I work for an independent bookstore.
So, while I’m keeping my Amazon wishlist as a helpful archive of information, needless to say, my book purchases from them have stopped.
As I get older, I think more and more about the saying that you vote with your dollars. I don’t have a lot of them to spend, but I’d rather shop local and support small businesses when I can.
Otherwise, we’re all contributing to the growing monopolies and the power of the corporations which are gaining increasing control of our country.
I like to think that spending a little more to shop at a local co-op rather than a big chain store is a kind of activism.
Which is part of why I haven’t set foot in a Wal-Mart in over a year.
But, it is also more expensive, which is difficult to manage when you’re already struggling to make ends meet.
Now, what with Amazon’s recent treatment of Hachette (http://www.bustle.com/articles/26570-amazon-vs-hachette-everything-you-need-to-know-about-this-feud), I’m reconsidering ever buying ANYTHING from Amazon again.
As not only a book lover but a person of conscience, I can’t support a company trying to steal profits from an already struggling industry.
Today, however, I was forced to face some of my own demons regarding the issue.
I hadn’t realized the extent to which I’ve used Amazon as a way to bypass or manage my anxiety in recent years.
I decided to use the rest of my birthday money to buy a Camelbak so that it’s easier to bike in the Texas humidity.
In the past, I would have likely ordered it from Amazon.
But in light of my boycott, I researched local alternatives. I was visiting a friend this afternoon, and thought I’d stop by Target on the way home. I saw on-line that they had a variety of off-brand hydration packs which would be cheaper than a Camelbak.
I forgot however, that what’s on-line and what’s in stock can vary significantly. Target.com had so many varieties of hydration pack I felt sure the Target close to me would have one.
I was wrong.
I had already driven to Target in the beginning of rush hour. Instead of fighting to get home and having to go out again later, I decided to brave the 1.5 miles of rush hour traffic to Academy – my other nearby option.
Sitting in traffic trying to remember to breathe, I realized that I’ve purchased many things from Amazon over the years just to avoid having to drive to multiple stores in order to find what I need. I can save time, energy, and money by having something delivered to my door. Plus, I’ve benefited from the customer reviews, which can assist in determining which of a myriad of options and brands might be best.
But not if it furthers the corruption of society.
It turns out Academy only had Camelbak brand in stock, so I only bought the pack itself and not a backpack for it. I will just use mine, since I’m not using it for anything else right now.
I know the best way to beat anxiety is to face it. So I’m probably furthering my personal growth by driving even when it makes me anxious.
But I can’t help but wonder, how did I get here?
I know it didn’t used to be such a struggle to manage my anxiety and depression.
Am I still feeling the after-effects of working in call centers for two years?
Or is this residual anxiety from being rear-ended twice in two years? My back is still stiff sometimes, even a year and a half after my most recent car accident.
Or perhaps there are other lifestyle factors at play.
I didn’t have a car before I moved to Texas, and when I was in graduate school I mostly used my car to go to the grocery store.
I didn’t have much disposable income even then, so maybe that’s when my use of Amazon started. Or, maybe it just felt easier to run errands in a small town.
Before I started driving, and even sometimes after, friends would take me where I needed to go. I can grocery shop on my own okay if I go during non-peak hours. But I think I try to plan other shopping trips for when I’m with friends, because it does feel easier when I’m not alone. Then, it’s like I’m on an adventure with someone, instead of it feeling hard and scary and I can stop myself from worrying about how long it will take.
Except I haven’t had as much time with friends lately, or a friend who likes driving me around.
I can research places to go beforehand, like with Target, REI, and Academy for the hydration pack. But it’s still more difficult than doing the research to make a purchase on Amazon.
I’m going to stick to my guns, because I do believe this all matters.
And maybe I’m better off not even supporting somewhere like Target, anyway.
But I don’t want running errands to feel like an ordeal the way it does sometimes.
I hate the phone, but maybe something as simple as calling ahead would help. Maybe the store would hold something for me and I’d know I only have to make a one-stop shop.
Without much disposable income, like I said, this won’t come up much. But I want to be better prepared when it does.
I just have to figure out what will help me be better able to do the right thing, instead of just the easy thing.