Materialism is... bliss?

When I left home last September with just enough money and spirit to make it to Japan, fulfill my responsibilities in Costa Rica, and then return to somewhere deemed promising, I was confident in my ability to be frugal and happy at the same time. I felt invincible, passionate, and guided. I didn't think that repercussions would ever ensue, and that no matter what circumstance I found myself in, I'd miraculously overcome them like the world has always intended for me. I found the idea of living without to be daring and awe-inspiring--taking risks against the money-driven masses and learning to live simply was meant to be a test of my will and ability; a challenge against that non-atypical dream chased by so many, and often obtained by so few. I wanted [it] to be different.

Quitting my job and choosing to go to Costa Rica was my chance to prove that I could live simply and contently. I thought that if I could accomplish the task, that the lessons learned could follow me home and far beyond. These were my ultimate goals--being embraced by the world through my innocent decisions and good intentions. But innocence never seems to get us very far, and dreams can be dismantled rather quickly in the "land of the rising sundries."

From shiny new bicycles, electronic luxuries galore, mandatory fashions and accessories, and this outrageously overpriced thing. It sometimes feels like I have landed in the land of material torture. I feel ashamed at times when 'want' overbears 'need', knowing that I could never materialistically compete in a society like this. I admire my simple little things--my torn and tattered jeans, my faded t-shirts, and dirty shoes. But I am guilty of wondering if I had the money, if I would spend it, and I probably would.

Thinking that I could be frugal in a place like Japan and be happy was a mistake. As much as these things "appeal" to me, it's not even about these things at all. It's that I have failed to be considerate of the realities that come with money and living. Was it meant to be this way? Being here broke has done more to damper my spirit than anything imaginable, and maybe it could have been different. I kept thinking how temporary this all was, and that it would all be different soon enough. I was selfish in thinking this way--that it would all be okay, and I'd make up for it at a later date. A later date, that already seems to be too late.

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