Shop-stinance: Challenge Complete – Part I

The Whys.

Have just decided I will never make myself drink nasty homemade kale juice again, even if it’s about to go bad. I digress.

YUCK. Vitamin Green.

YUCK. Vitamin Green.

Woke up this morning and finished writing Day 40, for which I had passed out in the middle of writing last night. Today is the first day I can buy something, but we’ll get to what later since Joshua suggested I should drag out the ending of Shopstinance, like Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Divergent. So here’s to doing just that.

What I really wanted to talk about in today’s wrap up was the “whys”.

  • Why do you buy so much?
  • Why instead of your own personal blog?
  • Why’d you really decide to torture yourself?

Why’d you really decide to torture yourself?
Really? Do you need to ask after all we’ve been through together? Ok fine! I’ll bite. Shopping like any other hobby is an outlet for creativity! It inspires me with it’s constant change and reinvention.

Why instead of your own personal blog?
Mostly because I didn’t think I’d finish it if I started on my personal blog. When I started this project my personal blog was in dire condition and desperately needed work. Knowing myself, I would have gotten distracted upgrading the site and never finished writing any of the daily updates. allowed me to focus on getting the words out to page and publish them immediately and with a host of people that could potentially discover my writing. That being said I am slowly moving the posts to my blog so that it’s easier to read from start to finish than here on Medium.

Why’d you really decide to torture yourself?
There were several factors involved in choosing to do this. At the dinner party from Day 17 I overheard Patricia mention “We were talking one day about shopping, and she just told me the next day she’s doing this.” I like this perspective because it suggests spontaneity which is something I rarely do.

Sadly, it wasn’t spontaneous. Shopstinance grew out of two main thoughts.

  1. A desire to write again.
  2. Setting a personal goal and completing it.

Surprise! It was never about saving money or seeing if I could not shop for 40 days. From Day 8 I already alluded to having previously completed this exact no shopping rule several years ago for Lent.

On Yelp, I have written 760 reviews to date. When friends that don’t contribute reviews realize this they always say something to the effect of “Oh man, I often feel like I should give back to the community too, but I just don’t have the time.” or “That’s a lot of work.”

For me the best part about writing a Yelp review is sharing a story. It’s a platform by which I can blast into the world a small slice of personal history of who I was in that moment, how I was feeling, and who I was with, all told within the confines of visiting this establishment and eating food.

I would search for new restaurants to inspire another tale, craft it while sitting at a table dining with friends and write it up immediately upon getting home. Receiving the prized of ROTD (Review of the Day) was an honor, as to me it meant not so much about how popular I was on Yelp, but more that people were validating my writing.

This all changed when I met someone. Someone I liked, who said my writing on Yelp was “mediocre and pedantic at best”. I’d like to say that I’ve gotten over this careless comment. I might have said I did get over it at one point, but if I’m going to be completely honest with myself, those words stole from me a love, a feeling that never returned. Now, I write Yelp reviews because I have so much history with the platform that I feel like I should.

I’ve told friends that I’m working on my great American Dystopian novel for probably about 5 years now, but I have not kept myself accountable for completing it. I also spend way too much time at work. Shopstinance was my chance to make myself publically accountable for writing every day for 40 days about a topic I love, and make the time to do it.

Now that you know some of the whys we can get into the whats (i.e. what did I buy), tomorrow.

To be continued…

Leave a Reply