Writing is, I feel like some divorced dad stuck in a midlife crisis during his 40s. Usually the problem I currently face seems to be more apparent to older people, and not to university students just before reaching their 20s. A time travelling problem of sorts, haunting me and my daily life.
My main problem seems to be the way I handle problems. Sounds ironic. Taking a closer look at it, it really is. So problems about problems. Of problems. Whatever the correct proposition might be, it doesn’t change the meaning, the intention of the saying.
Point is, we all face problems, we all deal with them in very different ways, thankfully. Mine just is the most fucked up imaginably, even though it doesn’t fall far from the stem to be completely honest. My main problem seems to be Compensation. Compensation carried out by consumerism. Getting all sociological in here. Back to being (semi) serious.
Whenever a problem appears, blocking my way, my first reaction always seems to steer away from it. Ignoring it. I try to make the problem disappear. Not from reality, but from my thoughts. “Paper is due tomorrow? Oh look something shiny!” – just to give you a simplified example. At first glance, it seems really childish of me to react in that way, to just ignore the problem and face the other way. I just can’t help it sometimes, that’s my dilemma. Shutting down my phone and closing all social media tabs doesn’t quite cut it. Sometimes I always end up back there. Thankfully, since I am not a celebrity, social media gets boring again rather quickly. The real problem lies somewhere else.
And this “real problem” has a name: Online Shopping. Yes, the devil in disguise! Oh how often have I now sat on an afternoon during a week packed with due assignments and work to be done, just browsing multiple online stores at the same time. Often, when I should focus on other things like improving my blog, instead of brainstorming new ideas, branching out, doing research or making concepts for future blog posts, I just start buying stuff. Whenever I get bored for a second or come across some difficulties, another tab of amazon, h&m or asos seems to pop up. And this happens way too effortlessly to be normal anymore.
I don’t really want to spend money, yet I do it anyways. Sometimes I feel like that is the only way to improve. Improve my style, my sense of fashion, my wardrobe and my person in general. In fact it achieves, it changes nothing, ever. All I do is pretending to change myself by changing the things that I wear, that I own. Looking back, I often wonder why I thought that exactly that piece I had so high hopes for, would change my life completely. I feel like a living parody of some American family from the 50s, being portrayed as the family, as long as they buy the newest mixer or other useless household items. Walking satire, fuelled by boredom and avoidance.
The only positive aspect of this is, that by acknowledging this problem, I can (hopefully) dress it and change my ways. For everyone feeling that this behavioural pattern seems way too familiar, I have to tell you something. By realising what your problems are, by naming them, categorizing them, by addressing them, you can change your ways to clear your head and pursue a more responsible way of life.
A little wake up note for the rest, who still think otherwise: No piece of clothing, no shoe and nor any other THING will ever change YOU as a person. You are the only thing that can change yourself, not the things that you own. The moment you start realising that you use these patterns of compensation, you can grasp the problem and start solving it. I have found myself guilty so many times of looking through online stores and suddenly realising that it was just to put myself at ease.
Nobody wants to be harsh on themselves 24/7, but sometimes you just have to sit down with yourself, look at yourself. Look into your own eyes and start to acknowledge the problems that you have. By no means should you start looking for problems, I highly discourage you from doing so! But you should focus on the problems, always in the back of your mind, wandering around and bugging you in your everyday life. As soon as you pin them down, you can start solving them and improving your way of life.
Just before I started to write this post, I was scrolling through endless pages of online stores, when I suddenly realised: I shouldn’t just compensate my problems, merely repeating the never-ending cycle. I should at least try to focus on the exact problem and pin it down. So I did. I really encourage you to do the same. However you execute this thought process is up to you. I wrote it down, since that is the easiest way for me to cope with that. Of course you can try other ways of expression, such as photography, drawing, singing even. Sometimes, nothing is better than the good old coffee talk with a well-known friend. Whatever you do, stay honest and stay true. To yourself at least.