The difference between want and need. 

Can we ever really be content?

I think as humans we never stop chasing desire. We have this unquenchable thirst for the things that we can’t have, or can… but absolutely do not need

It would seem that the moment we are lucky enough to obtain the things we want most, desire evolves and revolutionises our definitions of happy.

I always had three big financial goals. The first was to save enough for a house, then for a new car and then for a wedding, that is of course, if a certain someone ever did decided to put a ring on it (ahem…still waiting). 

Well, I’m now 24 and I’ve built the house, I’ve bought the car and I’ve saved for the hypothetical-wedding (as there’s no shiny diamond yet). And I thought that by achieving these goals of mine I would happily fall asleep each night, utterly content with life and all it entailed. 

But lately, I somehow find myself awake in the early hours of the morning, chasing new desires in my mind.

And I am astounded by myself and my all-too-human flaw in wanting for more. I feel that this makes me greedy and I’m so uncomfortable with the feeling. How can I want more? Why isn’t what I have enough? 

I simply can’t fathom how I can feel so helpless for the people in the world with far less than me, yet crave trivial things such as new couch cushions and a fiddle leaf fig tree. It’s obsurd to me that I can in one state of mind, know I am privileged to have the things I have and yet in the other throw that notion to the wind in search of decor matching tea towels. 

I’m left to wonder whether these materialistic traits are avoidable or simply embedded into the very fabric of our beings as humans. 

Because I would very much like to turn down the dial on the wants, and focus solely on the needs. And with every attempt at this, I’m finding I’m walking a very find line between the both. 

It’s easy to walk into a shop and get a little hazy on what exactly constitutes a ‘need’. Especially when you walk away from a ‘want’ with all the best intentions, only to arrive back twenty minutes later convinced that it simply must be a ‘need’ in disguise due to the fact that you’ve been unable to stop thinking about it since you first laid eyes on it. 

Trust me, I have been there. 

But I think it simply comes down to this. The difference between need and want is functionality, and a little more self control than you ever think you have left in you at the time. 

Could you function without it? Can you do all that you need to do this week without it? No? Then it’s a need. Everything else earns the title of a want, and gets to stay put on the shelf while you pat yourself on the back for leaving it there. Seriously, good job!

It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sometimes get the things want. It just is important to know the difference. And just when the right time is to endulge in the wants. 

So, I’m trying my best to stop chasing the wants in the early hours for a little while and instead turn my focus to trying to harness a little more contentness in the things that I have got. Because  I think sometimes that’s where happiness truely stems from – being content with your empire exactly the way it is. 

I’m opting for functionality. And hoping to embrace a little more gratitude over gluttony on my travels. I’m aiming for contentment in every way possible. It doesn’t mean I stop chasing dreams, or moving forward in my life – I have too much on the bucket list for that! It just means a revolutionary act of finding comfort in what I’ve achieved so far, and striving for the things that will only add value to my life. 

It’s okay to have a wants list, just don’t let it dictate your happiness, because I can promise you that a long lasting happiness simply can’t be bought. 

Be more with less. 

d x

 

#65

Whilst away on my tropical getaway, I finally had the chance to do something I’ve embarrassingly enough, never done before…. I snorkelled!

Yes, I can tell you now that it is entirely possible to live 24 years and not don the ol’ flippers and snorkel to investigate what lays beneath the oceans skin. I am the very proof. So upon visiting the picturesque Mystery Island last month, I decided to change that small life fact of mine.

It may not be a huge leap and bound in the big scheme of things, but it was something I have always wanted to do given my intrigue with the ocean. And so it found a worthy home at #65 on the bucket list.

Having never snorkelled before, and being mostly a nose-breather (it’s a thing, just ask any nurse), I must admit that I found it a little hard to do at first. Training your brain to suddenly only breathe through your mouth in an almost dire circumstance given that you are under the sea and water in your lungs is not exactly compatible with life; wasn’t exactly easy.

I resembled something close to a struggling baby seahorse at first, trying to coordinate breathing and swimming simultaneously. Throw in a subtle wave or two to supersede the end of my snorkel, and you could have easily found enormous entertainment in my personal underwater wrangle.

But for the sake of the rainbow fish, I persevered.

Eventually I grew accustomed to having a little less air in my lungs, and slowed down my breathing enough to find a slow rhythm with my stride. I was able to navigate the oceans movement and anticipated the waves. I almost instinctively learnt how to blow any water that dared to enter my sacred breathing tube right back out into the air above.

After an hour, I decided I was brave enough to attempt a dive under the surface. After two seconds of deciding this, I was convinced being brave was a death warrant. Cue struggling baby seahorse performance number two. How people did this so naturally was beyond me. It was like the moment the water travelled down the snorkel and touched my lips, my body spontaneously thought, ‘Oh sure, come on in!’.

But for the sake of the blue starfish, I persevered.

Spitting out the salty ocean water my body had executively decided to harbour, I tried again. This time concentrating on blowing the air in my lungs out slowly enough to combat the water. By day two of snorkelling, I had this manoeuvre down pat enough to venture through tunnels in the reef at Paradise Cove in Port Vila.

This baby seahorse had found her wings… or scales? Either way, I had become a little less entertaining to the observers onshore.

It was worth every moment of frantic underwater fear, and salty-ocean-water-swallowing just to swim with the multitudes of tiny fish who call these beautiful reefs home. From clown fish (totally found Nemo), to vibrant coloured starfish; giant sea slugs, to vicious eels; curious reef sharks, to bright coral – it was an experience I enjoyed whole-heartedly and plan to do a lot more of in the future.

I’ll call it my warm up for scuba-diving – which also makes the list, and I just know that when I get to it I’m going to love it just as much, if not more!

Oh, just as a side note for anyone else who, just like me, may have not yet snorkelled – here’s a prominent tip above all else… try only to smile internally at the beauty of it all. As it turns out, smiling externally breaks the seal of your snorkel mask causing a great deal of salt water to flood your eyeballs. And take it from me, it’s not a pleasant experience.

#65 – Go Snorkelling: Check!

d x