My efforts to simplify my life have somehow touched a nerve.
As I continue to reduce my “stuff” and practice conscious consumerism, I’m faced with the fact that I may be buying things in response to issues that have nothing to do with always having an extra mascara or stocking up on black socks in the event stores suddenly run out of those.
People collect things for the same reasons they eat a whole package of Oreos, not that I have any personal experience with this particular act of face stuffing. The same issues or feelings or demons bring out over drinking, overstocking, over eating, over. . . drugging. Not sure that’s a thing, but you get my drift.
In a nutshell, I’m learning all the “over” grows from the same tree of fear or pain. We settle in with the “over” and tell ourselves whatever stories work.
Sally’s shoes have their own room even though she rarely wears more than three pairs, she’s “sassy and just loves shoes.” Becky wakes up on her couch feeling like a cat crapped in her mouth sunrise after sunrise because she’s “a wild child, life of the party.” Mary can’t even park her car in her three-car garage. “She’s a mom. She hangs on to everything.”
We excuse away the “over” because it’s easier, kinder and gentler than saying Sally’s up to her ass in debt and can’t stop shopping. Becky’s a drunk, and Mary is scared to death she’s nothing now that her kids are grown.
Tracy has the Chicago Manual of Style and a shelf full of other never-touched books because “she’s a writer.” She also has seven blank Moleskin journals because “like Hemmingway, she’s creative that way.” Oh, and let’s not forget the black pencil skirt hanging in her closet. A chic magazine once instructed every sophisticated woman has at least one pencil skirt. “Tracy’s sophisticated.”
Tracy was clearly insecure when she started writing and took comfort in packing a shelf full of “over” instead of sitting with the fear that she might suck. She’s not Hemmingway. In fact, she can’t stand his writing and has never liked the look of her own handwriting so writing in a journal is never going to be her thing no matter how many she buys.
Sigh. . . and finally the pencil skirt. Tracy will most likely go to her dust trying to represent her authentic self, but she knows damn well it doesn’t lie in some overpriced tube skirt that makes her legs look squatty and her thighs sweat.
See what I mean? Touchy stuff underneath.
Books donated (still keeping a select few I actually use), journals distributed among acquaintances that like their handwriting, and pencil skirt on some rack at Goodwill. I feel better, lighter, and excited to continue learning about the woman I am under all my “over.”
My thoughts from the laundry room. On Top of the Covers.