Why I would rather be barefoot in Britain than high-heeled in Hollywood.
Picture this: I am walking past Saks Fifth Avenue and I see a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes in the window and stop and stare. I see myself walking down Hollywood Boulevard in them, as glamourous as the celebrities I would no doubt bump into. Life would be so much more elegant in Louboutins. They are both classic and trendy! And if I wear them 200 times, the $1195 price tag would be worth it! I can justify it! I need these shoes in my life! I rush inside and put them on my Amex and I am happy.
Hold up, let’s be real. I don’t wear heels, so these bad boys wouldn’t see much action. And if I did take them out for a night on the town, the only people that would be able to admire them would be the homeless on the street corners.
With this whole road to minimalism, I have learned that the objects around me really don’t bring me all that much happiness. A year ago, I would have told you that being surrounded by beautiful things would make me extremely happy. Now, after having purged a huge fraction of my possessions, I can safely say that isn’t true. De-cluttering my life has allowed me to collect happiness from sources outside of my possessions.
Having learned this new lesson, I find myself less tempted to spend my money on things. When I walk past a pair of Louboutins now and check out the price tag, I see a round-trip flight to London. I imagine a walk along the river Thames, a picture with Pan in Hyde Park, and a spin on the Eye. (I mean, if I am being totally honest, I want both. I want to be in London strutting my stuff in a pair of Louboutins. But that is beside the point). You can buy a ticket to a new part of the world, or purchase a new pair of shoes. The choice is yours. I, however, have discovered that experiences make me so much happier than possessions.
Keeping inline with this mentality, I had made it a point to be very selective with my purchases now. This applies to when I am traveling as well. I find it can be easy to get into the ‘vacation mentality’ and want to treat yourself to everything while exploring a new city. I have made it an unofficial rule to only purchase a thing or two while traveling. I try to pick an item that I will use often and represents the place I am visiting in a small way. Here are some examples:
- While traveling in Rome, I purchased a Furla purse on my last day. I had seen this purse earlier in the week and after spending days contemplating the purchase, I decided to go for it. This bag is hand-made in Italy, and I felt it would be a disservice to the country if I purchased a purse from a non-Italian designer. Every time I pull out this bag, I am reminded of wandering lost through the streets of Rome with my boyfriend at the time, trying to find that one shop with that one bag. Once we found it, we rewarded ourselves with the best pizza of my life. When in Rome…
- During my last trip to New York I found myself alone in Chelsea Market for a few hours. I was perusing through the stands and found a small midi-ring that caught my eye. It is rose gold and the shop owner told me it was shaped to represent a heartbeat. Simplistic and inexpensive, I decided to make it my purchase of the trip. Every time I wear it, I am reminded of the electric energy I found in the air of New York City.
Someone told me recently that the best date you could plan is the date you would want to be taken on. Maybe the same is true for gifts? Maybe the best gift to give is the gift you want to be given. I decided to put this to the test and instead of getting my best friend Jessie another makeup pallet or perfume, I decided to give her an experience. I decided to take her on a weekend trip to Santa Cruz, and you can read all about it here. Some quality time together was the best Christmas gifts we could have given each other. My favorite day of the weekend we spent together was walking through the Redwoods, enjoying great conversation with each other. It costs us nothing, but gave us so much.
You truly do vote with your dollars and I choose to vote for experiences. I want to collect experiences, not things.
In a world where you can’t have it all, what do you choose: Louboutins or London? Let me know below.