A Year of Nothing New
A year of nothing new, that was my indirect resolution for 2018 and perhaps most of 2017 too- that is, indirect because I didn't set out declaring it or saying to myself “you aren’t buying anything”.
No, it more or less came straight out of my own natural wanting to live with less, from physically not having room for more, and ultimately, simply from drawing my focus onto other purchases- such as creating and building a small business.
Though after hearing someone else declare aloud that they would now take on this idea- this year of nothing new, it occurred to me instantly that I was just coming out of such a year.
That maybe it was even two years since last I did focus on purchasing clothes or furniture or extras of any kind. That maybe I've just settled into this person who doesn’t buy things or even think to buy things excessively, if at all. The person too who now hears such comments as “ you got your money out of that jumpsuit” and yes thank you mom, because I did, I have and
I am getting my money out of purchases, instead of the other way around, and I am putting my money more consciously onto items that will last two or more years, that support artists and individuals, that consider consciously how and when and who made this piece I am buying.
Shopping second hand too, pulling from items that already exist.
Challenging myself to think less of what I needed and more of what I already have.
But what has it been like challenging myself? How did it feel, and at what point can you give in to a new t shirt or sock set.
For I did feel challenged and on somedays even discouraged, feeling like I couldn’t wear that again or someone might notice, or those holes and that stain that made me feel less and less confident, and though I was not straight out proclaiming that I would not buy, I did feel very stern about my will to not buy items from box stores and it did begin to challenge me outwardly in my appearance, in a lack of shoes or shirts, as well as inwardly with my idea of self and my feeling of beauty.
And that’s really the overall lesson that I came to learn, that is to teach myself when to buy things I need versus when I bought something I only wanted.
Withholding myself only from unnecessary purchases and ultimately creating this secondhand feeling of “oh I don't need that” - while also building the most assured, satisfying feeling of - “Oh I’ve been waiting for this and I deserve this” - when I do finally allow myself a purchase.
Simple actions and small changes that we all can make that will help our planet and affect a market that pushes consumerism- ultimately helping ourselves save time, save space, save money, save the environment, save the material and energy expelled to produce this item, and send a message to corporate manufacturers that their standards need to meet our standards.
That their wages need to be fair, their materials need to be safe, produced safely, cleanly and sustainably, that manufactories need to be local, supporting conscious consumption and giving back to their own communities.
Forcing the greatest amount of effect and change with each of our own actions and with our dollars.
Because truthfully we all have items we buy from manufacturers and simply swapping the problem onto another carrier won’t solve the rooted issue of consumerism.
: That feeling that we must buy, buy buy.
That more is best.
And it is an ample feeling when there are ample supplies, stores lined with stocked shelves, discounted to nothing, and commercials singing out that more is more is more is more is better.
A note that comes in clearly, especially during the holidays.
But that is wrong. That is consumerism.
Conscious consumerism is better.
And when we begin to challenge ourselves to take a step back away from the idea that we should buy new simply because we can buy new
By creating this space- this year without new- we may begin to feel the importance of what we do have, the importance of renewable resources, of reusable items, and the hefty waste ourselves contribute too.
Truly challenging ourselves to accept what is, be it broken, stained, ripped, torn, chipped, fading, be it any of the unfortunate accidents that cause need for new;
accepting and coming from it learning value and appreciation for simply having to begin with.
Inherently forming this feeling of honest value.
Value in having a pair of shoes last the years or that feeling of coming home to a favorite sweater every winter.
The honest feeling that is seeing a single item all the way through.
That is appreciating the purpose a single item has added to our lives.
It is a rippling wave of thought provoking lessons that will forever adjust and humble our way of buying and appreciating items in our world every day and every year too.
Words and photos by Brianna Holman
I'm Brianna, a simple, honest lady, finding my way through my mid twenties, writing, reflecting, questioning, and improving; always seeking to move forward, to push myself outside of my comfortable norm. Now with my husband and our eight dogs we've chosen to consciously live with less making possible our ability to travel across country in our Fleetwood trailer. I am an admitted, continuous work in progress, in search of more questions to answer, ways to understand, and stories that enlighten. I seek understanding in every aspect of life, I seek empathetic understanding for everyone in life. I seek to reflect an honest life and inspire humble thoughts.