuck there because I had signed a year lease on my apartment and made the move from Savannah to Atlanta. I made a commitment to my employer. Plus, I wasn't ready to move home yet, which was pretty much my only other option at that point. I had no serious love interests and within months of moving to ATL all of my friends had serious boyfriends and became much less available. That was the first time in my life that I was truly lonely.

So I shopped. I bought clothes, shoes, more shoes, furniture, and sporting goods for my new hobbies to fill the alone time I had so much of. No wonder I was always running low on funds. I was shopping every week, several times a week. I would buy new things and then lose interest in them rather quickly. Like with clothes. I wore something a few times at the most and then didn't like it anymore. So I would go out and buy new.

Fast forward to now and I feel the exact opposite about most everything in my life. Aside from the fact that I'm completely and totally single, I am really happy about everything else that is going on in my life. I am finally (!!!!!!!) doing something that I love and that I actually think will make a difference in people's lives, I love where I live, I love my friends and family, and I just got a beautiful new car! And guess what I have zero urge to do? SHOP!

I'm not kidding, this is probably the happiest I've ever been in my adult life and the least I have shopped. EVER! I went shopping once at the beginning of May and bought a few things that I needed, but other than that nothing. My favorite past time is usually digging for hours in the racks at Marshall's and I haven't been there in many months.

Happiness is a work in progress and I think for a lot of people (including myself) it is something that has to be worked on constantly. Instead of buying my happiness, I am working on filling those voids with substance.

So the question of the day is if you are filling your life with stuff, what void are you actually trying to fill? 

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