I have everything.
Not everything I necessarily want, but certainly everything I need. Everything I have been told should make me happy. A job, a flat, enough money for food, great friends. I have everything and a heck of a lot more than that. It’s been a part of my life since I was little that buying in to consumerism is the only way to be truly happy because that’s the way the world operates. We live in a money greedy, inanimate object obsessed world where the possession of things is supposed to be the essence of one’s happiness.
The new fashion trend, the latest books, films, gadgets, TV shows, phones…at the end of the day do any of these even matter? The answer is no. At the end of the day you’ve wasted your money on a room or house full of utter rubbish that you’ve never needed, stuff you thought you wanted because it gives you temporary and immediate feelings of happiness, but in the morning those feelings are gone and it’s just one more possession that will blend into your life seamlessly as if it were never that brand new shiny thing that caught your eye in the shop.
From an outsider’s perspective I might not seem privileged because I’m not happy. I’m not happy living in a world of meaningless possessions I only buy to satisfy my greedy consumerist self. I’ve found myself in a place where questioning my own motives has become imperative to my future. I am only 21, but I have the looming sense of failure. I don’t feel accomplished because I have been slacking and got a little lost in my tracks.
Maybe I am being too hard on myself, but I have lost sight of what is important. I’ve gone from a determined creative worker trying to make it in the film industry no matter what, to a comfortable telesales executive focussed on money and stuff to fill my life. Consumerism has swallowed me whole and won’t burp me back out again unless I put up a good fight – which I intend to do.
Why has this happened? Look around. It’s happening to everyone, but it’s not our fault. We are trapped in a society of people who frown upon people just getting by, people who don’t have the latest fashion trend, phone or game. “How can you not have seen this show?” “You HAVE to play this game” “lets go out drinking”. Why don’t we start LIVING instead of wasting our time on pointless activities that won’t last, because they give us TEMPORARY positive feelings that satisfy us and distract from real life issues. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just the way we function in this day and age.
Self medicating can take many forms and – this might sound crazy – but I believe that money and consumerism are forms of self medicating. Some might call it “Retail Therapy” what they mean is “I bought a nice coat and I felt happy for 5 minutes”. What is happy? If you look at it like this happiness is the few minutes of ignorance you feel in between the depression. We are all of us living in a depressed society where everyone hurts and everyone knows how bad things are, but somehow consumerism makes it okay because we let it in to cradle us when we’re feeling real things.
If you look at life like this you will begin to appreciate the important things a lot more and stop taking advantage of your privileges. You will begin to discover the real you and not the you trapped in a mindless world of advertising, money and self medicating.