My friend Susannah posed this question to me a few weeks ago: Is there something else that could give you the high you get from a new article of clothing? At the time, the best answer I could muster was, hmm... let's see...there must be something... let me get back to you...
Well, my answer is a resounding YES.
For me, writing is the thing that makes me feel like I'm doing what I was put on this earth to do. Especially, when it is actually read by other people and generates a meaningful disussion. This week, Amy Chua's controversial Wall Street Journal essay, "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior" set off a firestorm on of debate about Chinese parenting. Like any good Asian American blogger, I followed the issue closely, even reading the Chua's memoir and writing several pieces about it, one of which was published on Salon. I was too busy to even think about shopping. And you know what? The ensuing dialogue was more satisfying than any new garment could ever be.
However, the writing life is also riddled with pitfalls. For every exhilirating moment, there are also dozens of times when the muse is mum, nobody reads my blog, or I receive a deflating rejection letter from a publication. That is why writing and shopping have become entangled in my life. As opposed to the sometimes soul-questioning, start-and-stop process of writing, refining, editing — shopping provides immediate gratification. I cannot tell you how many mornings I have spent in front of the computer, for seemingly little payoff and my mouse drifts over to some shopping website for immediate, tangible rewards.
They say identifying the problem is the first step toward solving it.
What gives you an endorphin rush? What is most satisfying to you? And what you turn to for an immediate thrill?