For three years now, I have wanted a pair of cowboy boots.
At first I didn’t have the money. Then I couldn’t find the right pair. Then I found the right pair, but the toes were so pointy and narrow that my extra-wide toes were smushed into a big pile of numb.
I still wanted cowboy boots.
This year, I finally asked myself why. What’s the big deal with cowboy boots? How would having—wearing—cowboy boots make me feel?
And that’s when it hit me. Cowboy boots would make me feel autonomous, strong, healthy. Cowboy boots would make me feel flirty and sexy. Just the sound of those heels clicking against the pavement would make me feel happy.
Are cowboy boots the only route to those feelings?
When I practice yoga, I feel strong and healthy. When I pay my bills with money I earned all by myself, I feel autonomous. When I am with my boyfriend—and sometimes even when I am not—I feel flirty and sexy. Walking down the street in bare feet makes me feel equally, though differently, happy.
We don’t want things because we want stuff. We want the way we think having that stuff would make us feel.