"convinced that if I owned cute, quirky things, I would somehow develop the interesting, artistic life that I wanted." I can completely relate to this feeling. I noticed, "coincidentally," that when I started to finally pursue the creative stuff I wanted to do, I didn't feel the need to buy so many quirky, creative-type clothes. Thanks for writing this.
A lovely tribute. On my last drive in my '92 Suzuki Swift, I realized that I would never smell that car again--fortunately, it didn't smell bad, just had a smell particular to that car. When I bought it used, it had a bunch of hay in the back (?!) and it never quite lost that farm-fresh smell. I'm glad I let it go, but I miss it too.
Thanks so much for the support, Billfolders! I wasn't sure what kind of reaction it would get, and I'm so glad it resonated with you. We're all definitely not alone in struggling to deal with attitudes about money and spending. I think the issue of debt is also so tricky--we hear so much about massive credit card debt, and because I wasn't in debt (yet) I was able to justify the shopping and spending for a long time, but as you guys have said, when you get that terrible feeling, you know it's still not right. It can be so tough to realize what it is you're doing to figure out how to stop it. Thanks again for the kind words, everybody. (And the eco info about shopping, too.) :)