Sunday

#277 // Simpler. Slower. Fuller. Freer.

I'm not interested in living a perfect life. I'm interested in living my best life.

For the last year, I've felt myself slowing down.

Firstly, quite literally. I remember when I would never let a bus pass me, would always shuffle down the right hand side of the tube escalator berating anyone that deigned to mistakenly stand on that side, always rushing. Now, I can feel my body moving at a different pace. There'll be another bus in a few minutes, sometimes less than a minute living in London, yet I've been that person in the past that busts a blood vessel at just missing a tube and having to wait an entire sixty seconds for the next one.

Job wise, I used to flit about from job to job every year to eighteen months or so. But I've got no desire to be the new girl any more. I'm comfortable, and I'm happy. And I'll say this, being comfortable isn't always a negative thing. I think we're very quick to incorrectly interchange the words settle and comfortable. Settling is putting up with less than you're worth, or doing less than you're capable of. Settling is a disservice to self. Comfort, at least in this sense, is a confident self-awareness, knowing that you have enough and are happy with what you have regardless of what's going on around you.

And this comfort, this confidence, this pace, it fits me well.

As you get older, I think you naturally peel back the layers of friendship, complex relationships, question how you're spending your time, hack away at the should do's and focus more on what you want to do. This life extraction has happened both consciously and subconsiously. The reduction of the unnecessary to make more space for the yeses, the imperatives, the passions and the things that make me happy, it's lit. It's a really good place to be.

In making life simpler, I feel freer. More content and more in control. I feel that everything that is in my life has been placed there autonomously and decisively by me. In slowing down and doing less, my life feels fuller. I may be doing less, but I'm spending more time doing it.

Also, in slowing the world around me and stopping to smell the roses so to speak, I find that I'm a much more positive and powerful person. When constantly faced with comparison, negativity, fake news, bad news, digital noise, actual noise, busyness and non-stop notifications, I've found the strength to get close to the ground and find joy in the granular, the everyday, the little things that make my world go round and keep a smile on my face.

Being able to tell the world to stop and focus on the small things seems a superpower in this day and age of trending topics and never-ending newness that moves so fast you'll feel like a spinning top twirling frantically just before it collapses to a standstill, fatigued and overwhelmed.

And it's this idea of living slowly and purposefully that I want to fill these blog pages now. I feel as though I've wasted a lot of time, and as such, I'm invested in using my time, energy and money to live a life spent well. I want to talk about how living a simpler, slower life has changed my outlook on and experience of it.
I think the problem with slow living, is that it can look like an idyllic glossy You Tube advert for the perfect life. All white and minimalist and waking up at 5am.

This whole slow living thing is a trend right now, granted. We've had hygge, lagom, minimalism, decluttering. But each passing trend signals a consistent desire to slow down, focus more but on less, simplify.

I think the problem with the slow living discussion is that it can look like an idyllic glossy You Tube advert for the perfect life. All white and minimalist and waking up at 5am. And that false reality is a breeding ground for comparison and thinking you're not good enough for your own life.

I hope to approach it in the relatable and honest way that it works for me. I mean, while it's great having slow mornings to set up each day right, I want to show its possible to embrace on the shit days too, when you're working overtime, not hitting your goals, feeling overstretched and like you look like crap that day.

I'm not interested in living a perfect life. I'm interested in living my best life, and living it well. And I think you do that by making sure that you're spending your energy, your money and your time - often limited resources that you can't get a refund on - in ways that feel right for you, honour you and honour the way you want to live your life.

I think that every one of us has so much going for us in our own lives, that if we just slowed down and checked in with ourselves as the point of reference instead of the timeline or feed, we'd be able to see, we're not as far from our best lives as we think.

I think my content has been going this way for a little while, so it will probably seem the same, just packaged slightly differently. And I hope that if this resonates with you, that you'll stick around.