Last July, I posted the blog post, A Year Towards Minimalism: What I’ve Learned. Now, it’s been about two years since I started chasing minimalism (amongst other things), and man oh man, am I tired!
I don’t think I quite realized just how tired I was until I went to the Joshua Tree a few weeks ago and realized just how much I craved the quiet and the stillness that one can only find in the desert. While I’m happy and grateful to say that it’s been a huge year of personal growth for me, all that reflection left me exhausted and raw. I don’t think I ever gave myself time and space to settle into the new me–an idea that came to me when I gobbled up Yung Pueblo’s beautiful book, Inward.
when you grow rapidly
and experience such
that you can no longer
look at yourself or the
world in the same way
the time and space
to settle into the new you.
It’s been another year into my minimalism journey. After reading what I wrote last year, it doesn’t seem like much has changed. I went from having 65 items of clothing in my everyday capsule wardrobe and 14 pairs of shoes, to now owning 66 items and 16 pairs of shoes. I feel that I have an even firmer grasp of my style now, and I’m still very much enjoying having a mostly monochromatic wardrobe (though I’m starting to embrace color just a little bit). I’m still repeating the same outfits over and over again with no shame. And I’m still really digging uniform dressing.
There were some goals/hopes written in that post that never happened: I have yet to pare down my wardrobe to one all year round capsule (but I’m more than okay with this actually and I will probably continue to have a Spring/Summer and a Fall/Winter wardrobe). I am not quite at the point where each item in my wardrobe is worn and loved regularly (though I am closer than I was a year ago), and this is something that has bothered me these last few months.
I keep waiting for the day when the shopping will stop–when I’ll be so content with my wardrobe that I will never ever want anything else (or at least not want anything for a long time). After two years, that day has yet to come. With each passing month, I still find myself buying things and decluttering things as evident in my monthly Closet Update posts. And so with each passing month, I feel like such a minimalist fraud. I thought the need to declutter and to shop would taper off; and while it sure has for other areas in my life (i.e. books; home goods; kitchenware; etc.), it has yet to happen for my wardrobe.
Then I came across this article from Becoming Minimalists this month: Decluttering is Great. Minimalism is Even Better that seemed to articulate all that was brewing in my mind. What I took away from the article was that there is a difference between decluttering and minimalism. Decluttering is the act of removing unnecessary clutter from your life; while minimalism is the act of living with enough and whatever “enough” means to you. Minimalism asks you to challenge all the should’s of success and to find your optimal amount of possessions to be happy.
“Decluttering focuses on removing surface level possessions. Minimalism helps us discover how little we actually need.”
While I deeply understand that there is no wrong way to do minimalism, I can’t help but think that I am doing it all wrong if I’m tired of my constant decluttering. If I’ve truly achieved a minimalist wardrobe, then I shouldn’t be tired from decluttering all the time. I should be rejecting more than I am consuming.
I’ve been chasing intentionality a lot longer than I have minimalism, and I think that’s ultimately, what’s still missing in my life. I still haven’t figured out what’s “enough” for me. I am constantly bouncing from the feeling that I’m doing minimalism all wrong to the knowledge that this is so much more about the process and the journey; that I need to be gentle with myself; and finally, to the realization that I have come a long way since I started in June 2017.
And so, I’m circling back to what I wrote last year: Minimalism is hard. So very hard. But it has been so meaningful and it’s not over for me just yet.
Minimalism is made even harder when you’re an influencer (I cringe at that word but it is what I am). Despite my efforts to be very intentional with the brands that I partner up with this year, I still am finding myself being overwhelmed with the amount of gifted pieces. This year I’ve had the amazing opportunities to work with some brands that I greatly admire: Sotela (this wrap dress was kindly gifted by Hanna), Tradlands, Nisolo, Hackwith Design House, and Everlane just to name a few. I will forever be grateful for these opportunities to work with such great people, but I’m also starting to wonder if I can truly be intentional with gifted pieces.
I’m not quite sure what the answer is, but this is something that has been on my mind this year. Something that has also been on my mind is the idea of shopping ethically, but not minimally or intentionally–is that still shopping ethically? Excess is excess, no matter how ethical that excess is. I know that there are several influencers out there who are no longer accepting sponsorships or gifted pieces, and I hope that eventually, I will find the strength and will to be able to do that. This is definitely a hurdle that I need to jump over in my minimalism journey.
sotela luna wrap dress (gifted) [(Get 10% off any Sotela order with code: Jazzy10 — I don’t get any commission from this code! I just get to share the love!)], nisolo isla slides (thrifted via poshmark), ray ban hexagonal sunglasses (thrifted via poshmark), equal uprise black traditional fedora (gifted)
Therefore, in this next year, I hope to stop the need to declutter and to start truly chasing minimalism with intentionality. I hope that as much as I enjoy writing them, my need for monthly closet updates will taper off and maybe become more seasonal closet updates. I hope that I can break the trend of consumerism in my life (both in things that I buy and in things that I receive from brands). I hope to truly integrate all that I’ve learned and experienced into the new me.
Here’s to another year of growing and learning!