Hard times, our mentors in life

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If you look too deep into life, you will realize that sometimes life can be difficult. I am an overthinker and I analyze even small details. I am not proud of it because most of the times I overthink even everyday situations that makes me more stressed than I should actually be. But you see, looking deeper into life doesn’t always equate to overthinking. Sometimes you get to realize the essence of life and you get to know yourself better.

Everyone’s life got even more difficult because of the current situation and I was also affected. I had to make decisions that should have made my life easier but I don’t know if I succeeded. My social life suffered transformations too and I miss meeting people and traveling a lot. As I looked deeper and deeper I could only hear my sighs, I couldn’t even hear my thoughts as I would usually do. When this happens I panic and the unknown scares me even more. There are a lot of activities and projects I had to reschedule in an unknown and unpredictable future. But then I started having these thoughts: why think so much about the future when you can’t even predict what’s going to happen tomorrow? Why think about the things you have to give up on, the things you can’t do right now when there are a lot of other things you can do Now, even during these hard times.

Hard times are our teachers, our mentors in life. Humans have a powerful and beautiful skill: They can adapt to different and continuously changing situations. In these hard times the most important thing is to not give up. Every day is a new lesson for the future. Hard times make us more resilient and more creative. When things get more difficult for me, I try looking for other ways to do what I want to do, I become more creative, more frugal and I try to get more of the c’est la vie philosophy. When you cannot change the things around you, learn how to appreciate what you already have and don’t lose hope. Better days will come. Actually there is a theory I absolutely love and I apply it in almost every situation of my life. It’s Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Everything is temporary. There is no absolute hard times, no absolute good times. I believe that during hard times, us humans, we prepare the path for the good times. There are our efforts that flourish into the good times. It’s because we didn’t give up and we did our best that good times come again to us. This is also related to perspective, to how you take this kind of situations. It is important to adapt your perspective so you won’t be too affected by every change or problem that comes your way.

Knowing that nothing lasts forever, we can appreciate good times even more. We wait and hope for better to come when we have a difficult period to deal with. This is called balance. Becoming aware of all these unspoken rules can be of great help during difficult times. It will get better because it is hard now.

Lessons I learnt from minimalism

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I talk a lot about minimalism because it really changed my life perspective. Even if I used to be a maximalist before, I was a very simple person. As I liked simple things, it’s almost like I was waiting to find minimalism and it’s nice to see that there is something that suits me so well. Other than that, minimalism taught me to appreciate more what I have now and even in the difficult moments of my life I believe that a better day will come. So minimalism is also related to optimism and faith, at least to me, and it works best in difficult moments. And now that I think about it better, it’s not wrong. Actually, in his book, Goodbye things, Fumio Sasaki says that one of the reasons many Japanese chose a simpler lifestyle is because of a catastrophe, the Great East Japan Earthquake, that affected so many people and made them change their perspective on life and their possessions.

Thus minimalism taught me as well about simplicity, about appreciating the present, about not caring about things, but caring about ourselves and the people we love. Minimalism is about reducing possessions in order to simplify our lives and have more time for the important things, more time for taking care of ourselves. There are too many things to do around the house anyway, so why make our job more difficult.

Another aspect related to minimalism that I really like is caring for the nature. I learnt about ecology in school and I really enjoyed participating in projects for environment protection. Thus, while practicing minimalism, step by step I started giving up on many chemical products (for example cleaning products, shower gels etc.) and I became more concerned about plastic use. I realized that many changes were not only good for the environment, but also for me, for my health and my finances.

Speaking of finances, minimalism can be used as a way of educating ourselves on how to do shopping. Like many other people, I used to buy a lot of unnecessary things that I thought were pretty or necessary to me. I remember that once I bought online a piece of clothing that promised to make me sweat and lose weight easier. I was foolish to believe all that marketing crap, but I gave it a chance and realized that it wasn’t working the way it was meant to. It was a foolish decision but I learnt that losing weight must be done by making more efforts, by adjusting my lifestyle and by doing the sport that I actually hated. Since then I must’ve bought other unnecessary things but at some point I started to question myself more often: you like it but do you really need it? Can’t you use what you have instead? Where are you going to place it? Are you going to use it for a long time? Is it a good quality product? I would also add the things that I want to buy on my shopping list and let them there for a few days or a week. If I still felt I need them after a few days then I would buy them, but I found myself removing a lot of objects from my list as I didn’t feel the urge of buying them. I would say to myself, I don’t need this, why did I put it on my list? It works well for me because we tend to buy based on the urge we feel at that moment, or because the marketing is so good and subtle in making us believe we need those things.

Actually we don’t need many of them and we can live just fine without all the stuff they sell on the internet or in those nicely organized stores. Buying things comes with a lot of responsibility: we spend money that we can use on something that we really need, we need more space for the things we buy, they might be thrown after a few uses, the waste they produce, we have more things to organize and clean. There are many aspects to take in consideration. I believe that minimalism is some sort of self-education. It’s easy to begin with, but it takes time to adjust your lifestyle to it and a lot of effort to maintain it for a long period of time. But once you get used to it you can’t live without it. This is what minimalism means to me.

And then I found minimalism

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It’s been a few months since I have decided to adapt my lifestyle to minimalism. Of course I cannot consider myself a minimalist, I am still so far away, and I believe that calling myself as such wouldn’t change so much. However, this is by far one of the best changes, one of the best decisions I made to bring myself to the next level.

I have to admit that I found out about minimalism quite recently, but I guess I was so busy with my chaotic life that I didn’t pay to much attention to this beautiful lifestyle. I like to believe that there is a right time for everything in our lives. Thus, it probably wasn’t the right time for me to get into minimalism at the time I found out about it. Even though I like the change I made, I don’t regret not making it earlier. I accept that my past experiences and my lifestyle were the catalyst for me choosing minimalism as a new way of living.

I used to be a maximalist. Being raised by maximalist parents, I loved to have a lot of things that even if I didn’t need immediately, they would be for sure necessary later. It is true, they came handy many times, but they would occupy a place for quiet a while in the attic for example, until their day came to be used. And when you buy/accumulate many things, you will only buy more things to organize what you already have. A vicious circle. Buying it’s like chocolate. It’s sweet, we love it, but it’s dangerous if we eat too much.


This was me. I loved buying and having many things as much as I loved chocolate (btw, now I even reduced to 90% the consume of chocolate). I was a true maximalist. I thought things would bring me satisfaction. I am not going to lie, buying things still gives me joy. I love buying online because it feels like I make myself presents. However, after I became an adult, I realized that things don’t bring happiness and even if they do, that happiness doesn’t even last 10 minutes. There are so many things I regret buying because some of them were not even used once. Buying things should only serve our needs. I realized that people buy often things just for the sake of buying something new, for trying to change their mood or their life. I used to do the same thing, but the truth is change doesn’t work that way. A change, or better said the will of a change that can help you grow will come most of the times from within yourself. Changing your mindset, your habits, your lifestyle, that is the change we must pursue.

I discovered minimalism while searching for answers, for solutions to live a better and a healthier lifestyle. I knew I wanted to lose weight but my mindset needed training first. Thus I began researching for methods to change my lifestyle, methods that would last and that would be easy to maintain for a long period of time. This is how I found out about famous minimalists like Marie Kondo and Fumio Sasaki. Because books and videos have a great impact on me, I started watching videos about minimalism and I even read books, the one with the biggest impact being Fumio Sasaki’s Goodbye, Things. I was fascinated about the things that I learned and soon I became addicted and started to experience this new lifestyle step by step. And this is the best way to approach something new in order to keep doing it. Changes are difficult anyway, so take it easy, you will get better step by step.

Minimalism changed me for the better. It changed the way I think, the way I act, the way I live. There are still a lot of things to discover and I know I am not very good at it, but if we think of minimalism as a way of living then it mustn’t be perfect. By giving your best and trying to live simply, respecting others and the nature, you are doing more than fine. Every time I talk about minimalism, I get so excited and I have so much to tell, but I end up saying so little. But I believe this is the pure essence of minimalism: saying more with less, doing more with less. When less is more, we become free to do more of the things we love. This is the life I want to live.

Falling in love with autumn (again)

I must say autumn is my favorite season. I was born in September so I always feel at peace when autumn comes. In early autumn, the leaves are still green and the days are still warm. Some days are rainy, while others are a bit colder. It’s not about the colors yet. It’s in the air.

The smell of early autumn is nutty and rich. It smells like soil, rain and leaves. September is cozy and enjoyable. And the sky… September sky is better than any editing program. These days I find myself looking at the sky more often, taking photos of it and bragging to my friends about the countryside autumn.

I’ve missed autumn so much and now I’m finally here, feeling it, enjoying it and writing about it. Autumn has some kind of melancholy that makes me appreciate more every moment of the day. I’ve set the desk in front of the window so I can see how autumn comes, how autumn stays, how autumn goes. Autumn makes me appreciate the other seasons as well. This is the melancholy I was talking about. Other than the cold days and the no-more-T-shirt days, there is nothing sad about autumn. Even these days are good days.

Then it comes October and soon we can all see the most beautiful colors that only autumn can give us. Countryside autumn is even more beautiful because you can really feel and see the changes around you. The peach tree in our garden might have green leaves today, but tomorrow they will be golden brown and they might even fall a day after. Everything changes so quickly in autumn. Thus we must enjoy every moment of the day.

The sunsets are gorgeous too. I love taking photos of the sky (some kind of hobby of mine) and lately, encouraged by my younger sister I take a lot of photos of the sunset in autumn.

It’s getting colder these days but I wish I could stay outside as much as possible. I don’t want to lose these last precious days of a still quiet and cozy autumn. I think I already miss September, but there is no autumn without October and November. I’ll be watching from my window. I hope we can all have a nice and peaceful autumn.

Why I chose to slow down

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Since I was a child I was in a continuous rush and I’ve always tried to do more than I could handle. I remember that when I was in school I used to do a lot of extra homework for most of the disciplines. It was already a lot for a children and now that I think about it, I don’t really think it helped me that much later on, other than building consistency, but society taught us that we had to do more and more in order to succeed. Thus I have always participated in a lot of school contests and extracurricular activities and extra homework was some kind of hobby for me. And no, I am not trying to show off (if I could go back to those years… yeah, I would probably do the same, silly me), but honestly I was surprised by how many notebooks written by hand I had in school when I reorganized all my books and notebooks.

I continued this practice even during faculty (told you, silly me). I studied and worked a lot, I didn’t respect myself and my sleep hours, I ate in a hurry and often unhealthy food. The truth is nobody asked me to do so. Nobody asked me to work until 2 or 3 in the morning. I was the one pushing myself. And then I started to feel weaker and tired day by day. I also had some health issues. All because I didn’t take care of myself, because I pushed myself when it wasn’t the case. My body was yelling but I couldn’t free myself from the prison I had build. Until very recently, more exactly this year. I decided to change my habits and to try healthier ones. This is what I usually do at the beginning of the year. I always had New Year resolutions. But they usually sounded like this : This year I have to take a lot of 10 in school! (the equivalent of A).

For the 2020 resolutions, I wanted for the first time to do something that would mean a real improvement to me. So I set 2 big objectives: to lose weight and to start keeping a journal. And I did both, which gives me so much satisfaction and motivation to continue making more healthy and practical decisions.

Journaling and later my encounter with minimalism helped me a lot to calm my mind and to realize that I was missing a lot of things because I was always in a hurry. Through journaling I became more organized and it also became a motivation for starting this blog. Minimalism taught me to slow down and helped me become more responsible and more mindful about my everyday life. Slowing down is a continuous practice, not a destination. I will never be able to master it, but I will certainly enjoy the process.