What sort of lifestyle do you want to lead? An important question, the answer to which I think forms part of a person’s essence. Do you incline towards maximalism- reaching for everything and anything to furnish your home and social life- or perhaps minimalism is more your jibe keeping things simple and clutter free? At the end of the day there is no right answer to how one should go about their life, just as there are multitudes of people on earth their are likewise innumerable opinions and perspectives on how happiness can be achieved by curating ones environment. What I am wary of is a reliance on aesthetics to inform your ‘lifestyle’. To me they seem shallow, a quick fix answer to a process which informs an important aspect of an individual philosophy ( almost like a consumer-fied life that can be absorbed superficially in a curated set of images). I would like to share my perspective on ‘lifestyle’, things I would find pleasing in my physical and mental home.
I’ve been toying with Minimalism for a while, (see my post on it for more), and the longer I reflect on it the more I begin to see it as a lifestyle avenue which appeals to me. I’m in the process of cutting down the unnecessary aspects of my living space, such as clothes which I don’t like/don’t wear, stationary that sits around and never gets used, apps on my devices and trinkets that I use to decorate my room. To some this may seem quite monastic, however the way I view it is thus. I hate clutter, it stresses me out and I highly value cleanliness. It’s part of ‘my way’, and just as I don’t understand why someone would need 50 Birkin Bags, likewise I don’t expect people to ‘get’ my prefrences when it comes to my living space. However having this sense of definition I feel is important, it offers some clarity towards the undulating cosmic cloud of being that is you- and this can allow you to be strategic in how and with whom you spend your time and energy.
Sakine Cansiz, a Kurdish revolutionary, reflects on the appearance and conduct of her comrades often in her memoirs. She analyses the strength of their ‘revolutionary character’, which for her is made evident in levels of discipline in thought which manifest’s in one’s appearance and behaviours. The revolutionary life should be simple yet inviting, and it is the role of the revolutionary, in her opinion, to invite people into the struggle through their own conduct. I do believe that the way people conduct themselves is a ‘good’ indicator towards their personality (insert tween years of intense Sherlock obsession). The way people dress, walk and talk if observed (in a non creepy way) betray details about their way of life. As sign posts they can signify to you individuals with whom one might kick it of with. Some people don’t place that much emphasis on others controllable appearance, yet others have immediate turns offs. I have a thing about smell but others can’t stand scruffy clothes, eating with ones mouth open – you get the idea. For me smell is important, the level and type of perfume one wears I find signifies much about their cleanliness, which I obliquely align with a level of discipline in life.
The English word discipline is quite a harsh one. I speak of discipline in the sense of a level of self control which isn’t oppressive yet establishes a level of order in ones day to day. Again for others this is a very strange insistence, yet I find myself inspired and attracted to people with various types and levels of control- perhaps in their subject area, or their capacity in adventure planning or even their mode of speech. I feel than in their company I become better, my friends truly inspire me each in their own way. Friends are important- you take elements of them and they take elements of you therefore selectivity – cleanliness -in my social sphere also forms an aspect of ‘my way’ of thought.
Maybe this post might interest you, or just sound like a self searching rabble of ideas. I would love to hear about your ‘way’ in the comments: what is your lifestyle philosophy?