Posted in less is more, Life

Are We Related? Embracing and Rejecting a Minimalist Lifestyle

I love my sister dearly. She’s my best friend and confidant. We gossip together. We confide in one another. We have the same tastes in food and music. We are practically alike in every way except looks—I’m darker, she’s lighter; personality—I’m an introvert, she’s an extrovert; and lastly, lifestyle—I’m trying to live minimally; she acquires new things on the regular and has no shame nor gives any fucks how anyone feels about it. And you know what? I totally get it. We grew up in a direly dysfunctional household where we didn’t have a lot, so as we got older and were able to do for ourselves, we did. And grandly.

Sis and I overcame some serious odds to become fairly well-rounded black women. We both make good money in our respective careers, which afford us the means to basically buy whatever we wante. From designer purses to craft supplies (We’re both huge crafters), if we wanted it, we bought it.

I no longer buy purses, even sent a few to a consignment-like online boutique, and I haven’t crafted anything in almost two years, and I miss nothing. Sis still has a closet full of Coach purses, some nearing vintage status, and a room dedicated solely to her craft supplies. The funny part? We now both cringe at each other’s lifestyle.

Our “distaste” for how the other sister now lives is all in good fun. Clutter now literally makes my skin crawl while sis finds comfort in her possessions. She’s never met an empty space she couldn’t fill. Add two kids to the mix, and her home is drowning in a happy, lovable mess. At least, that’s how I view it. She sees my home as a dwelling with bald patches in need of some serious Rogaine for homes.

One thing I can say is that sis and I are respectful of one another’s choices, even if we vehemently disagree with them. Do I think she could benefit from paring down and getting rid of some shit? Yes, I do. But that’s her life and her clutter. She tells me that I’m a crunchy weirdo, in so many words. To that, I respond, “Why yes; yes I am.”

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…