Reading A New Earth right now, and came across an interesting comment. Tolles talks about how trying to find yourself or enhance your identity through consumerism and things doesn't work. He says "Designer labels are primarily collective identities that you buy into. They are expensive and therefore 'exclusive.' If everybody could buy them, they would lose their psychological value and all you would be left with would be their material value, which likely amounts to a fraction of what you paid."
This is something I -- ahem -- buy into. I've never been able to see why certain names or logos on an item should increase the price, and in the end a designer pair of jeans is made of basically the same material in the same way as inexpensive ones. This is nothing new or earth-shattering...but then he goes on to talk about how we live in a world of conceptualization instead of a living reality. And it got me to thinking... Is my obsession with looking at real estate really just a form of consumerism? Am I trying to obtain, not a house, but a different identity? How do I think a new home to live in would change who I am? What in my life would be different? What about me would be different?
Well, the answer, of course, is nothing. I'd still be me, just living in a different setting. I picture the place I want to live, and really it's the lifestyle I want to have; I want to read, write, garden, and walk my dogs. A small and peaceful life, really. But the life I have now allows for all of those things. I read a lot, I write in snatches when I can, I walk my dogs every night, and I garden all summer. So...what would change?
I want to live somewhere quiet. I want lots of sunlight. I want a green place to walk my dogs. I don't want to be able to hear my neighbor blow his nose or smell what he's having for dinner. I want simplicity and cleanliness and no clutter. I want everything I own to be able to fit into a couple of suitcases. But really, if I'm honest with myself, it's time I want. Somehow, as I gaze at these cottages and cute turn-of-the-century houses, I imagine my life in them would somehow provide me with more time. I am not sure why I think that. It is illogical. The house would likely be further out of town and far away from things like grocery stores, so I would spend more time in the car. A house built in 1890 would likely take quite a bit of upkeep and care. I would still likely have to work, so that eats up the day, same as now (unless I could sell my current house for a fortune and find a new home for under ten grand...). So in light of all these cold, hard facts, why do I still persist in scrolling around the Internet looking at potential homes? I'm not seeking a change of setting. I'm seeking a more peaceful me.
The discouraging part is that, if I go, I'm taking me with me.