The words gratitude and grateful have almost become buzzwords to me. These two words seemed to be everywhere this year, and almost always seemed to be the answer to my problems. Lusting something that I didn’t need? Be grateful for what I already had. Envious of someone else’s clothes or their success? Practice gratitude. Stressed out from work? Be grateful for all the things I get to do rather than have to do.
And for the most part, it would work. I would come out of the fog of desire and envy, and clearly see all the amazing things, privileges, and people I have in my life. But it wouldn’t last for very long. Soon after, the cycle would start all over again: I would see something I wanted. My wardrobe would suddenly have a gap it didn’t have before. My life just didn’t seem as grand as someone else’s. Sadly, there were too many times when practicing gratitude wasn’t enough and I would cave into buying things I didn’t need or wanted for the wrong reasons.
It has really dawned on me this holiday season just how much privilege I do have–how lucky I am to be able to shop ethically; how lucky I am to live here in LA where I don’t really need a huge seasonal wardrobe and therefore can live with a minimal wardrobe; and how lucky I am to work with some pretty amazing brands to supplement my wardrobe. But I certainly wasn’t acting like I was grateful for all these things. There were times I’d act like a brat– thinking that it was unfair that another person had that and I didn’t; or thinking that I deserved that thing or opportunity more because I work really hard. I only truly practiced gratitude when I felt like life was good and when I got what I wanted. But that’s not true gratitude, well not really.
IN 2019, I WANT TO…
FIND CONTENTMENT IN WHAT I ALREADY OWN | I’ve spent a good amount of time (and money) in 2018 curating my wardrobe: letting go of 70% of it over the course of a year and a half; investing in high-quality classic pieces; and curating a wardrobe that reflected my aesthetic and flattered by body type. But 2019, I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I want to truly enjoy my wardrobe for the great collection of black clothes it is! I’m hoping to see shorter Closet Update posts here on The Pleb Life (particularly in the New Additions section). I don’t think I’ve given my wardrobe a chance to shine with me constantly adding new things to it, so I want to find contentment what I already own. I want to truly test its versatility.
SHOP MORE SECONDHAND THAN NEW | I have been giving this quite a bit of thought in the last few months. Sure, I shop ethically for the most part, but I’m still buying things that are new rather than things that are new-to-me. The most ethical options are to use what I already have, and to shop second hand. Before I buy something new, I want to spend more time (aka more than a few minutes browsing DePop and Poshmark) trying to find it secondhand; or hopefully, I will just decide that I don’t really need it after all.
WRITE IN A (GRATITUDE) JOURNAL REGULARLY | I’m not really great at completing journals. I start a bunch of them, but then lose steam after a few weeks (or even after a few days). I do find though that when I do take time to slow down and journal either in the mornings or at night, I feel a little lighter and happier. I’m hoping that I can find a routine in journalling–either a few times a week or once a week–to really practice gratitude.
UNPLUG MORE | I have definitely cut back on the time I’m spending mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, but I’m only replacing it with time in bed watching Netflix. I want to make more space for doing and creating in 2019. I have so many books in my bookshelves that are dying to be read, and a whole city to explore! I’m such a homebody that I take hermit to a whole new level. I need to connect with people and the world more IRL.
MEDITATE | Brandon and I started 2018 with doing yoga weekly and that quickly fell off my routine as work picked up and excuses came tumbling from my mouth. I really did enjoy it and was always amazed how much concentration it took to hold certain poses and how little else you thought about for that hour. I therefore want to get back into the routine of doing yoga regularly and/or at least meditating and taking the time to calm my mind.
2016 was the year I announced that I wanted to live more intentionally. Then, I declared 2018 as The Year of Sustainability–and while I’m still working on achieving a comfortable work-life balance, I truly do think I created a sustainable wardrobe that goes beyond just being made of eco-friendly materials. My wardrobe is sustainable for my lifestyle: there isn’t quite a disconnect between my Instagram self and my everyday self. I also did put myself out there creatively: I wrote for Vele for the Summer; I started contributing regularly to The Minimalist Wardrobe; and definitely made more of an effort to blog more consistently here on The Pleb Life. After blogging for more than a decade on and off, I finally feel like I found my voice and my niche out here in the blogosphere. Overall, Brandon and I made more efforts to reduce our waste this past year too. It truly has been a wonderful year of growth, and I cannot wait for it to continue into 2019.
Here’s to another year of intentionality and sustainability. A year of gratitude. Cheers friends!
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