My junior year of college, I gave up Vogue for Lent.
Some people fast for forty days. Some give up sugar, or pray for someone daily, or get really crazy and give up Facebook. I gave up a pretentious, ad-filled, once-monthly magazine. And since Lent is forty days long, that amounted to … one issue.
Writing that now, it feels pathetic. But in so many ways, it changed my life.
I love fashion. I write about it a fair amount on my blog, and Oscar night is like Christmas to me. And I think that's okay. Cliché though it may sound, what you wear can be a great expression of who you are, what mood you're in, what interests you.
But I had gotten to a point with what I read in Vogue and other magazines that I found myself, in my free time, thinking about how I could expand my already-large closet, and how I looked in comparison with the people in those pages and the people around me.
More than wanting certain things, I had grown to want a certain lifestyle. It wasn't just the $400 cashmere throws or gorgeous jackets that cost ten times our monthly rent. It was that I wanted a lifestyle that would provide me with whatever I want, whenever I wanted it. I grew to believe that this lifestyle would provide real security, especially against the anxiety that I've struggled with most of my life. If anxiety could be measured in units, I would simply buy them away, one boutique purchase at a time. After all, the people in the glossy pages of these magazines looked so happy! So contented by their overstuffed white furniture and handmade leather boots and month-long trips to the Amalfi Coast. If I could just have what they had, surely I would be happier, more at peace.
And now, I know why not coveting is important enough to have made it ...1
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