Last year I didn’t buy any *things*. I only bought experiences. We were talking about consumerism in theology today, and how the reason it’s so fucked up is because we’re actually buying things that can’t be bought: happiness, coolness, love, intimacy, personality.
But I was thinking about it…
Last year, I spent more money than I ever have in my entire life. And not a stitch of it went to an object. But it went to those things that *can’t be bought*, indirectly.
It went to Arcade Fire (x2), Augustana, The Script, Pitchfork Music Festival, and Fleet Foxes concerts. It went to Cambridge MA, Lake Winnipesaukee NH, Washington DC, Anaheim CA, Lake Michigan (every weekend), and Cedar Point. It went to a car accident on the way to The Fray. It went to the Field Museum in Chicago, and a Cubs game, and gasoline and train fare.
But it really didn’t just go to that. It went to a sea of togetherness, of happiness, of feeling like there’s a purpose to my life. It went to love, to meaning, and to value. It went to piecing my broken spirit back together again, with fervor and even stronger bindings than before. It went to discovery, and beauty, and rebellion.
And looking back, I’ve concluded the following:
2011 had the potential to be the worst year of my life. It started out, on January 1st, with a conversation that I’ll never forget in Bowling Green KY, in a Drury Inn. But instead of letting that conversation consume me (although at times I felt and still feel like it does)….I was determined to remember 2011 for reasons other than The Thing. And I did.
At the time, it seemed stupid and foolish—having my parents and grandparents and siblings disapprove quite vocally of my choices. But then I remembered: you guys are the ones who are making me feel like shit. So your input is appreciated, but I’m gonna take this one, kay?
And looking back, it was amazing.
It means so much to me that I can look back at 2011 and not just say it was “the year that my family was destroyed.” I can look back and say it was the year that I grew up, discovered who I was, and lived for the first time.