Letter 4: The Minimalist Journey

Recently, I’ve discovered the term ‘minimalism’. At first, I thought this just referred to décor, but having delved deeper I’ve discovered it is much more than that.

My first introduction to simple living was through the book “the subtle art of not giving a f*ck” by Mark Manson. Although the book itself is not about minimalism, it does discuss how our value should not be in materialistic items. Delving deeper, I learned that minimalism was about intentional living, promoting the things we value and removing things that bring no value or distract us from it. For most of us, this can be the items we have in our house, most of which at face value probably don’t bring us any value but act as clutter.

Whilst I’ve never been a particularly materialistic person, I do own a lot of items such as makeup and clothes, and certainly, some of these things do bring me value, but a lot of the items I own aren’t even used – they’re saved under the pretense that I’ll use them ‘someday’ but that day never comes. I realised my monthly shopping spree for new clothes to make myself look good was pointless, I was merely wasting my money on things I didn’t need. After this, I began searching more into minimalism, watching documentaries and YouTube clips to learn as much as possible.

I would not class myself as a minimalist, but at some point, I think I’ll get there. Especially with the start of the new year, I’m going to declutter all my items, from clothes to makeup to shoes etc and donate as much as I can. Ever since starting this ‘journey’ I’ve distanced myself from the need to buy and I’ve saved a lot of money. I don’t need a new pair of shoes or a new top to be valuable, and I resent having to spend all my money just because that’s the ‘normal’ thing to do. I’d rather spend my money on experiences and things that will bring me joy, rather than spend my money on material items that will soon bear no meaning to me.

What are your thoughts on minimalism?

Letter 3: Thinking Back to Childhood

After graduating University and starting a job which would be the perfect start to my career, something within me clicked. I realised that the 9-5 rat race of the corporate world was not for me, and I’ve become dissatisfied with my job at the earliest stage. Day by day, as I noticed the spark within me fizzle out a little more, I realised that I wanted a job that I was passionate about – but I must admit, I’ve had trouble finding my passions.

I’m the type of person who has quick short bursts of excitement towards a new thing, which quickly burns out and I suddenly become disinterested. This has happened many times for example, learning how to crochet, making an app and even kayaking.  Whilst at the time I was genuinely interested in learning these skills, after a few weeks my passion for it seemed to burn out. This is somewhat of a weakness of mine, it’s hard to determine whether I’m genuinely passionate about something, or whether the excitement of something new has sucked me in. This often stops me from trying new things, as I’m scared I’m just going to give up again.

I guess this is the same with my current job, initially I was excited, but the passion has quickly worn off and I’m left stuck again. This has left me somewhat in a predicament, how can I find my passion if everything I’ve tried I’ve given up at? This required a bit of soul searching until I thought of my childhood.

If you think back to when you were a child, what did you love to do? What did you spend most of your time creating and getting involved in and why have you stopped? Once I asked myself this question it clicked. As a child I was very quiet but very artistic, I spent most of my time drawing or reading a book. Whilst I don’t really enjoy drawing anymore, I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing and have continued to do this up until this point – I just hadn’t realised it. I remember telling my friends when I was younger that I was going to be a writer when I grew up, and somewhere along the way, in traditional education, I must have forgotten what I wanted to do. It seemed quite simple really, I’ve continued to read and write, and even had a go at writing a book before, unfortunately I didn’t finish it as I had too much going on at the time.

Looking back to childhood has given me the answer I’ve been searching for, for a long time – I’m passionate about stories, reading and writing and always have been. This has inspired me and sparked my joy again, after a few days of thinking I quickly thought of a plot that I was interested in and have decided to write my own novel. Whether the novel turns into anything or not, thus far I’ve enjoyed writing it. I’ve set myself a daily task to write every day and I’ve made real progress since starting. Typing the book is coming so natural to me, even after a long day at work, typing up my novel is bringing me real joy – and I’m excited what this joy will bring.

Hopefully this blog will also help with sparking my joy, getting my inner creativity and thoughts out into the world.

If you’re having trouble finding your passions, I’d suggest you also think back to childhood and see if there’s anything you can discover from it.

Letter 1: Favourite Books of 2018

2018 is very nearly over, which provides a good opportunity to look back at some of the books I’ve read and enjoyed! Although I didn’t read nearly as many books as I would have liked, at least it gives me a goal to read more books in 2019.

You may notice a theme, I didn’t realise that I gravitate to one type of genre until now! But anyway, here are my favourite 4 books of 2018:

Number 4:

Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil
Genre: Psychological Novel

I read this psychological novel whilst on holiday and quite enjoyed it. It’s definitely a page-turner and I couldn’t put it down for a second as I just needed to know what happened!

The story follows a woman named Emma who loses her young son in a flood and his body is sadly never recovered. After rediscovering joy 10 years later, she gets married and falls pregnant… until her missing son returns. Too traumatized to speak, questions are raised around who took her son and why. “It’s Aiden who has the answers, but he cannot tell the unspeakable.”

It can seem a little far-fetched at times, but if you like a psychological thriller – I’d recommend you give it a read.

Number 3:

Stalker by Lars Kepler
Genre: Crime, Thriller

Again, I couldn’t put this book down, it is incredibly gripping. It is quite gruesome and violent so if you’re not a fan of gore I would stay away from this book. My whole family borrowed the book to read it too and loved it.

The story follows a stalker/serial killer in Stockholm who films their victims (unaware they are being watched) and sends the video to the police. When the video arrives, detectives attempt to identify the victim but are too late – at the time the video was sent, the killer was already inside the house. Who will the stalker target next?”

I really enjoyed this one, and if you’re into crime/thriller/violence – I’d definitely recommend you read this.

Number 2:

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Genre: Thriller, Crime

Now, I’m sure this one doesn’t need much of an explanation. I’m sad to admit that I only read this book a few months ago after already watching the film, the book definitely didn’t disappoint – it’s a great suspense novel,

The story follows a woman named Rachel who catches the same train every morning, dreaming about the people who live in one of the houses which she passes by. Their life as she sees it, it perfect. Then, she sees something shocking – and everything changes, Rachel gets the chance to be a part of the lives she’s watched from afar. “Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…”

If you haven’t already read this, please do! Especially if you enjoyed the film.

Number 1:

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
Genre: Self-help

Now, this is a little different to all of the other books on my list, but I’d say this is the book which impacted me most.

A Counterintuitive self-help approach to a good life, Mark gives an honest and different approach to self-help than you may have previously read. Cutting the crap and being honest about life, this is a refreshing read about how to stop giving a f*ck about everything. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.”

Self-help books may not be your thing, but if you’re looking for a refreshing take – I would highly recommend this book.

These are all my favourite books of 2018 – clearly, I enjoy a thriller or two. In 2019 I’d love to branch out and try different genres and read a wide variety of books, so I’m open to any suggestions!

Let me know your favourite books, I’d love to read them!