Posted in less is more, Life, Musings

On Being An Introverted Minimalist

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 :/

 

Posted in Life, Musings

You Ain’t No Real Minimalist!

When I see other minimalists try to trash fellow minimalists because they don’t fit their definition of what it means to be a minimalist:

First of all, nobody defines what minimalism means to me . Or you, for that matter. What lead me on this journey was not a desire to fit all my worldly possessions into a suitcase or cardboard box or live in a home with white walls and a neutral color palette because that just ain’t happ’n, bruh. I am not about that life. I live in color every day (literally and figuratively).

As my tagline states, my minimalism is about living light (er) and living right. Living light means getting rid of the things that no longer bring value to my life or serve an immediate need. Living right means being a kinder, gentler, friendlier, nicer me.

With that being said, here are some things I flat out refuse to part with. At least for now!

  1. Photo albums: I’m old school. Pictures tell a story, and I love reliving those moments that helped shape and define the woman that I am today (Yes, all the important ones are backed up.)
  2. Books: An introvert’s ultimate form of entertainment
  3. Wall art/decor: Because looking at my artwork and family photos make me happy. ‘Nuff said…
  4. Cassette tapes: The soundtrack to my life. Ain’t no way I’m parting with the music. I’ll cut my cable off first.
  5. Craft supplies: I’m a creative, and I need the freedom to craft at will. Not sorry..

See y’all next time when I list the five things that I have given up. Oh boy…

Posted in less is more, Purging

Relax! Relate! Release!

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…

Posted in Purging

Letting Go Of Old Habits #1: Online Shopping

One of my greatest joys in life is…shopping. Online shopping to be exact. I am a huge proponent of supporting small businesses, specifically businesses owned and operated by people of color. And this is where I go buckwild and lose my damn mind. Bath and body products. Makeup. Original artwork. My three biggest shopping vices. Do I really need another shower gel or custom lipstick or hand-drawn print? YES, I do! I’m supporting my sisters while keeping my dollars out of the hands of “big, bad business”.

Chile, bye…

In 2017 alone, I’ve spent over $1,000.00 in small business products and services, and looking back on everything I’ve acquired, I regret about $850.00 of those purchases. Not because they were bad products but because they were strictly impulse buys that I can live without.

I bought an “organic” skincare regimen because I was all gung-ho about embracing my crunchy side and using products that did not contain harsh chemicals. Well, guess what? I ended up throwing them out. One, I have extremely oily, acne-prone skin that currently only responds to chemicals, namely benzoyl peroxide. And two, I didn’t even bother reading the ingredients, and I cannot put anything on my skin containing sunscreen. And three, because they didn’t contain any viable preservatives, there was a “use by” date. Nah, son… There are sustainable preservatives, and I caution you to read beauty labels because the industry is crazy unregulated. Seventy-five dollars down the drain…

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A literal representation of how I feel once the buyer’s high wears off

I had art prints that were collecting dust because I’ve never taken the time to buy frames for them. And to make matters worse, I spilled something on them, so now I can’t hang them. Another $150.00 in the garbage…

I could itemize every wasted purchase, but my blood pressure is high enough already. Being the natural tightwad that I am, looking back on these impulse buys goes against my own principles! I want to seriously kick my own ass right now, but I’m awake now (in more ways than one).

I still love my small businesses, and I’m not saying that I’ll never make another purchase again. But what I am saying is I won’t be so quick to click because I want to throw my financial support behind it or simply because I’m in a “buying mood”.

Posted in less is more, Life, Musings

Getting Your People To Buy In

No, Thank You

When I say “people”, I’m referring to your circle — friends, acquaintances, but most importantly, your family. Have you ever been referred to as the “weird one” or the “on some next level shit” one of the family? While I was never explicitly called that, I’ve always felt that way because I’ve always marched to my own beat, even if it’s off-key and unpopular.

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Anyway, my sister is my very best friend. We have so much in common, yet we are as different as night and day — in looks, personality, tastes, you name it. My sister loves “stuff” and having it all around her, even if she has no immediate plans of ever using it. I, on the other hand, look at my “stuff” and immediately feel claustrophobic. My “collections” of candles, snow globes, and unused craft supplies are stressing me the fuck out!

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A mere sampling…

So, how do you tell your folks (friends included) about your new lifestyle without offending them? Personally, I’ve never sugarcoated a thing. I simply tell them, please do not buy me any more “chotskies” or “Oh, I saw this and thought of you” gifts. I think sis finally gets it.

While I’m so thankful and appreciative of the caring people in my life, I don’t need or want any more things that cannot be used for immediate consumption. And I feel like an asshole for suggesting things because then it seems like I’m making demands of peoples’ generosity. But my stance remains firm. Thank you, but no thank you…