Aug 23

Existential Geek Moment: luxurious living and the nasty price tag that comes with it

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Curious? I sure was. Learn more about Peter the Wild Boy here.

When Henry David Thoreau headed into Ralph Waldo Emersona’s forest in 1845 and settled near (but not at) the edge of Walden Pond, he wasn’t simply trying to avoid paying his taxes; he saw something eating away at “civil” society. Unfortunately, that something was not the tuberculosis epidemic of the late 19th century*.

I was reminded of the author this week because I felt consumed by what I thought was a part of who I once was and no longer am: A spoiled brat. I usually consume all things Internet, such as videos of this cute kitty or this cute spider, but things have been a little different.

The semantic association, however, leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth and beckons rectification because it’s not simply the case that the spoiled brat consumes. She was also consumed. Clothes, bags, shoes and the like made me feel important. I’m not going to lie–it gave me a superficial sense of superiority over others and made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted.

The problem was twofold. I fed off someone else’s wallet–my parents–and I subscribed to an idea of a self that was completely made-up and prescribed to me for the sake of consumption. There was no substance to that “me” other than the fabrics and labels I wore, the “cage” of a car I drove and the silly name-dropping I could do.

It wasn’t simply work that changed my outlook. Rather, it was the people I worked with who opened me up to the idea there is more out there to explore and that personalities make a difference. That’s why I am so madly in love with people’s stories. That’s also why I started working toward being more like the people I met whom I admired and less like the assholes I just wanted to get away from.

I was pushed to the edge this week because I had to deal with constant chatter about brand names and the “elite” lifestyle. Perhaps the worst part of the ordeal was that I simply couldn’t say “Fuck off, you sound like a dick without a soul” because the perpetrator was someone I actually cared about. My participation made me feel like I was recklessly feeding off a machine, but any passivity ironically placed a value onto my presence–one that simply wasn’t valuable.

I wished I could help, but I’m just so tired of playing Florence Nightingale. I don’t want to play house with Ralph Lauren and Herman Miller because I don’t see anything good coming from it.

When does the good sailing come?

*Never forget May 6, 1862, for it was the day Thoreau died after suffering from tuberculosis and its complications. 

1 comment

  1. Kikilicity

    So true!! Personality is way more important then what one wears or how much money they have :D

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