My First Blog Entry!
"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated" Confucious
Hello and welcome to my first ever blog entry. So, it is a beautiful, sunny summer day, I am sitting here in my living room in Paris, sipping some mint from the Sahara, and thinking out loud: so this is real, I am doing it! After securing the domain name, finding a platform to host my website, taking pictures, procastinating for months… I am getting started with the very first chapter of my blog “The Beauty of Simplicity”. Yay! And then, I have a moment of panic: Oh my God, what on earth am I going to write about? I am so scared of the blank page, or should I say the blank screen starring back at me.
Should I write about how scared and excited I am at this very moment, that I am taking the plunge and doing so with my real name out there in the World Wild Web? Maybe I should have used a pen name, I don't know. Am I really doing that? Is it true?! Can I really commit long term to write regularly? Does anyone care? Oh, what would be the title of my blog post? By the way, I just need to make sure that I don't write too much- isn't this blog after simplicity, minimalism, less is more and the whole shebang?
But I digress. Welcome again- as you will notice, I love to say hello, welcome often, as we do so in my mothertongue of Dazaga, greetings are a big deal and they can be as long as five solid minutes when two people meet, phone each other or write each other on whatsapp (no kidding- I have written evidence).To give you an example, here is how a typical greetings session goes with my dad. How are you my daughter? Are you alright? Is everything OK? How's your health? How is your work? How are you copying with the cold winters? Make sure you bundle up… How is Paris treating you? Etc. My trick is to nod my head, and say something like, “hmm” yes, Abba, [insert topic here] is doing great, thank God. And repeat my questions to my dad and watch him (or imagine if over the phone) nod and saying how all’s well. If there are bad news, you normally save them, for after the greeting session is over, the person is sat and served a cup of tea.
It took time to grow in me, but I now really love the philosophy behind that age-old tradition of taking time to say hello when you see people, genuinely inquiring about their wellbeing and offering hospitality to anyone knocking at your door at least by saying hello, offering them a seat, and some tea. I love how it celebrates the art of slowing down, pressing the pause button and giving essential things the room they really deserve.
After leaving home, I attended some of the best Universities of modern times and worked for some of the largest organizations of the world. Along the way, I learnt a handful of languages, travelled to a few dozen countries in all five continents, and settled in my favourite city, Paris, France. But something was not quite right. Last fall, as I was going through my summer clothes to swap them for the upcoming winter season, I had of epiphany when I realized that what made me really happy were my experiences, my souvenirs, the good laughs I shared with loved ones or random strangers, and you guessed it, very few of my material possessions. The piles of clothes I had in front of me certainly did not bring any happiness- they overwhelmed me. Something that rather made me incredibly happy and still makes me feel good just thinking about it, was as a kid to sleep outdoor watching the stars. I tried to replicate it few years ago while travelling across the Australian outback and the couple of nights I slept while the starry night was watching over me are by far the best souvenirs of my entire three weeks trip down there. Another treasured souvenir of mine is the live Mother Nature's concert I listened to when I was bumming around the Amazonian jungle. A third example is an afternoon I spent by the water somewhere in New Zealand, lost in my thoughts. The picture illustrating this first blog's entry is one that I took that afternoon. But no picture makes justice to that beautiful afternoon I spent there. I can go on with many more examples. My point is that those experiences are for me, the very definition of bliss.
Given my nomad life, I have never been big of a hoarder but I have never been a minimalist either. This blog is about how I shifted completely on consciously becoming content with less. As I am starting this blog, I already got rid of my most of clothes (the first category I took care of) and what I have left makes me really happy and can fit into a single (ok, ok, rather big) suitcase. Our Paris apartment is much less cluttered when than we moved in two and half years ago and feels great. I also shed recently almost 20 pounds by eating and exercising less but better. I used to be a beauty products junkie, and today, I have a much clearer skin, a slimmer body, a healthier, longer hair and more efficient makeup routines than I did in the past, with far less products and steps. I am still in the process of sorting my books and personal papers. To be honest, I did not really know what to expect when I got started almost a year ago. I soon realized that this is not a one-shoot event in my life, but a life-long journey. For example, regarding my clothes, even though I own significantly less clothes than I did few months ago, I always find ways to perfect my already curated wardrobe, through replacing some faded elements, upgrading staples, tailoring a so-so piece to a great fitting one or giving a new life to a pair of boots by taking it to the cobbler.
I hope you enjoyed reading my first blog entry. Watch this space as over the upcoming weeks, and months to come, I will be posting more blog posts about beauty, plant-based food recipes, nutrition, health and fitness, travel, lifestyle and continuing to celebrate the beautiful art of simple living. Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss any of those and more. Please feel free to join in the conversation and share your thoughts in the comments section below: what do you think about the philosophy of living with less?