Friday, June 19, 2015

Defining Luxury

youa in versailles

I was in my mid twenties when I walked into Louis Vuitton and purchased my first ever designer handbag with a matching wallet as a gift to my grown-up self after signing a stellar job offer. I thought this was the ultimate luxury in life; to be able to afford purchasing an expensive designer hand bag. I was happy to be able to provide myself this experience but most of all I was so proud of myself. However in the next few weeks, these feeling would soon evaporate. The first time I took my handbag out I was constantly watching it; paranoid that it would get dirty with the contribution of my clumsiness. Then I started to receive too much attention from it which made me uncomfortable. However it was the time I saw my own reflection off a building that made me realize it just wasn’t me. It just looked loud and flashy to me. When I got home that day I cleaned my bag, placed it in its dust bag and threw it in the back of my closet. I would never carry this bag again but that’s not to say my search stopped then. I quickly moved onto designer shoes.

Over the years I really started to think about what is luxury. I thought I knew what luxury was but after purchasing a few luxury items I wanted so badly it just didn’t give me the satisfaction I was thinking it would. I was baffled. defines luxury as: a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity. Designer handbags and shoes fits right in, am I right???

Thankfully I’ve been given plenty of opportunities to clearly define what luxury means to me in the last few years. I believe the process started when I began to strip away the materialistic things in my life. I downsize my living space, my closet, my belongs and really face my consumerism lifestyle. From doing this I learned that my belongings were weighing me down and turning me into a slave. In fact, during this time I had just started dating my beau and I was working so much I hardly ever got to see him. All my hard work was going towards buying new clothes, shoes and things that really didn’t mean much to me and with the little free time I had I was spending it maintaining my things. I was miserable. It was only after getting rid of a majority of my things that I was able to determine my necessities and then defining my luxuries.

To me luxury is time and freedom. Being able to traveling for weeks with my beau is a luxury. Having a job I love that is flexible and allows me to work on my photography and travel is a luxury. Being able to be spontaneous with my weekends is a luxury.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned: luxury can be anything we want it to be and to be true to ourselves we have to start observing our own lives and really ask ourselves the question in order to make it meaningful to us. Because if we don’t we may end up settling for society’s definition and miss out on what truly brings us happiness. For some people luxury is a designer handbag or a sports car or a big house in the suburbs and although those may not be things that I would consider a luxury for myself, I think it’s completely acceptable if that’s what’s truly a luxury to you.

This last year I sold my handbag and my designer shoes for a fraction of their cost and spent that money splurging on an extra nice hotel, restaurant and experiences on my trip to Paris, a city I’ve always dreamt of seeing as a little girl. I don’t miss the things I sold but I do miss Paris and hope to return someday soon!

I encourage you to really think about what luxury means to you and define it for yourself. It will make a world of a difference.

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