I’ma keep it real: 2017 was an incredibly shitty year for me. Now, we all endure different levels of shit, and while I have a job and a roof over my head (for which I am grateful every, single day), I am not happy. I’m not happy with this clusterfuck I call a life, and do you know how I self-medicate? I buy shit. Yup, if I’m feeling down or if I’m mad at the world (and there’s plenty to be mad at), Amazon or Gap or my IG feed is a literal click away, and BOOM! “Thank you for your order” never felt so good! “Your order has shipped” was fucking euphoric!
And this is why I have not posted a thing since October. I really thought that adopting this freer, cleaner, leaner lifestyle would be easy. NOT! When you’re raised with a consumerist mindset, that having “things”, quality, expensive things, is the ultimate sign of success then you are destined for failure. Especially when you don’t have a plan. Especially when you think just by getting rid of all of your shit that you’re suddenly a minimalist.
Welcome to The Brown Sugar Minimalist…
I’m ready now. I really am. How so? What makes things different from the first time you decided to “become a minimalist”.
Whereas the first time, there was this need to just purge and live with less and label myself a “minimalist”, this time, the desire to want to live simpler—and save some damn money in the process — is burning a hole in my soul.
2018 will be a new beginning. I’m not saying it’s going to be a piece of cake because like a drug addict, the cravings never truly go away. But the desire, the wanting to do better, to be better, to live better is more powerful. I’ll continue to use this blog to hold myself accountable — and to call myself out.
I’ll be back on the 1st to list my 2018 goals beyond. Happy Holidays and Merry New Year!
So, for the month of September, I created some pretty lofty goals for myself. One thing this minimalism journey is constantly teaching me is the art of mindfulness. I see that word used constantly among the more seasoned minimalists, and I always poo-poo’d it with a “Chile, bye”, but now, I freaking get it!
Once you’re mindful and intentional with everything that you do, you’re already halfway there. Trust me, I’m not trying to sound preachy, but it’s true. For me, I’m so used to doing what I want, when I want, and damn whatever else. I don’t think I’ve ever gone an entire month thinking about spending my money before actually spending my money. I have always been of the mindset that it’s my money; I earned it, and I’ll spend it any way I choose. Anybody like that? Enough chit-chat, let’s get to the results!
- E-book purchases: I have a small disclosure here. I did purchase e-books in September, but I did not spend money on them. I used my Amazon gift card balance, so the books I bought were gifts, not purchases 😛
- Clothing purchases: Honestly, I thought this would be the biggest struggle for me, yet it wasn’t. I think now that I’ve resolved that I don’t need any new clothes and that I’ll be creating a fall capsule wardrobe, there wasn’t anything I really needed, or wanted, for that matter. I was hella tempted, though. I have not unsubscribed to a few mailing lists of my favorite retailers, and I actually did go to a few websites and added some things to my basket. HOWEVER… I BOUGHT NOTHING!!!!
- Fast food breakfast: This also was a tough one. I love to cook but not 6:30 a.m. in the morning. Yeah, yeah, do it the night before…But I don’t like reheated breakfast food. Sue me… I love Panera and Chic-Fil-A, which are directly across the street from my office and oh so convenient… I toughed it out and got my ass up to cook a hot breakfast in the morning. The question is, can I continue this? Not gone lie, the answer is probably no. But I will be more mindful of this. Shit, I saved about $50.00 not buying breakfast in the mornings. If that ain’t incentive, I don’t know what is…
- Grocery shopping: I was fully expecting not to meet this goal, and I did not disappoint myself I am a horrible grocery shopper. I rarely make lists; I don’t comparison shop; I’m an impulse or “good intentions” buyer, knowing damn well, I don’t eat yogurt or squash like that. I’m seriously working on this, and I expect to make significant improvements in the coming weeks. I ended up spending well over $300 in groceries. Admittedly, my breakfast food items slightly contributed to the spike, but not that damn much!
In conclusion, I’m pleased, overall, with this self-imposed challenge. There is room for improvement on all fronts, but I feel good. I hope October’s is just as, if not more, successful.
See y’all next week…
I have a love/hate relationship with October. The weather is wonky. Like, do I wear a jacket or nah? The days are getting shorter. I don’t know if it’s the Leo in me or if it’s in my head, but I truly get my energy from the sun. And I tend to buy more unnecessary shit this time of the year. You know, Halloween ain’t even here yet, and some places are already advertising Christmas…
Antyway… I’ve created another set of lofty, yet attainable goals for myself. It’s time to create some new fall habits.
I’ll be back on Thursday with my September wrap-up. Th good, the bad, and the
I’ve been in my own world since I was thirteen years old. When I say my own world, I’m speaking of being attuned with who I am as a person. I don’t like large crowds. I don’t have a huge circle of friends. I don’t and have never gone clubbing. Getting me to go “out” is a struggle. I genuinely like myself, and I enjoy my own company. And because I spend so much time alone, it’s helped to form my own beliefs and principles without outside influence. I could give zero damns about what others think of me because I’ma do me regardless. And this is how I’ve earned this unspoken reputation as this unapproachable, stand-offish person when in actuality, I’m the complete opposite. Those who are “brave” enough to talk to me are often pleasantly surprised by the end of the conversation that I’m anything but.
I grew up with an extremely extroverted and animated mother. She was the literal life of the party, and she tried to her dying day to get me to be more outgoing. I appreciated her concern, but her pushing had the opposite effect. My mother was also a maximalist (My sister is so her in every sense…) It had to be big, and it had to be opulent and of the best quality. I will admit that it was my mother who taught me quality over quantity, but that’s another post for another day…
Deciding to downsize my life has been an eye-opening experience, mainly because it’s made me realize how much money I’ve wasted in the last year. I still have a consumerist mindset, and it’s like a disease. If I see it, and I like it, I have to have it! The newness of things is addictive, and I am disgusted with myself, even as I write this post. Wait til my September wrap-up post. I still have so far to go. An extra dollar burns a hole in my pocket. Still
Confession: The most difficult thing for me in this journey is letting go. Not because I spent money on it but because I live too much in the “What-ifs”.
“What if I need that later on?”
“What if I lose the other three that I have?”
“What if I actually lose those twenty pounds?”
“What if I go on Let’s Make A Deal, and Wayne asks me if I have a Samsung Razr in my bag?”
This is the shit that legit goes through my mind!
Baby steps, boo. Baby steps…
After months of putting things off, I finally forced myself to clean out my closets. I keep all my pants in one closet and everything else in another one. Anyway, when I pulled out my jeans, I discovered that I owned twelve pair. Twelve! My exact jean size, btw… Why do I own twelve pairs of jeans yet only wear three to four regularly? I don’t even wear jeans like that! I’m a leggings and sweats kinda girl (Elastic waists, anyone?)
So, in the end, I kept four pairs of jeans:
- Denim culottes: I wanted a pair of cool, edgy denims. Don’t judge; you don’t know me like that 😛
- Dark rinse, straight-leg: My “sophisticated” jeans to pair with heels or booties
- Medium rinse, boyfriend cut: My comfy-fit jeans
- Medium rinse, ripped, boyfriend cut: The jeans you pay a few bucks for to look hip when you could’ve just bought a pair of regular jeans and made your own fancy-schmancy rips and tears. (We’ll talk about smart spending in another post…)
Shall I tell you about my 8 black shirts? Nah…