we all have needs. we have wants too but those are different. it’s hard to believe they are sometimes, but it’s true, and the distinction is getting lost. my pocketbook pays the price of the incorrect labelling but it’s not wholly my fault. it’s hard to label our impulses correctly in this age of constant marketing.
i think that i need things all the time. i need a piece of chocolate and a hot cup of coffee in the morning. i need a stylish house. i need to buy books. i need new sandals now that summer is here. i need my expensive moisturizer. i need a new car. when i analyze these thoughts, however, i realize that i’m talking about wants and not necessities. these things that i “need” are not vital to my existence. they might add something to my day but the effects are transitory. if i don’t have them i might feel upset but i haven’t lost anything truly vital.
i’ve trick myself into thinking that i’m meeting my needs when i’m actually satisfying my wants. truth be told, i don’t like to look at my actual needs all that closely. perhaps it’s because they’re harder to identify, perhaps because they’re harder to meet, or perhaps it’s simply because my wants scream louder.
needs are hard to admit to. a need means that something in your life is lacking and that is not allowed in the age of buy your way happy. a need means there’s distress and discomfort and who wants that? needs are especially hard to admit to when what you need is difficult. it’s easier to pretend the need is a call for cheesecake. things are easy, you can buy them almost anywhere, and they make the uncomfortable feelings and yearnings go away. momentarily, anyway. mislabeled needs that are fed wrong come back and continue to generate discomfort.
you can’t eat enough to quench a thirst.
even thinking about needing things that are beyond the easily purchase-able makes me uncomfortable. it makes me feel greedy, and selfish. i should be able to exists as an island. stuff is supposed to make me content.
i shouldn’t want. i shouldn’t crave. i shouldn’t yearn. i have enough. i have stuff. i have very few wants that i can’t meet. i buy and acquire but the uncomfortable feeling that my mind balks at calling a need persists. it’s frustrating to realize you have to face the sticky stuff head on.
when i think about it with depth, i know that i need. the feeling circulates inside me. i know that the feeling is make up of smaller requirements, and all of them feel challenging and risky. i need to feel connected to this life. i need to believe i have value. i need my experiences to matter. i need to feel validated. these things are hard to fit into a shopping cart.
i was directly connected to my needs once upon a time; we all were. when we were young we spoke from our hearts and didn’t worry much about what people thought of us and our requirements. having needs now though, even thinking about having them, makes me feel guilty. it makes me feel like i’m asking for more than i deserve, like i’m seeking special entitlements. wants are definitely more comfortable and they’re easy to deal with, at least until the credit card bill comes due.