Despite insecurities about my skills, one of the reasons I know I’m a writer is because I tend to overthink things the average person doesn’t seem to give a second thought to. I had one of these moments while on a shopping date with a friend. We were at Target, of all places — every millennial’s favorite place to find cute stuff for cheap — and I ended up waxing poetic about why I’m so addicted to shopping.

“Shopping is almost, like, a spiritual experience, right?” I asked my friend while pushing our cart towards the maternity section. (I’ve found some of my favorite outfits from Target’s maternity section, I don’t even care!)

“What? Not really.”

“I’m serious! Like, the things you buy kind of represent who you are and what you want out of life. Like, maybe you’re buying a makeup caddy or day planner, but what you really want is to be more organized. Or you’re looking for a cute new outfit that will help you express who you are to the world. It’s not really just about the things you’re buying, you know?”


My friend wasn’t really here for my analysis of people’s motivations for hitting the mall, but that was a mini-breakthrough for me. As with writing, I kind of use shopping to help me understand and express who I am and what I want from the world. It’s almost a problem — I’ll buy things I have no use for, because I hope that one day, I’ll have a nice office job to wear this sharp shift dress to (and I’ll be comfortable enough in my gender identity to wear it), or I’ll drop on a hardback copy of Janet Mock’s memoir instead of buying my Lean Cuisine for the week because, like Carrie says in that scene from “Sex and the City,” “I felt it’d feed me more.”

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