About a Celine bag.
It was winter 2016, precisely on the beginning of January 2016. I was with Clemens in Berlin to celebrate my 30th birthday and the new year. We went to ballet, watching Swan Lake in Friedrichstadt-Palast. We were in Berlin to make my dream come true.
My dream was to buy a branded bag as I turned 30. It was set in my head. I had already saved money since I had started to work. It was set in my head, that by the age of 30 I wanted to have a bag, either a Celine or a Chanel bag. As a monument of success.
Well I already bought some branded bags such as Louis Vuitton or Proenza Schouler. This frenzy started actually as I started working. Probably as a compensation of my “exhausting” life. Probably inside, I wasn’t really satisfied with my life that I started buying those branded bags to compensate, thinking that they would make me happy. But the thing about Louis Vuitton bags, they are very functional and extremely sturdy, so that I never regret buying those bags. My mother loves it. Probably that’s why I never had a bad feeling about buying Louis Vuitton bags.
As I was studying, I never had the need to have branded stuffs. I was happy studying and living my life. Our parents provided us good money. It wasn’t enough for luxury, but it was more than enough to live an adequate life. It was enough for the primary needs and also sometimes for the secondary needs. For all the traveling and other stuffs that I wanted, I worked beside my study. I had always worked since my second year of med school. First I worked in a french fries stall in the central station of Hannover, before I realized that I couldn’t handle the stress (my big respect to people, who work in train stations!). I was afraid of the hot frying oil. And the demand was enormous, especially after soccer games. And so I decided to quit after 3 months. Luckily since then I had the opportunities to work as a professor assistant (in the histology and pathology classes) and I earned my extra money from that job until the end of my study in 2011. It were fulfilling jobs and it gave me enough money to live a beyond good life as a student.
As I said, I had never been into branded stuffs, because we were raised that way by our parents. We were raised to be hard workers. If we wanted to have something, we had to work and to save money for it. During med school, I never had time to think about branded bags or shoes. Whenever I had time or money, I went traveling. Or I saved my money to go to Indonesia.
And then I finished my med school and became a physician. If I look back now, every time I felt overstressed or every time I went back home from demanding and exhausting late night shifts, I bought nice and branded stuffs. Probably to compensate my exhaustion. The weird thing was that the pleasure didn’t really last long. It was exhilarating for the moment I clicked and bought the stuffs (I used to buy a lot of stuffs online, since I never had the time to go to stores). But after a couple of days, the pleasure and the pride of having branded stuffs were gone. But it did become a thing of “addiction”.. The more exhausted I was, the more expensive stuffs I bought. And it became a circulus vitiosus..
It somehow turned into a life goal, having THE branded Celine or Chanel bag by 30 years of age. I had saved my money for this. And so back to January 2016: I had the moment of truth. That evening we went to Kadewe, it was the last evening before we went back to Nuremberg. A couple of days before I had already visited the Celine Store in Kadewe and had looked for a blue Celine bag. I wanted a blue bag, because I hadn’t had any blue one. I didn’t want any black one, because I thought it would be too ordinary. I realized that time, that my saving wasn’t enough for a Chanel bag, which would have costed double as the Celine bag.
But I did it anyway. We went to the Celine store, and I saw THE bag. It was a limited edition of the summer 2016. Dark blue with red linings. I fell in love with that particular bag instantly. Clemens approved it too, as it was “extraordinary”. I didn’t think twice. I decided to buy the “micro” Celine luggage, as I intended to have a bag for work.
It was a really confusing moment really. Because on one side I was telling myself that I earned this. I had been working and studying a lot and I should just fulfill my dreams. On the other hand I started to have bad feeling and doubts. I asked myself, what would I do with that kind of bag? I’m not a person who goes into pretty lunches, wearing Louboutin high heels, Tiffany earrings and Chanel bags.. Of course I like the idea of it and I don’t see the bad in it.. But it’s just not the way I was raised. I am a “Genießer“. I enjoy going to nice, expensive Cafés. I love having five course dinners with good wines. I love staying in a nice hotel. But frankly, I won’t die if I don’t have those things.
I went out of Kadewe feeling like a champion. So proud of having reached my “life goal”. This excitement and pride lasted for a couple of days.
Then I had another moment of truth. After a couple of days carrying this bag and trying to “integrate” this bag into my daily life, I realized how not-functional this bag for me is. It doesn’t go with a long strap that I have to carry the bag in my hands every time. It is already heavy so that I can’t really put heavy things into it. Whereas I always have so many heavy things that I need for work. I have my laptop, my documents, my folders, a stethoscope, my bottle of water, bread, fruits.. And then I realized, how could I put a banana into a Celine bag?? I don’t even have the heart for it!
Really.. I thought again..”Why did I buy this bag? How could I carry such bag in Germany, where I ride a lot of bike everywhere.. Where the winter can be very long with harsh snow and rains, where the roads are full of salt and stones..” I would cover the bag under an umbrella, letting myself soak in the rain just to keep the bag safe and dry.. How dumb is that?? So after some time, I started to put the bag as a “decoration”. It just sits in my room. I enjoy looking at it, but I don’t like carrying it..
Well.. I don’t regret buying it.. Sometimes I do. But this particular bag becomes a monument of a “doubtful decision”. It wasn’t a wrong decision, but it was not a “double-thought” decision. And the pride of having a Celine bag has long gone..
Don’t get me wrong. I am still a big bag fan. I’m not scolding myself for being a bag fan. I would just look at the bag as an investment. But these kinds of bags don’t speak to me or represent me.
And that’s the moment of truth:
I have to look for happiness somewhere else,
not in the branded bags.