I created an article this morning written by a human which has recently returned to America from a third world country. He wrote about what he saw and how devastating it was that most of us absence compassion over here. Then, I considered another article on Facebook about a woman who moved her family to Ecuador from America and said it was the best decision shes ever made. While reading that article it made me, hard, that being in America constructs me selfish, greedy and possessive, and I dislike all of those things.
In college, I spent a lot of day buying things online, mostly thing I didnt need but the desire to have it made me add it to my cart. Packages would arrive and Id feel aroused because the thrill of opening it built me happy for approximately 2 whole minutes. After that, Id put it where I wanted it to go and often forget about it or use it a couple times. The looking of having it was too much to resist.
I knew these items didnt bring me happiness but I maintained buying because I supposed I would feel more complete if I merely had it in my life. I was, plainly, incorrect and that logic doesn’t make sense but it’s what I believed.
We want things simply because they’re there and easily accessible. We want things because then we can say we have it.
After college, I moved to Australia with two checked suitcases and a carry-on. That was it. I soon learned what life was like to live with minimal items and also what it felt like to live in a country where online shopping wasnt big, or at least where I didn’t know where to find the online shops.
I received an Amazon gift card of $100 when I was there and I couldnt use it because most products didnt ship to Australia. So, I sat on it for months, and Im still sitting on some of it over 6 months later.
I realize I didn’t need possessions over there. I felt free of jealousy, desire and need. I didn’t want to buy anything and when I did it was from Kmart. I learned how to be happy with the items I had and forgot about all the things I left back in America.
The desire to have more and more merely minimized as I went from two checked suitcases and a carry-on to merely a backpack.
I left Australia to go backpack South East Asia with nothing but a knapsack. I packed 2 pairs of shoes, about 4 shirts, a romper, perhaps 4 pairs of shorts, underwear, my laptop and some personal items. I was down to the basics. I didnt even have full pants.
I was living with next to nothing and I was the HAPPIEST Ive ever been in my entire life. I wore the same clothes day after day and no one cared. I was feeing breakfast with strangers, sharing rooms with people I didnt know, talking to the locals and learning a few words in their language. I was getting drunk with new friends and having heart to hearts over lunch. I was entirely myself and I didnt have to worry about a single thing. I had next to nothing and that was all I needed.
Ive been back now for 6 months, almost 7. Im starting to feel that hamster wheel roll. Im starting to think I need to buy things again to find happiness because I don’t know what else to do to achieve it. I want and want things that I know I dont need but once again simply want to have to have.
I feel held back in America. I feel been obliged to do certain things, I feel like I cant pack up and leave right now because I have an obligation to be here, even when I dont want to be.
Theres something about the American way of life that induces us think we can do all these things to help us achieve happiness through self-care and self-love but I dont know if we will ever truly reach that in this country. Greed is too powerful here. The desire to do anything to succeed is higher than the care of being a good person, the want to be better than the person or persons next to you is higher than the care for lending a helping hand or the help comes when it benefits you.
Life isnt simple here. Its not family oriented and about doing things out of the kindness of your heart. It’s not about doing the right thing, instead it’s about possessions, wealth, and power. Its about who can have the most, coolest, trendiest stuff and dish out the most fund, and I hate it. But thats life in America.
You might disagree, call me unpatriotic or what have you but if you do I’m assuming you’ve never left here. I’m assuming you’ve never experienced what it’s like to live in another country and feel the freedom of having next to nothing hold you back from doing anything you want because that’s freedom not having possession jammed in closest and totes under your bed with things you never look at.
I want to believe I can find the happiness in this country that I did living in other countries but it’s rare, it’s short lived.
I was sitting at a coffee shop this morning and I hear a woman talking to her friend. She said every morning on my drive she tells five things she’s thankful for and it helps her feel better throughout the day. That’s great and all but take this idea from Mark Mason someone who lives a truly happy life doesn’t have to convince themselves that they are happy every day. It just doesn’t make sense.
Of course, I know, there are highs and lows to life. There are bad days and there are good days but every day in America feels like a rat race. It’s jam packed with trying to get as much done as possible without completely wearing yourself out AND without detesting your life.
Life isn’t meant to be detested , not at all. It’s meant to be enjoyed. It’s not meant to be expended slaving away at a shitty task trying to induce enough money to last you till your next paycheck. But that’s how most of us spend our lives and it’s not enjoyable.
The most recent move I built was to Colorado. I packed what I could fit in my automobile and drove across the country from NY. I started unpacking and procuring myself needing to go to Walmart and buy more things because I didnt have enough. I needed to buy and buy and buy because the impulse of having a cute house and room and bathroom is higher than having the things I need to function.
When I was staying in a bedroom with nothing but a bed, a dresser and a bathroom attached in Thailand I felt that was enough, with no decorations or frills, and it was enough. When I was living in a house that wasnt mine in Australia the bedroom I was given with the basics that were enough. When I was in Cambodia and push three chairs together to sleep on that was enough.
But in America, its never enough. In America, enough is never enough because we still always require more.
I always require more and want more and feel like what I have isn’t good enough.
I love this country and the opportunities there are here but being here attains me hate myself because I never feel satisfied. I Detest that I don’t feel satisfied when I should. I feel like I’m chasing this “happiness” that I’m always so close to achieving but will never reach here no matter how many self-help volumes I read and affirmations I say in the mirror.
I’m trying to find a balance, a style to live a happy and sustainable life here but I don’t know when I’ll get there, I don’t know when enough will finally be enough , not in this country, anyway. But I’m trying.
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