I’ve been writing for a while now. It started out with journals, no real direction, just half-hearted attempts to get down on paper the thoughts and feelings that were floating around in me in no organized fashion. The current oldest journal I have is from 1996. I was sixteen at the time and going through some pretty heavy stuff for a sixteen year-old. That journal is fancy. It has a repeating fish pattern on it, without gaps, in gold, blue and orange. The covers are padded and the pages are blank and smooth.
I would buy Mole Skin Journals after my first journal. I wanted a sense of importance or status, as though the outside of the journal stated the importance of its contents. I have a few, still empty, which I imagine I will use eventually. But for now, I have a journal I keep regularly, and have switched to a medium sized sketch pad for its cheap yet versatile applications.
I got hooked on journaling in a consistent manner, not to long ago when I discovered a community of people who’ve started something called a “Bullet Journal” system, originated by Ryder Carroll. At its most basic, it is merely a system by which specific “bullets” indicate a variety of modifiers for individual tasks. For instance, * can be turned into a > which means it’s been migrated to a future or different list of actionable items. An x over the original *, indicates that an item is complete and there are more to be sure but those are all I can remember for the moment.
The system in itself is innovative, but the layouts that people create are stunning. The color, creativity, materials, each unique in their own ways with their own personal goals and dreams attached to them. It’s like a personal blog of sorts, a place to organize the chaos that life seems to mount and become increasingly disorganized while we’re busy planning for something else.
I’ve been wanting to start a blog for some time, but I’ve been having trouble finding a voice, a vehicle for my ideas or a foundation to pin my ideas on. Though I think I’ve come to a few conclusions on that subject. I’ve recently read, “A Life Less Throwaway” and it really scratched that itch that Mari Condo and Chip and Joanna Gains exemplify for me. A sense of gutting the old, the “not working”, and replacing it with something that is pretty, functional, well organized and lasts for a lifetime, but most importantly, works for us. Few of us are focused on the long term, timeless and classic. We’re too concerned with how we are perceived in this time and place, and feel that, unless we’re keeping pace with whatever trend is popping up this week, we’re going to be left to die a very lonely death.
This however, I feel is not the case. Following trends leads to fear-based thinking which leads to bad choices. I’m not saying we throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some trends are worth investigating. However, most are fads through and through. This is the ethos behind my wanting to write my blog, “No Labels Living”.
I grew up with a family that confused acceptance with personal image. I’m sure I’m not alone, but this was a very cold environment. It seemed as though the women in my family were always shopping. This is no exaggeration. My uncle refers to it as “catch and release shopping”. They buy things so they have a reason to go back to the store to return it. It’s all a bit sad and depressing. This was where I felt a lack of self-worth growing up, that and the crazy amount of trauma I’ve experienced, but that’s another story.
So “No Labels Living” is really a place to make the U turn from fear-based thinking, to wholeness of being. Not through shopping, but through cutting out the things you don’t really need in your life and instead, leave their void filled with a few, well thought out, expertly crafted items, so we can really get down to what’s important. Living the life that makes us happy and leaves us whole.
It’s a lifestyle that’s based on; sustainability, cleanliness and a well-organized living space, that imbues life into all of its facets and fits each person’s unique personality. Basically, it means we’re in it for the long haul, whatever may come. I think and feel that too many people are afraid of confronting the person they are, the one they would find if they stopped, cultivated and cared for the life they find right here, which is unfortunate because they would be creating a more comforting place in life for themselves. This is what drives the fear-based decision making, “I need to be accepted by those I find to be whole and complete in order to be complete”, not realizing those we assume are “whole and complete” are searching for the same things we are. So, we focus on the things they wear, do and drive instead of looking at how we want to be. It may not be sexy, but who we are is so much more than how we look on Facebook, or how we look in the new fashion trend.
Tending to the unattended corners of our life is capable of bearing so much fruit that all the trends throughout time would pale in comparison. Timeless. There is more to life, and that’s my aim, to find it. I hope you’ll come along for the ride and throw your two cents in if you feel so inclined! Happy traveling :]
Image credits: Kimberly Barre