“I want what she has.”
For a long time, I was obsessed with having the ideal life that I thought others had. I gazed at homes and apartments on Pinterest and Instagram that I could not begin to think of putting together. I looked longingly at the beautiful outfits that some of my favorite fashion bloggers put together. I was suffering from a serious case of wardrobe and life envy, and I thought the solution to curing my illness was simple.
Get great items on sale.
So I raided stores in person and online to find the right amount of pieces that would complete my wardrobe. But I never felt satisfied. Instead I always wanted more. Every time I went shopping I would envision my new look and life, and it would cure my longing, but only for a moment.
This was not just in my closet but also in my life in general.
Clothes were not good enough. My home was not good enough. My food was not good enough. How much I exercised was not good enough. And even how I was doing in my career. All of it was just not good enough.
My wardrobe became overstuffed and brimming at capacity figured every new trend would help me feel better.
But I realized something. It almost never did.
Instead all it did was add more clothing that I would have to store.
My minimalist fashion journey started with paying less attention to others
The problem with wanting what others have is that your stuff, your personal tastes your style choices never seem to match up. Thus, you are never satisfied. There will always be someone whose wardrobe you envy, and having everything that comes out each season will never quite fill you up because the problem is not really your wardrobe but your outlook. Instead the answer to feeling fully sated and a little happier is to start looking within you.
Look at what you have, not just in a spiritual way, at all the great people and moments in your life, but in a material way too. When I started realizing just how much stuff I had amassed, it was like wearing an itchy sweater that I. Could. Not. Wait. To Take. Off.
I had way more clothes than I needed. Honestly. I did not know what I really wanted in my life or my closet and as a result I would spend more time looking at everything I didn’t have and less time creating the life I wanted.
I felt like I was being buried alive by all the stuff I had. I did not really enjoy my outfits; I was too focused on making it look fashionable this year, into the next. I bought colors that never quite suited me because they looked good in the store. I hung onto items that I thought I might need some day, even though they belonged to my college life than the future I envisioned for myself, and adding more stuff to fill the empty holes in my closet was overwhelming.
When you change your perspective you can (slowly) change your life
It’s interesting that I am part of a generation that has been pegged as unhappy. Immensely unhappy because we are too busy looking left and right at the life we imagine others to be having and spending less time looking at our own. Blame it on social media, “reality TV” or whatever technology and trends are making it clearer that the Joneses are way happier/more successful/more fulfilled than you.
I used to constantly compare my life with others but the more I looked within, the more I realized this was not really what I wanted for myself nor things I had interest or time for. The more I made room for things I wanted to develop; the professional career I wanted to have, the friendships I wanted to mature and yes, the closet I wanted to build, the happier I became.
I am trying to cultivate a life that feels like me, and not rehashed pieces of someone else’s idea of fashionable, or something I do to fit in. The more I free myself from my expectations of what my life should look like, and learn to embraced my life for what it is, the better I start to feel about the size of my wardrobe, my hips, and my wallet.
It’s not perfect, it never will be. Honestly I would not know how to behave around perfect. But it’s me.
So, what’s your wardrobe envy story? Please share below or via email.