Archive for category New York City

How Materialism Can Kill Your Dreams

The Notorious B.I.G. said “More money, more problems.” Today I’m putting a spin on it and saying, “More stuff, more problems.”  Sunday, when I received 4 “thumbs up” on Facebook after posting this as my status: We hang on to so much stuff we don’t need, and when you think about it, it’s holding you down, back, and prisoner. I knew I had hit a nerve.

When I tell people how I moved to New York with only two suitcases and a smile, most people first say: “Wow, I could never be that brave.” And then the next sentiment usually goes something like: ” I don’t know how you did it; I couldn’t leave all of my stuff.

Yes you can x 2.

I really don’t like to own more than a car full of possessions, but  I did not always think this way. I too was brainwashed, I thought bigger equals better, and better equals more, more, more!

Until I hit my own “stuff-related meltdown”. Flashback to December of 2007. I had just been offered an internship at a national mag based in Pennsylvania. I’m not the U-haul type, so I decided that I would drive my Corolla from TN to PA.  I knew all of my stuff couldn’t come with me ( the sofa, the dinning table, ect.), but what I did not realize was how much excess stuff I had collected in the six months that I lived in my first apartment after college. It was my first time living on my own, so you know I had to pimp the APT out! I bought cute martini glasses for the cute hutch in my kitchen, curtains, hell, I even bought plastic flowers to put in my shower ( gotta love a little ambiance). My apartment was too cute.

So cute and so full of too much  stuff.

I didn’t realize just how much I had accumulated until after dropping off a load of stuff at my Dad’s house, I faced at least three car loads more in my apartment. I damn near cried from the frustration of having to throw away/give away so much stuff that I paid MY hard-earned money for. . It was so bad that moments before I drove off to PA, I was still dragging bags to the garbage can.  I promised myself that I would never go through that again.

But, as I’m writing this as I am deciding if I should toss out the Vanilla Bath Bomb I got from Lush, but will probably never, ever use (it’s NYC: taking a relaxing bath when you live with a gazillion other people just ain’t cool, buddy).  But I’m having a hard time parting with it. Why?  Because I paid for it. And wasting things that you paid for isn’t the way I was raised.

And that’s where the epiphany comes in: Just don’t buy it in the first place. What would your life be like if you decided not to buy one more pair of shoes?  Would you be one step closer to realizing your dream of “insert dream that has been on the back burner here”.

These days when I see a cute pair of shoes, or even a fly pair of earrings (I love accessories) I ask myself, would I rather have these earrings, or put this money toward a plane ticket to somewhere cool?

I’ll let you guess which one I chose.

We are taught from an early age that having lots o’ stuff equals success. And that’s wrong. I think being successful is more closely aligned with feeling self fulfilled. Success is finding out your purpose and using it to make the world a better place in some way. Success is not letting material things define who you are, and what you do.

Are you a minimalist in the making? What’s you strategy for getting rid of crap you don’t need?

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Taking the “Project” on the road!

Happy Friday!

Heads up: this is a short post. Work has been coming at me from every direction for the past week, and it’s left me for little time to nurture my vision. That is a situation I plan to remedy, ASAP.

I’m about to take The FLP on the road! This weekend I’m kicking off the holiday season early by heading home to my native to Tennessee to get a little R&R and spend time with all of my loved ones. I’ve written before about how these trips home to serve to renew my spirit.

Part of the fun I am undertaking this month is the “31 Days to Reset Your Life” on the beautiful blog, happyblackwoman.com. I’m #100 on an awesome list of fabulous women who are taking on the challenge of resetting their lives in 31 days. This blog is worth checking out even if you aren’t a happy black woman!

I’m looking forward to taking some time to re-up and work on plotting my next steps. Of course during all of this, I will continue you to provide you with content that encourages you to ponder and pursue life outside the box :)

Tasty cookies and cakes aren’t the only thing that’s poppin’ this month. Tell me, what are you doing this December to move your vision forward?

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Finding the Value in Your Skills

A few days ago, I was blog surfing when I stumbled across a post that made me do some thinking out loud.

The majority of this person’s post was about changing job descriptions in the work place.  The author expressed his sentiment that sometimes your job can include more tasks than the job description outlined, perhaps even some duties you really didn’t bargain for. Now, we all know this happens. And sometimes it provides an opportunity skills that you can use later you to leverage your way into a new position. That is thinking smart.

However; this person went on to say that you need to do whatever your company tells you to do because you should be grateful that you have a job.  As a worker bee, you should haul ass to help the company pull through in these (wait for it, I’m about insert a buzz phrase here) “tough economic times” because it is not only your duty to save yourself, you must save the company too.

The same company that probably wouldn’t have a problem tossing you out on your hinny cheeks when times get rough.

Which brings up the question: when does getting more experience start to turn into the company getting over on you? We all know that sometimes we have to do things that are not officially in our job description, yes. But at what point are you being undervalued and well, cheated?

Outside of robbing us of a sense of security, I believe this recession has also robbed some people of their personal moral. Getting laid off hurts. Searching for months to find a job hurts. In the midst of it all, it is natural to start to question your skills, but at some point you have to lift yourself up.  And most importantly, I think you have to remember that you have options. They might be harder to find, but options are out there.

Sometimes we do have to work at jobs we don’t want to do to make money. Believe me, I get that (remind me to tell you all about my temp jobs!), but at some point you have to value yourself and your skills. The company should be happy to have YOU. Yes, times are tough right now, but that doesn’t mean you need to put up with being ill-treated, right?

What do you think?  How are you reminding yourself that your skills are valuable?

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