Lately I’ve been reflecting on dissatisfaction, a sin I can identify in several areas of my life. Is dissatisfaction a sin? I’m not sure, but it feels like one, in that it keeps me from being content with where I am, and by extension, growing where I am planted.
Several nights ago, I found myself wandering around the second-largest Target in Atlanta, in the Edgewood shopping center (the first-largest is in Atlantic Station). I needed shampoo and candy to put in Easter eggs for church. But that doesn’t explain what I was doing looking through the new spring clothing line and at pretty pajamas. As I wandered, I heard a voice (the Holy Spirit!) asking me, “What are you looking for?”
I thought I was looking for new clothes. Yesterday, I put on a spring top I hadn’t worn in a while and a new cardigan. I say “new,” but it’s at least a year old, which explains the hole in the cuff. And the second I put on the top, I noticed a stain (I wore it anyway). Would new clothes make me feel better about my body? Would having pretty pajamas convince me that I’m attractive? It doesn’t matter. Either way, with my stipend, I can’t afford any of the clothes in Target, not even from their clearance section.
I might have been looking for hair dye. When my mother had me, she was 32, and her hair was gray. At 26, I’m well on my way there, and when I look at myself in the mirror, between the gray hair and the dark circles under my eyes, I barely recognize myself. I wander down the “beauty aisles,” browsing hair dyes and makeup I don’t know how to use.
What am I looking for? Affirmation? Success? Conformity to societal standards of beauty? Whatever it is, I know it can’t be found at Target and it won’t be fixed with a new bottle of nail polish or a pretty blouse.