I have always had this divine determination to have an extraordinary life. I want to do all of the things, own all of the clothes, live all of the places. I guess you could say I am perpetually restless. It is a constant feeling that I can’t get it all done and I can’t be all of the places and I can never have quite enough. And I think on the spectrum, somewhere down the other end from me, this is normal. We are supposed to desire and want and head in search of those things. Some will change our lives for the better, some will show us that we never really needed them in the first place. But we don’t know unless we indulge our curiosity.
However, over the last year or so, I have had a desire that has been growing stronger and stronger…and that is the need to pare back. To know a more simple life. Yet this seems so at odds with my desire to have a life full of luxuries and experiences. And these are things I don’t want to give up. I never want to stop treating myself.
So each time, I ignore this inner voice.
Living the simple life seems like something that should be left to hippies in communes who wear rainbow coloured home-knits and have dirty feet. I on the other hand, love my shoes and wear cashmere in muted tones.
But the voice in my head keeps talking. Telling me that the freedom I crave so deeply in my life comes from removing what is not needed, rather than adding more clutter.
I just haven’t figured out how to marry these two lives…please god don’t make me give up my overpriced Jo Malone candles.
But at the same time, I don’t want to become that person who is forever high-jumping the fence to find the greener grass. It’s tiring and I have a dodgy knee.
As I have opened my eyes and looked a little closer, a few teachers have walked onto my path, dressed in fashion that I can relate to. They have led me to see that my view of simple was very narrow. Simple can still be extraordinary and luxurious…maybe even more so.
There is the girl who I used to work with who always looked chic and pulled together. Yet, she didn’t spend a fortune, she was a student. She just chose well.
The blogger Harper and Harley, who made the decision to reduce her wardrobe down to simple staples of black, white and grey. Yet always looks amazing.
Diane Von Furstenberg – she speaks in her book of her extravagant early life as a princess, and how in her later years, she has chosen to live in a bohemian tree-house at the top of her DVF building in the Meat Packing District of New York.
Emerson Fry – a designer whose collections are interchangeable and functional, yet somehow, still very beautiful in their simplicity.
Lastly, my style icon Jeanne Damas, who is actually a very relaxed and classic French dresser.
It made me wonder. Am I missing the point. Is my extravagant, extraordinary lifestyle hidden in the simple.
Rather than not enough, do I have too much.
My next question is….how the hell am I to be a fashion blogger whilst pursuing a life that seems so at odds with the rampant consumerism I currently partake it. Of course, always operating under the guise that “it’s an investment, it’s for the blog”. Which is really just a clever ruse I have created for working my credit card until the strip fails – guilt free.
So, in the spirit of happiness and listening to my own inner wisdom, it is time to set myself the next challenge in my life. To simplify, not only how I dress, but how I eat, the company I keep, the thoughts I think and the work I do to support myself. I don’t want to be a slave to my possessions, or my outdated beliefs around what fulfills me. A pair of black pumps are not my salvation. And I’m starting to think a 70-hour working week is not my destiny.
I was talking to a friend about my new challenge…
Her: “Are you having a life crisis?”
Me: “Probably. But, I’ll just blog about it – and so it goes.”
I don’t think this is going to be easy at all, change never is. But I’m up for the experiment. I’m excited (terrified) to explore a life of less. More and more people around the world are embracing the minimalist lifestyle and claiming to feel richer than ever before. This is not to say they do not enjoy possessions, on the contrary, the point is to buy, travel, live with purpose – instead of consuming based around an idea of what we need to be happy.
I just want a simple, beautiful and extraordinary life. I’m willing to delve into the uncomfortable journey ahead of me to see if I can attain it via this different path.
I shall bring you along with me for the ride, starting next week with a wardrobe purge. I’m nervous.
Much love XXX
Photo: Katie Appleyard