Yesterday I was taking a shower and I recalled my conversation last night with my ex-boyfriend. It was a non romantic conversation but it was more about getting closure. We kinda touched based on what happened for past ten years we have not spoken with each other for so long. I remember that year, it was 2006 and many things happened. So many that I can barely believe that all of those things happened in the span of a year. Fast forward 10 years now it is 2016. I realized now that I’m thirty and I now have the capacity to live my life but what am doing? I’m no longer the young penniless girl who was desperate for a job and a love life. But still I find my self looking for something to make me happier.
So during this contemplative moment I realized something, I realized that it would be far better to have experiences than material things. Because experiences make us who we are. They build the memories that we have and we learn and grow from them.
Experiences Make Us Happier
I did a bit of reading and I found some research with psychologists pointing out the benefits of having more happy experiences. What I have come to realize is that experiences do matter. For example we buy something really cool say a dress, but why do we buy it? Because we want to wear it and for other people to notice us while we wear it. Trust me on this, you will barely remember the moment you swiped your card at store to get it over the point where you wore the dress and people noticed you for it. It is the experience that counts and not the material item itself. But that dress would eventually get old and we will get tired of it. On the other hand, if you can have a short staycation in a hotel for the same price as that dress which one would you choose? Some would say the dress because you can keep on using it, while others will choose the staycation. Research show that people who chose the experience over the material item found happier memories.
Experiences Make Interesting Conversations
One of the most important thing a man or woman looks for a partner when he or she browses Match.com or Tindr is to find a person who is enjoyable to talk to. We know we click with people who have good stories to share. We feel that people who talk about material stuff are often shallow or materialistic. On the other hand people who have traveled or have had bad or good experiences are seem interesting and wise to us. Experiences makes our lives richer and sweeter. If you are given a choice between a car or a free trip to Europe or Asia choose the trip. This moments that you have gotten will never bore you and will become pleasant memories. When you grow old and you become someone, you will always look back by telling people about the experiences you’ve had. You wouldn’t want to tell them how many clothes you have or the car you bought; you want to tell them how you partied or how you drove like maniac in your old beat up car.
Experiences make Memories
Well one of my realizations is that WE ARE BUT THE SUM OF OUR EXPERIENCES. Our experiences turn into our memories that turn into our personality. In the bottom of our hearts is the things we feel and we long for. We sometimes think that a new TV or a big house will make us really happy but they may do so to some extent but not as much as good memories. We don’t really know what is going to happen in the future but we know what has happened in the past. This knowledge makes us strong in order to face what it is to come.
I’m sure you know the feeling you get when you look at the pictures in your album or on your Facebook page. You smile and recall those moments. You feel the joy that you were able to experience those moments. When we buy experiences, we give ourselves the happiness we deserve. I know being a responsible adult is important but you should balance this with actually living your life.
Anticipating a Good Experience Feels Really Good
So while writing this article, I tried a little experiment. I tried to look for flights to a vacation. While I was doing this, I could not help but smile. I was feeling elated and happy just by anticipating an island getaway. I did not actually buy the ticket just yet (but I will) but what I got from this experiment is that even just mere anticipation makes us happy! On the other hand, last month I bought a new computer. I wanted to get it right away. Waiting for it was really a pain. I was getting irritated for the days I have to check and check on it. And when I finally got it I felt happy but only for a while. I started using it and it became a common fixture in my apartment. So the point is? It only means that vacations excite us more than waiting for a new computer to arrive. One is happy and pleasant, the other wait time is stressful.
Stuff Becomes Stale
I can go on and on about experiences being the better option but I really want you to realize it. Think about it. I bought a new TV set months ago. Now it sits in my living room and me not minding it. But when I talk about my trip to the beach even though it was fleeting, this memory make me light up like a Christmas tree. The new shirt I have gotten a week ago already has a stain from washing it improperly but the dance class I had still makes me want to work up the moves. It may be a cliche’ but spending on stuff can just be continuous and boring but experiences make you grow. These moments don’t become old or boring or stale, they become more beautiful with time.
Well I would urge you to live. It is never too late or too early; whether you’re 20, 30, 40. 50 or even a 100 you can always have new experiences. You can travel, try new food, swim with the sharks, learn how to ride a bike and do whatever. 2016 has just started so why not make this year your year?
This year I’m changing my life and ticking stuff off my bucket list: (I’ve started it last year.)
Learn how to swim
Learn how to ride a bike
Go scuba diving
The list goes on but for now I’ll try to accomplish these stuff first. Wish me luck!