Chasing simplicity. Thoughts on being alive.

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I'm not my bag.

I call myself a minimalist, not because I have so few possessions that I can proudly do youtube video and show you everything I own in under two minutes. No. I am a minimalist because, for a few years now, one of my core beliefs and primary desires is this insatiable urge to contract rather than to expand the number of things I own.

I have one pair of black shoes that I wear ninety five percent of the time, one pair of heels, one pair of ballet flats, one pair of summer sandals, but that's not the point really. I spend money mostly on e-books, take-away coffees and colourful salads. My purchases often don't have a physical form, they don't add to the small number of things I have already own. What they do add to, what they grow exponentially in, is this incredible sense of freedom. Every morning, as I sit in my mostly empty room at home enjoying a cup of coffee, I feel as though I could easily PACK UP  and leave my life ANY TIME, even though the need for such a drastic act of abandonment has never arisen. I am telling you all this because I am about to tell you how I fell off the minimalist wagon.

A few months ago I caught up with a friend whom I  had not seen in a while. She works in the same industry as me. I had a good time, the meal was thoroughly enjoyable, until I noticed her bag. It was small, Chanel's, with a price tag of at least five thousand dollars. On that very day I had been walking around the city with my husband and son. At that very moment, my bag was a cheap vegan shoulder bag, wet from water spillage, bulging with my son's half-eaten package of rice crackers. Against a bag that was neat, elegant, and exquisite mine seemed unorganised, disheveled, cringe-worthy, and JUST-NOT-GOOD-ENOUGH.

Now, not-enough-ness is a peculiar thing. It compels people to do many strange things. So the next day after the bag incident I went shopping for a designer bag. I know. I know.

In the air-conditioned haven that's called Chadstone I agonised for hours. A few thousand dollars seem unreasonable given that those damn bags don't even suit my needs. They were either too heavy, too small, or too expensive. I wondered what the hell I was doing there. I wondered why I cared what people may think of my bag. I wondered if people even notice my bag at all. In the end, I settled on a large tote, light-weight, with a price tag of five hundred dollars. It it still slightly impractical for my everyday use, and until this moment it's still in its dust bag, waiting for the next occasion where I meet with same industry people with whom I think I SHOULD look successful.

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