2 years ago
deactivated1484545980DTessStevens
in English · 5,284 Views
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Contemplating Life, and My Illusive Obsession With Designer Labels
I used to think that the people who would sit and type all day at a Starbucks were pretentious posers, but now I know they're people like me, who are trying to escape from whatever situation they find themselves in at home.
Sipping on latte foam, iPhone plugged into the USB port on my computer, the sun is shining through the floor to ceiling windows as young professionals and bored high-schoolers fill the seats of Starbucks. Some are studying, others are typing away, creating a cacophony of various clicking noises. Me? I'm just trying to sort out my thoughts.
Jumbled up memories of people, and different periods of time have been closer to my consciousness lately than ever before. I feel the ghosts of my past creeping up. When those sorts of thoughts and memories invade you, its time to make a change. Because in relationships and past expectations, everything seems a little bit clearer once you have some distance from it.
Sometimes you just need to change your surroundings, everyone knows that. And right now my writerly routine is shifting as quickly as the micro-climates in Northern California. Used to be I would wake up very late in the day, 1 or 2P.M., and just type until 6, then the drinking would start, and then the real good stuff would come. But lately, there hasn't been much drinking. There also hasn't been much writing. Is there a correlation there?
Sundays are made for introspection. Most use it as a day of rest, a brief moment where you can breathe before Monday goes for the jugular. The next week is about to begin, and as most of the world sleeps in, recovering from their Saturday evening plans, I have been awake for hours, contemplating, dreaming, trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing.
Sometimes, if I'm feeling particularly future oriented, I'll sit on my computer and look up designer shoes. Yes, this sounds ridiculous, but it's the truth. A cup of coffee, and some vintage Christian Louboutins? A perfect Sunday.
I am in love with luxury items, especially when it comes to fashion.
One of the first things I bought with my big girl money was a Guess handbag with a matching wallet. Yes, it is one season old, but it's a designer bag. And it's all my own. I got a compliment on it today, in this very Starbucks. And you know what...it made me feel good!
It might not seem like a logical jump from deep thought, but I assure you it is. When you find yourself in a new place, with a new life...you don't automatically become a new person. But a new shoe?

A really nice, new shoe...it can change your walk, the way you carry yourself. Your very being can be transformed.

When I put on my first pair of red bottomed shoes, I started to feel like a different person. And I know that people see that as shallow, or indifferent. But I see it as strength. There's nothing like walking around in a 700 dollar pair of shoes. Trust me.
It's like when you see those women with Berkin bags...one of the most expensive and exclusive designer items available. You think...damn, they must be doing something right...or someone right.
It has been a long time dream of mine to have a coveted closet. And nothing says coveted like designer shoes. They are the perfect accessory, they can change any outfit, make anything extraordinary. There is a lot of strength in a closet full of beautiful things. Because after all, we are born naked and then we make ourselves who we want to be.
Manolo Blahnik has been an obsession of mine for years, Christian Loubotin, Jimmy Choo. I'll know I've made it when I can buy my first pair on my own. And not a pair from a consignment store, or from a 2 season's old Barney's sale. No. A straight up, in season, expensive pair of shoes.

It's a symbol of success, for me, to be able to purchase things that make me happy. And if that's a pair of shoes, than so be it.

I like to browse these shopping sites with extreme discounts. So upon average, your two season old Manolo Blahnik pumps will go for around 200 dollars, rather than the usual 6 or 7. That's a bargain by any standard.
But I can't afford that. Not even right now, not even the fully discounted price. What is that saying about my success rate? I know it's not right to measure yourself by material items, but everyone hits a point in their life where they picture their ideal self.
Mine isn't wearing a 20 dollar sweater, an Alexander McQueen scarf and Chuck Taylors in a Starbucks. But that's all I got to work with right now. And that's okay! Everything is an evolution right?
People say that there's something to "money over everything", and they might be right. If we can't get our finances in order, what does that say about the rest of our lives? Are we doomed to the incoherent chaos of paychecks gone awry. Do we have to budget our purchases based on necessity rather than need? For those of us without savings or prospects for them, how can we start building a life for ourselves?

Right now, I'm scrimping and saving like any twenty-something just beginning her journey into the abyss of dating, working and living on her own. I want a nice pair of shoes, and you know what, it feels good to be working toward something. Even if that something seems unnecessary to others.

With student loans and car payments, gas and insurance, rent and the occasional night out...the Manolos will have to wait. I can't help but daydream about them though...and how incredible it will feel to step out in them, knowing that their incredible value and style can give me pure joy.

Because life is all about finding joy right? And if that comes in a cardboard box with fancy tissue paper and a designer label...then who can judge?

5 comments
That's how I feel after a salon visit, so the hair is amazing. I have to budget for it, but it's an instant mood lifter. I remind myself that people have to look at me all day. The way you feel about shoes is how I feel about handbags. I don't like following trends. I look for what works for my style. You know the saying fake it til you make it. I just put forth my best effort waiting for it to pay off. Sometimes, you just have to carry yourself like you're already there. It's preparation for a dynamic future. Ah, Starbucks. I have met interesting people there. What I wouldn't give for a Java Chip right now, but I can't get out my drive. Snowed in.
2 years ago·Reply
10
@EasternShell this makes so much sense. Yeah, it's all about whatever lifts your mood. And I totally subscribe to personal style! I feel like just now I'm starting to solidify my identity, which is a really comforting feeling.
2 years ago·Reply
10
omg Perris...
2 years ago·Reply
10
@TessStevens I agree. Once you know who you are. It's easier to navigate this remarkable world. You realize bills will always exist, in some form. As much as you want to like everyone you meet, you won't. So, you learn fairness and diplomacy. In a sense, you earn those designer perks for being who you are. There are some really good books and websites on money management. I even read about homesteading. But I digress, last season's designer piece is just as good as this season's. No one knows when you bought it and would you really stop wearing something you like because it's "not in season?" See, it's all about psychologically faking it to we make it in our own minds. I shop second hand, coupon, and discount all the time bc I'm not paying retail prices. Then, I can afford my $5 coffee without justifying it to myself.
2 years ago·Reply
Right! haha @EasternShell I have so many beautiful things that are many, many seasons old. If you invest in something like Chanel or Manolo, it's kind of like, you have that for life. I have some Kate Spade jewelry that I bought at a sample sale and its like my favorite thing, because it's high quality and high fashion and it makes for such an instant mood boost. I'm just glad that saving up for these things teaches me how to budget too. It's amazing to be able to work toward something fabulous!!!!
2 years ago·Reply
10