Okay, let's start again
Back in my days as a mindless consumer, my favourite thing to buy was a new start. It could take the form of a new notebook or a new jacket; a new pair of shoes or some new gear for my music. "This," I'd think to myself, "is the start of something new. The next chapter in my life. A new me, more confident and capable than ever."
I'm not sure if I really thought that these items would change my life. But I did think that they would commemorate some new start or other. I would fixate on the idea that this new jacket would signal the start of something new and exciting. New-jacket-Carmen would be so much better than who she was before in that old jacket.
I was convinced that, because I'd decided that my new purchase signalled the arrival of a new era, it would be so. As soon as you make a decision and buy something new, that's most of the hard work done, isn't it? Then, over a few days or so, I'd remember that I was still me and what a disappointment that would be.
I am so, so pleased that I no longer think like this; my happiness dependent on things I didn't need; riding the waves of hopes and disappointments like a ridiculously overpriced rollercoaster.
But I genuinely miss the highs. They were so easy to obtain and that feeling of undiluted, glorious hope was like a drug. So does being a minimalist mean living life on a constant 'medium' setting? No, not at all. Instead of wishing for possessions, I want credentials and experiences. No longer do I want to be 'Carmen with the new jacket'; instead, 'Carmen who has travelled the world', or 'Carmen with the successful career.' They take longer to obtain but the rewards are yours for life.