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Well, hello there! My name is Chloe, I’m fifteen years old and quite honestly rather undecided how I feel about the Year of Austere. When my mom presented the idea to the family I immediately thought that it was a good idea, and could be quite cool too! However, seeing as my mom has many fantastic ideas that she never goes through with, I quite frankly figured that it wasn’t going to happen anyway. But (to my surprise) as the months passed and 2012 drew closer and closer, my mom was still up for it and thinking about her idea. That’s when I truly started to think about all the things I was going to have to give up for this year…then I got worried.

I have a quite serious and very sad condition called ‘Starbucks Addiction’, meaning that I rarely go over a week without a couple Starbucks drinks. The moment I discovered that we would be limiting the Starbucks runs to once a week, I’m positive that I almost had a heart attack – the life-ending type of one, too. Then not only that, I discover that I’m going to have to give up most of my shopping?? And ELECTRONICS one month!? Noooooooo way I was gonna be putting up with that nonsense! These sudden realizations made me a little less optimistic about this idea of my mom’s.

But when I really started to think all of these things through, I noticed maybe it wasn’t such an awful idea… Since I stopped dancing last year (and I’m trying to gain my ass back) I really shouldn’t be having Starbucks anyway. Spending hours every week at the gym just to waste all the work (not to mention the money) on Starbucks just doesn’t really make any sense! As far as clothes go, I have like a billion shirts, over ten pairs of jeans and numerous pairs of shoes, scarves and whatnot. I technically won’t need any more clothes for a while since I’m done growing and I just got clothes and gift cards for Christmas!! But now, here’s where things get a little trickier.

Electronics are literally a part of my whole day. I use my computer for keeping in touch with friends, doing homework and writing. My cell is in constant use and I send so many texts and BBMs in one day, that I don’t think I could keep track after a couple hours of being awake. My little, hot pink Blackberry wakes me up every morning, reminds me what block order the day is, keeps me in touch with my friends and lets me find out where my mom is parked to pick me up at the end of the day, allowing me to keep the hair to rain ratio down. My phone is either in my pocket, in my bag or directly next to me on a table or other safe surface. Losing my phone would be like having an arm cut off.

All in all, this is definitely going to be an interesting year, but there are many things that I want to get accomplished. Maybe having time without electronics will help me have more time to focus on my homework. Maybe not being able to buy new clothes or jewelry will teach me how to make new things and learn to be creative. Maybe no Starbucks will make me lose weight, so I can have that hot butt I want by the time I go to Germany in April. And maybe this will just generally teach me good life lessons and show me that I CAN live without materials. I guess this really is for the best…or at least we can hope so!! … xoxo Chloe

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