I am more with less

“Maria you are a weird person, you don’t want flowers, you don’t care about money…What’s your problem with luxury?”
I don’t have a problem with luxury, I just don’t need it, it’s not doing anything for me.
I was never that crazy about shopping and all that stuff, but I definitely had a lot of clothes, more than I needed and I knew that, but somehow I couldn’t stop, I was trying to convince myself that I NEED this new t-shirt although there are already more than 10 t-shirts in my wardrobe that I am –for whatever reason- just not wearing. I thought buying all those things would make me happy, and yeah maybe buying them, made me happy for a little moment, but owning them did not make me happy. Having a lot of things means having a lot of things that you have to take care of and that you have to organize, which can be draining your time and energy. And in my case it definitely was. Having so much stuff that I was not even using made me feel bad and somehow overstrained. I was trying to find happiness in the things I had, but it didn’t work. Everything I owned wasn’t making me happy, and worse, it was distracting me from the things that would bring me happiness. Being too busy seeking happiness and fulfillment in the things that I owned, I didn’t realize that my possessions ended up owning me and not the other way round. I thought all those things are a part of me, but they aren’t, as much as I like some of them.

Photo by Maria Hochleitner

Photo by Maria Hochleitner

In moving to China I saw the chance to get away from all that, to leave everything that I didn’t really need behind. I came here with a suitcase. A suitcase that wasn’t even fully packed. And guess what, it felt great! I felt so much lighter and somehow also more grounded. Until now, out of all the things that I left behind in Germany, there are maybe 5 or 6 items that I sometimes thought would be nice to have here, but about all the rest, I didn’t even think once. Getting up in the morning and choosing one of my 6 T-shirts makes my life so much easier than having to choose from 40 T-shirts in an over full wardrobe. I found out that more is not always better and for me I can definitely say that having too many choices can be overwhelming. Having less choices gave me more time for other things and freed me from the constant thought of these things and how to organize and take care of them. Not having that many things anymore, I had to find something else that would help me trying to fill that void that I had inside of me. After a while I realized that clothes or food or other things would never completely fill that void, no matter how much I owned, I would somehow still feel empty. The problem was not a lack of things, the problem was me and that I was trying to distract myself from having to deal with myself and asking myself what I was really missing in my life. Call me crazy, call me mad, but I feel that now I have a lot more time to take care of myself and as a result of that also to take care of others.
I don’t restrict myself in any kind of way, if I see something that I really want to have, I buy it, but I don’t just buy things for the sake of buying, cause those won’t be the things that I really like and that will make me happy for a long time. Within a few weeks I will probably forget that I even have them. The things that I really care about are that which remind me of a nice person, an interesting place, or an amazing moment.
I don’t have a problem with luxury, I just have other priorities…

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