23-year-old Olivia Adams remains convinced that continuing to treat herself to “a little something” will radically transform her life and make everything fall into place.
‘I see something I like, and I build my identity from there up,’ Olivia tells us. ‘Every new top from Zara ushers in a new era of my life, a new paradigm for living.’
‘Hats were a thing for a while,’ Olivia’s best friend Emma recalls. ‘Hats reinvigorated her will to live for a few days, then she moved on to the next thing. She is a restless teenager, trying on different identities, hoping that it will lead to self-actualisation. Needless to say, she’s in major debt.’
Olivia’s bedroom is a graveyard of aborted microtrends. She was into tarot cards for a while, but they are gathering dust beside her crochet hooks and her dying house-plants. She’s redownloaded Duolingo, and now learning Hebrew will be her “thing".
‘I truly don’t believe there is a single problem in my life that can’t be sorted by buying a cute outfit, a £6 latte, and just walking around.’
As Olivia's bank account dwindles, her collection of "life-changing" items grows exponentially. Each new acquisition is hailed as the missing piece of her existential puzzle, the catalyst that will usher her into a life of fulfilment and accomplishment. "Just one more treat," she whispers to herself, with an almost religious fervour, as she hands over her hard-earned money.