Friday, 31 August 2018

Love Moderately

I am known with my friends for falling head over heels and fast, every time. Or so my current 
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 friends still say. However a while back I actually had a very big disappointment which made me start guarding my heart more. So imagine the confusion when at that point I met someone and it was he for once, who fell hard for me!

There was once this guy who fell in love with me the very first time we met. At least that's what he said. You see, as flattering as it sounds, I doubt he meant it though I was naive enough to believe him. Now I would say his was an infatuation and a bad one at that. We texted from morning to night and met every chance we got, even if it was just a drive from his workplace to his hometown during the week on my way to my own home, just as long as we could see each other. We really were that bad!

A few weeks of blissful 'happiness' and people telling me I was actually glowing and how well I looked (well by that point even I was in love with him, more so than he was it seems in retrospect!), then suddenly poof - it all vanished like it was some genie's wish that was only an illusion at the end.

I'd told the guy at the beginning to calm down and take things slow and that I should be a 'part of' his life not all of it! Then slowly he became all of my life and I saw it all come crashing down around me when he messaged me saying he had 'some bad news'.

I would be lying if I said I took it calmly or quoted Shakespeare whilst going through the five stages of grief more than once for the loss of the same person. And yet, at the beginning when I was reminding him to live his life whilst seeing me, a passage from Romeo & Juliet came to mind that I would remember months later whilst trying to deal with the break-up logically.

In conformity with my usual strange choices, I have to admit my favourite character in Shakespeare's world-known love story has to be Friar Laurence, the voice of reason, despite not being myself a very reasonable person when it comes to feelings. So here they are, his words full of truth and wisdom, that everyone would do well to follow in newfound love:
These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume: the sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite:
Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.

The happiest time of my life... In love.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Looking Only Ahead

I am writing this on my wedding anniversary, although it will be a few days before I publish it on the blog, due to that I like spacing posts a little.

It would have been my thirteenth wedding anniversary if I had not split with my ex husband some sixteen months ago. I am obviously not celebrating my marriage to an ex so today should have been pretty much a normal day for me. In fact I was at work till the afternoon and had an appointment straight afterwards, followed by some time with my precious kid. All in all, a standard day. Except for one detail. It is the day I decided to move on. I am changing the meaning of the date and from now on shall regard the 21st of August as the day I left my past behind. I am unable to photoshop the scars that are by now deeply embedded in my soul but just like tattoos are the permanent marks that we choose to portray who we are, the physical and mental scars are the marks that we don't choose yet still shape who we are.

Unfortunately I can't program my mind to cancel all the flashbacks that periodically haunt my days, but I can easily try to block them when they come instead of dwell on them. I cannot rewind the years I lost fumbling around in a limbo but I can at least opt to remind myself that now I am out of it and it will never become my home again.

I am still single, struggling on one pay and not even sure of who I am after being moulded by someone else for so long that I am still slowly chipping away at the layers of unwanted opinions that made me stop singing, become embarrassed of my accent when I switch to the Italian language and question all my choices if they disagree with those of the people around me. I mentioned only three of a multitude of things that never were for years. I wanted to move to another country, make a tattoo and take up drawing again. I wanted time to discover outings as a family, take my son to Legoland and host a yearly party for friends. I would have liked to do up my home in a rustic or vintage cosy look and invite people over for tea of an afternoon.

I spent too long hurting about the time lost caring for and cultivating something that was never meant to be and better ended. Instead I decided today that to look back will never work as I could still do all the things I wanted in the future instead, and I am only wasting more hours on unworthy thoughts when I dwell on what was. So from this year on, the 21st of August has a new meaning. It is the rebirth of the new me. I will stop myself when I think of the singing lessons I stopped and instead switch on YouTube and sing along. I will go on the holiday that I craved, alone or with people dear to me, instead of remembering how many times it was postponed in the past or was marred by bad memories the times it actually arrived.

All in all, I will live today and for the future, never looking back at the past except in order to avoid the same mistakes.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Dave Bruno 100 Thing Challenge (Part 4) - Doesn't Matter If We Don't Make Lists

Due to recent upheaval in my personal life, I never did continue the series about the '100 Thing Challenge' but now that I am finally trying to settle back into a routine, it is time to turn my thoughts back to how Minimalism, even maybe extreme Minimalism, could better help my life and even sanity.

Suffice to say, despite my pride in being what Westerners would definitely call a Minimalist, hauling all my stuff from one home to another more than once in the same year (and knowing I need to do it all over again in some months) has made me question even the items that do remain.

So rather than, as initially planned, going into the whole 100 item list that I had promised to write, I will instead be commenting from experience as to what i actually think I would keep and what I should part with.

Though my list of 'types' of items is in no particular order, I can definitely say that clothing items (including shoes and bags) do top my list of things I am in love with. Also, for the purpose of this exercise, I do not mention electronics simply because they are part of my every day and my work and would be useless to even contemplate removing them. In fact, on the contrary, I have to say that since I switched to a smart phone only a year and a half ago (yes you read that right!) and getting 3g on my phone as of September last year (again, that is not a typo!) my life has become much easier as I can get stuff done on the go.

So here it is, my life's worth of things that remain and whether I plan to keep or not:


Clothes, Shoes, Bags, Accessories including Jewellery

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Not only do I plan to keep all I own, but this is one area where I realised I honestly don't mind adding on, simply because I love clothes and dressing well, have my own style and would never keep clothes I don't want anyway. One item I might be able to reduce on in this section is scarves. I realised when I last moved house that I hadn't really worn many of them in a year so come winter I will be ruthless with which ones I will actually keep.

Craft Items

Now this is a tough one. Realistically, I should part with practically all the items I own, simply because they rarely see the light of day! However I am fascinated by the embellishments I do own and must admit my hand-decorated candles are amazing pieces so truly, the artist in me doesn't really want to say goodbye. Unfortunately they aren't much use sitting in dark drawers in my wardrobe though!

Stationery including Wrapping Paper, Cards for all occasions and extra Office Supplies

These are all consumables so really I could just let them run out and not replace apart from a couple of spare items just in case. However I need to admit that I am one of those Minimalists who are anyway always worried of running out of something they need. Add to that, I do love a pretty wrapper and my crafty mind tricks my itchy hands into grabbing it each time at the shop.

Files

These are a category of their own as I have so many and they are full of documents. Unfortunately after I KonMari'd my bills I did get asked by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority to provide a Water and Electricity bill that was 'over one year old'. Oops! Thankfully, after dejectedly confessing to my ex-husband that I don't keep bills for so long, I found one that was just above the one year old. Yippie! Thank goodness I hadn't been through my files to purge yet that month! So I am guessing these will have to stay. That said, I have multiple files with notes, research and drafts of articles that I would be working on and must find a more user-friendly solution for my messy mind and way of working. Maybe I should get used to leaning on electronics a bit more.

Decorative Items

By European and American standards, I have only a few. If I were to think in terms of Maltese standards, I have even less!! Yet from an extreme Minimalist point of view I might have a few too many. However I can honestly say that I only keep those that I truly love as a rule. Anything that causes me to think of bad memories is quickly out the door as are any items that don't really tickle my fancy. I follow the KonMari method to the letter when it comes to this type of personal item. In fact, when I packed my things from the matrimonial home I shared with my ex husband, I only chose those decorative items that brought me joy and left all else, regardless of whether I was leaving behind items that were expensive or pretty. Even in cases when I liked an item but had bad or even sad feelings attached to it, I left it behind. I have to admit adding to my total number of items in this category since I left my old home. However I make sure to buy items only if they spark joy and feel like they would be a part of 'home'.

Kitchen Items

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I listed this section right after Decorative Items purely by chance and yet it is in reality a continuation of that previous section. For as a rule and as much as possible, I try to buy kitchen items that are not only functional but also pleasing for me to look at. I've got some lovely colourful bowls but rather than keep them in the dresser I plan on using them to eat my cereal in every day once I have my own kitchen. Same goes for the vintage reproduction glasses and mugs I got. My guests won't be the only ones to drink their tea from pastel-coloured mugs and their orange juice in the colourful glasses. This means that my kitchen items, neatly tucked away not only in closed cupboards but also behind beautiful glass doors, do double duty and I have no need for pretty items that sit there doing nothing all day. That said, some kitchen items are purely functional and still have a place in my kitchen and I must say that I am very much missing the strainer that is packed away somewhere right now as the kitchen in my rental home has none and I did have to get a new peeler since it was the easier choice between buying another and having to open up all the boxes sitting in the garage to find the one I had! Then again, a second peeler is never a loss in my house as I use it all the time and have found myself at times pulling it out of the dishwasher before it has been washed.

Books

One of the hardest type of items to part with not just for me but for most Minimalists. Books seem to have a soul and cry out when they see that you might be putting them on the 'no' pile. I have to say that KonMari works on most of my things but when it comes to books, even the ones that give me no real joy to hold in my hands still have a habit of guilting me into putting them back on my shelves (or in my boxes currently). I should learn to become more ruthless unless I want to find myself with boxes of books even at my new home where I know that realistically library space will be limited unless I want books to take over various parts of my home. Discipline is key in everything so maybe I should listen to my heart rather than mind in this one case.

DVDs/Blu-Ray Discs

No way will I part with most of the DVDs I own and no way will I promise to not buy more! That said I have mixed feelings about holding on to movies and series that made no impression on me just because they are part of the filmography of that actor or another and I'd bought them to continue my collection. The word 'collection' here may be key and justify having some unappreciated guests in my film library.

Toiletries and Makeup

Maybe this section should have come directly after Clothes but as I said already above I
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made this list in no particular order and decided to leave it here at the bottom if only as food for thought. Why would I not even remember it till the very end? This confuses even myself as I love my makeup and do need some facial products due to very sensitive skin. I also think this section should include items such as my hair drier, my brand new straightener and my well-loved much-used epilator. The mention of these three items makes me realise this section should go at the top but maybe the reason I forgot all about it till now was that my use of makeup has dwindled over the past couple of months and I have found people find me no less attractive for it. Add to that, I actually prefer people who stick around regardless of whether I have make-up on as it says something about them after alll. That said, I do understand that deodorant is a must and I don't blame people if they left my side should I ever decide to minimise it. XD


Saturday, 4 August 2018

One Month Later

So it's been a month since I moved home. I was back then full of expectations and looking forward to a new kind of life as I'd never lived totally away from any family before, first being a child and then getting married young before having had the chance to move out of mum's and test my waters, then back to mum's after the separation and with a kid in tow. Currently can't exactly say I am living 'alone' as flat-sharing but we all do our thing, no commitment to each other or anything, just three girls sharing a kitchen, bathroom, balcony and washing machine.

A month ago I told a close friend that I intended to write a book about this year. I still think about it sometimes. But realistically I do not have the time to write the book and also keep up my other writing commitments. I might have de-stressed a bit from my previous situation but I am still quite bewildered by life and trying to keep sane. In fact, the whole point that I thought this an experimental year worthy of a book is precisely because I still seem to be learning about life and being an adult as I go along. Some of you might say that no one ever knows everything about life and how to live, but I mean it literally that I need to learn how to live as an adult. Maybe that is one reason it is never a good idea to get married young. Cocooned in a one-of-two environment you can never discover yourself and your life projections and experience life as a person totally. Whilst it is true that I cannot turn back the clock and tell my younger self to get married later (or maybe not at all?) I can still start a new chapter, even a totally new book, right now in my life. So whether I do write it down to publish or not, the as-yet-unwritten book is there in my head, its narrative unfolding in the life that I am living in my day to day.