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The Shopping Spree of a Minimalist

Beyond the addiction, a recovering shopaholic returns to the mall with a minimalist mindset.

Photography by Hem

I tried to be the perfect minimalist, emptying closets and drawers, living with nothing more than what I needed. But lately, I have failed.

It began a few weeks ago. As I slipped threadbare pyjamas over my legs, my husband laughed, “I think it’s time for a new pair.”

I cringed. I hated the mall, avoided it like the drug it once was, my remedy for a bad day, a cure for when I felt sad. But my husband was right; my pyjamas, and many of my clothes, were in disrepair.

As I looked around our home, I noticed it wasn’t just my clothing that was worn. Chipped drinking glasses and broken bowls sat in a cabinet. Even the kitchen table was splitting in half. It was time to go shopping.

My heart began to beat hard as I opened the door to the mall. Sweet cologne drifted. People clutched tight to bags. I walked the long hallway to the department store, past windows with pink sweaters, stopping briefly to admire a string of pearls. Leather boots, cute running shoes, items I once would have bought. But something had changed. No longer did I need to caress a shirt’s soft stitching, or try on a pair of jeans. No longer did I need to buy everything I saw.

I picked out pyjamas and underwear, passing pretty, lacy camisoles. In the kitchen department, I stopped to look at beautifully designed dishes, imagining them in my home. Then I purchased the needed set of glasses.

Later that day, I bought a table and chairs.

I went on a shopping spree, but maybe that's okay. Because in the process, I learned how to admire without buying, to enjoy beauty and style, and know not everything has to be mine.

Maybe I haven’t failed after all.

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