Monday, January 16, 2012
We represent the STUFF MART...all you need's a little more stuff.
Truth- Sometimes I feel like the strangest girl in the world.
I am thinking of renaming my Blog The Strange Girl. Maybe that will help me embrace the feeling. I do feel strange for a lot of reasons, but my focus today is my strangeness in not wanting stuff. Lest you feel this is a false humility, pat myself on the back because I am content with my belongings while others aren't post...well, it just isn't. I do wonder sometimes if God left out some important "GIRL" gene from my DNA make-up, because girls love to shop, right? Okay, maybe not all girls, but I am not trying to dissect the entire scope of the female population. Most girls love to look at stuff, hold shirts and skirts up to a mirror, try on shoes with impossibly high heels, browse through China patterns dreaming of that twelve person place setting with matching EVERYTHING for the big Holiday dinner party where everyone's in sparkly dresses and no one's too tipsy or fighting with the neighbors over who's light display is best.
Nope, not me. Just thinking about all the stuff I would need to keep up with everyone else's stuff exhausts me. Most of the time this quirk just makes me feel inadequate beside other women. I have one friend who doesn't enjoy taking me shopping with her anymore because I do not display the proper oohing and ahhing over shiny store stuff. I suppose I am a downer when it comes to impulse shopping- I generally talk others OUT of their purchases. Maybe I can't grasp the light-hearted carefreeness that is required of day long shopping excursions. Can't we just go get coffee and catch a movie instead?
Honest- sometimes I get annoyed at certain female friends because they have lots of stuff and want more stuff. Really honest- sometimes I am a little bit jealous too...not necessarily because I want their stuff but I feel maybe their lives are richer or more fulfilled somehow because they realize the importance of stuff when I don't. Their lives certainly seem more sparkly than mine. They live in hot pink while I exist in pale yellow...I find my color soothing, but pale does lack a certain pop, yes?
But then I have other friends who have nice things and beautiful homes, and they share those beautiful things with others. Sometimes through entertaining or helping others in need. Using their bigger-than-mine houses to give forever homes to unwanted orphans...that is one of the most admirable acts I can fathom. But honest- sometimes those people intimidate me too. Because their stuff doesn't own them, and yet they have found a way to put the stuff into perspective...it serves a purpose in their lives, a good purpose. I want to be like those people. But I generally just don't want stuff period.
I am glad stuff doesn't control me. I honestly am. But sometimes I wonder if I am sparkly enough on my own, without all the outwardly shiny stuff? Reminds me of a line from my favorite One Republic song, "Do you think I'm special, do you think I'm nice, am I bright enough to shine in your spaces?" I know as a moral person, as one who treasures the Bible, that God would tell me my INSIDES should be what shines, my personality, my heart, my warmth and strength, should draw others in. I do like my personality most of the time. I cringe at my emotional neediness, my very apparent "fear of abandonment" issues, but that is a blog for another day. Or never...I haven't decided yet. Does my personality shine brighter than the non-name-brand clothes on my body? I probably picked them up a thrift store or on clearance at Target, to be honest. Does this material world see past my cute and cheap accessories to see a person of value underneath? Does it want to be in my home with my thrift store finds? Where my most treasured wall art is the kitchen towel my aunt saved for me from 1976, showing the Monday I was born?
Should any of those questions really matter to me?
My answer to that last question should be no. But why do I feel ashamed to say I do not want a newer car or bigger house? When did wanting less instead of more become the freakish idea? I know as a child and teenager I wanted more- I bought into the entire culture of stuff in my formative years. Although even back then spending an entire day at the mall with my friends was exciting to me for the friends and food and adventure of it all instead of the clothes and shoes we might try on. I guess I have mostly always been this way...a non-carer of stuff. Not that there aren't some things I'd like to have...that cute pair of brown leather short boots at Famous Footwear, some work-out clothes from Target, and I am sure I could find one hundred tempting things at IKEA today. But my life is not going to change one single bit whether I get those things or not. I suppose knowing that fact is what keeps me from buying. Those items might change the way others perceive me, especially strangers, but they aren't going to change me or my beliefs.
So I guess I listen to God on this topic. Teach my girls to do the same. Hope I don't offend others when I don't gush over their stuff or stuff they want. Remember I am the strange one here. And strive to make my personality the thing that pops, not my stuff. I do think my personality makes my pale yellow turn brilliant sometimes. I hope you do too.