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Making Peace with Target

Do you shop at Target? Or Nordstrom or Banana Republic?

Not just occasionally, I’m talking at least a few times a week?

I mean, they have pretty cool stuff, right?

I’ve so been there.

My husband used to say, what exactly do we buy at Target? We seem to go there A LOT. (By we, he really meant me).

Eventually I learned the problem wasn’t about Target.

Target was simply a symptom of a bigger challenge.

The real issue was understanding why I felt compelled to spend so much money on stuff that wasn’t bring value into my life.

Target made it easy for me to disengage.

To use shopping to feel better about life for a few minutes a day.

To get lost in all the cool stuff and forget about my problems.

But  I knew I could do better than Target.  For my money, and myself.

So I took a hard look at my money.

What I saw wasn’t pretty.

Nearly all of my net worth was comprised of my 401k.

Which doesn’t sound so bad.

Until I realized I was putting 10% of my salary in my 401k and that 10% made up  up 90% of my net worth.

What exactly was I doing with the other 90%?

That’s not a simple question to answer.

On the surface I was just shopping.

Buying clothes.  And decorations for the house.

And whatever else I wanted.

Except I didn’t really want any of it.

What I really wanted was to be liked.

To be admired for my style.

To be loved.

To be happy.

And Target just couldn’t get the job done.

No matter how much I spent.

So I had to make peace with myself.

I had to discover what I really wanted.

I had to learn who I was without wearing a new outfit.

And that was hard.

It still is hard.

I’m learning to connect with myself.  Sometimes I don’t like what I see.

Sometimes it just plain sucks.

And it’s rewarding.

I’m constantly learning and growing.

I’ve learned I really don’t like Target clothes that much.

I’ve learned that I’m uncomfortable sitting still.

I’ve learned that intimacy and connection make me more uncomfortable than sitting still.

And I really want those things anyways.

I’ve learned that I’m not always comfortable letting people see me.

But I want to let them see me anyway.

I want to see me.

And when I started to see me and let the world in on what I was seeing, a funny thing happened.

Target lost its luster.

It wasn’t the joy factory I’d made it out be.

But I was.




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2 Responses to “Making Peace with Target”

  1. Lesley Reid Cross December 9, 2011 2:06 am #

    Christy, this is really beautiful. My dh and I have been on an economic roller coaster throughout our nearly 20 year marriage. I can relate to what you wrote about getting things we didn’t really want or need, at the cost of our financial stability. And when you get back on your feet, it’s equally easy to to go right back to that “oh, it’s so pretty….and I HAVE this much money now!”. But there is power in saying no. So interesting how right now we’ve traded expendable income to reach a long time goal, and it’s still tempting to go there. But you’re right, there is nothing greater than knowing yourself as the joy factory.

  2. Christy December 9, 2011 3:04 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I think so many of us have been there. It’s much easier to shop than it is to figure out what’s really going on. Saying no and holding still can bring up a lot of discomfort. Plus you don’t get to bring home the cute stuff. It’s a journey for sure. Thanks for sharing.

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