Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lucky

Sometimes, in life, you will luck out.

I'm writing this tonight because I feel very blessed, and very lucky to have so many great and amazing people that surround me.

I'm going to be moving into my new apartment this Thursday, and I was a bit stressed about it because I would have preferred to move in on a weekend, and among one of the pesky things I was stressed about was having no bedsheets.

Yes, I could buy bedsheets any time, but I was thinking about all the suitcases I'd be carrying, how I would be moving in on my own, how it would be late at night when I moved in - blah blah blah, all these issues, and generally feeling stressed about it.

Then my super good friend Bryan turns up in my house...with brand new bedsheets he bought for me.

I can't tell you how much that means to me!

There's just this incredibly warm and fuzzy feeling you get when someone does something so thoughtful for you. I can't articulate it - or maybe I don't want to, because if you dissect it and articulate it, it becomes dry and loses its magic, but it's just such a good feeling to have.

It also makes me feel like being a better person. That makes sense, doesn't it? Sometimes when people are mean to you, it makes you mean to people. So when people are nice to you, it also should make you nicer to everyone! It's a pay-it-forward principle!

Also, my boyfriend. I've finally realized that I can actually really talk to him about anything, and he doesn't laugh at me, or judge me, or make fun of me. There are a lot of things I keep to myself (ha ha, ironic, since I'm writing a blog) due to a fear of rejection / humiliation / failure (you name it, but you get the idea, don't you?) but I have discovered that I really can tell him all my petty, stupid things and it's a good feeling to have, knowing that you can open up to someone.

Really opening up yourself to someone is always a scary thing, but that's a story for another day.

And, my mother. I ran out of money earlier this week (it's NOT because I have been shopping or anything, it's because I got locked out of one of my Malaysian accounts) and I needed money for my security deposit. (Also, it is during times like this you will realize how puny the Malaysian ringgit is compared to the SG dollar.) I was a bit embarassed to ask her to wire me money, because I didn't want her thinking I have no money.

Anyway, I told her I needed money, and she just wired it to me the next day, no questions asked, and asked me if I needed any extra.

Mama will always be there for me.

So...yeah. Sometimes I forget and I think 'Why on earth is the world such a grubby place!' but then I realize I have so many amazing people here, and people who have my back, and people who make me feel like life is really good to live, and that I want to contribute and also try my bit to make the world a better place, or a nicer place at least for another person.

There's always bad...but that just always also means that there is always good out there :)

I go to sleep a very happy girl tonight.

Good night everybody!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sex

I think there's just way too much talk about sex today.
Ooh, sex is great.
Let's dress up like sex dolls this Halloween. It's the perfect excuse to get your slut out!
TV shows and movies are all about sex. Most of them, anyway.
I was watching a movie yesterday, 'What's Your Number?'
It was about, well, the number of people one has slept with.
50 Shades of Grey is a hit because of its subject matter.

It's just everywhere you go..it's about sex.

And I don't get it. Isn't it tiresome to talk and talk and talk about one thing incessantly and nothing else? We watch TV about it, read news about it, talk about our friends with it, etc.

I feel that as a general rule, if you talk too much or are exposed to one thing all the time, it loses its appeal. It devalorizes its appeal, it desensitizes its audience.

Yes, it's the easiest way to get attention.

But after a while, I look at all these pictures of these girls, and it just feels so tired, so dull, so meaningless.

I don't understand how people can talk about one subject all the time, and how the media can just continue to glorify this all the time - and why people don't get bored about it. There's nothing thought provoking about it anymore. (Yes, it's probably provoking other bits and is not meant to be thought provoking).

I just feel it's a little sad, to live in a world where we're constantly exposed to this all the time, where things are just in your face, there are no longer any subtleties, no nuances, no mystery. There is nothing left to unravel because people don't bother leaving things to your imagination, it's just practically one porn star imagery after another, constantly, constantly, till you're immune to it, and you don't even realize obscenity when you see it anymore. Things are just plainly vulgar and crass.

I believe life is magical, with all its rich tapestries to unweave - but sadly, none more for here and the oversexualization of our generation.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Suitcase

I’ve been living out of a suitcase for the past 3 weeks, and I have realized a couple of things.

In life, you really don’t need more than a suitcase.

I packed about 4-5 pairs of shoes in there, and I don’t miss any of my other shoes which are now kept in storage. I’ve been living perfectly happily with the amount of stuff I have in my suitcase – by no means am I a minimalist, although I’m trying, and I would love to get there, but it has really made me realize that all the extra stuff that I have in storage is really just, well, stuff!

I’m also apartment hunting now, and all the places I’ve seen are pretty small. They are okay for a single person living alone, but one of the headaches that I really do have is this – where am I going to put all my stuff that’s currently waiting for me in storage? For this reason, I’m trying a little to get a bigger place – and this is also putting a bigger hole in my wallet!

I have also been trying to massively declutter my makeup bag – and this is the hardest part for me. It wasn’t too difficult decluttering clothes and shoes, but for me, my makeup is something very hard to part with! Even old, unused makeup I find very difficult to say goodbye to, and it’s about time I do. Not only is it taking up space, but it’s heavy, and it really isn’t good for you to use expired products on your skin. (I’ll be honest, I’ve been using what I think is expired Giorgio Armani foundation on my skin for the longest time, and I love it because it makes my skin look so nice and dewy, but I have also never dared check the expiry date for fear that it really is expired!).

The point is, I still want to be a minimalist and live a simpler lifestyle. Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done, but I honestly believe that in life, you really want anything, it can be done. Everything else is just an excuse.

I currently have 3 giant makeup bags, and I am going to whittle it down to 2, and then to 1. I counted some of my lipsticks the other day, and I have about 56 lipsticks.

Nobody needs 56 lipsticks.

So, onto whittling down more!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coffee


I’m going to tell you today why coffee now holds a special place in my heart.

First of all, I’m not a huge coffee drinker. I always order the same thing if I go to a coffee shop – a cafĂ© latte, but hardly ever do I have a strong craving for coffee, or have to constantly run into Starbucks for a coffee fix.

But now, coffee holds new meaning for me.

My boyfriend is here visiting, and along with him he brought a Moka Pot!

In case you don’t know what that is , you can check it out here.

To get to the point of the story – I woke up one morning and the smell of coffee wafting in the room greeted me. I blearily opened my eyes, and I saw him standing in front of me holding a cup of coffee. He set it down the night stand, and gestured at me to drink.

And so I sipped. I’m not a coffee connoisseur, I cannot describe coffee eloquently or beautifully to you. All I know is that the taste of it – it was an in between of a medium to full bodied coffee, awoke me. I think for the first time, the whole experience of coffee became a very different one for me.

First, the smell of it. The aroma that reaches you first, gently tantalizing your senses, teasing softly. You look into the cup, and you see perfectly black coffee, looking innocent enough in its white cup, but with a promise of something more to come. Then, you taste it. You tentatively sip it – the hot liquid burns against your lips, your tongue, and the first flavours of the coffee reach you. It’s bitter, it’s sweet, it’s alive. And after your first sip, the lingering aftertaste in the coffee stays in your mouth, it is a gentle, sweet reminder of the magic in coffee.

Maybe the reason this coffee experience is so different for me is because I’m having it at home, and not at a commercialized joint. Maybe because it was actually brewed in a Moka Pot, instead of the normal 3-in-1 coffee I always drink. Maybe, and most likely, because a loved one is making a nice cup of coffee for me, and not only does that cup of coffee taste good, but it makes me feel good.

It’s become a little more than just a cup of coffee, it’s a little cup of happiness for me, right here, right now.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nice

We should do nice things more often.

Nice things don't cost you much. Sometimes they cost you time, and sometimes money, but sometimes the returns from that are really far more invaluable than money.

The thing about doing something nice is that you have to be honest with yourself why you're being nice. Are you being nice because you want the credit of something? Do you want a pat on your shoulder? Or are you really being nice because you really want someone else to be happier?

These are very two different motivations, and important because sometimes you may not necessarily get what you expect back in return. Key word here being what you expect. If you don't expect, you won't be disappointed.

One of the things I want to do next is buy a homeless man lunch. (I haven't seen that many people here homeless, but I think it will be a good gesture).

But it's not just about the homeless.

I'm going to try more random acts of kindness. If you know someone is not feeling good, try and do something about it. Sometimes, all it really requires is a little effort. Sincerity is worth a lot.

Good night, everyone!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Happiness

I have had a couple of realizations this past week.

One, I never realised back then, up to a year ago, how very unhappy I was.

Sometimes, when you're so tired and beaten, you start to think that this is the norm. Feeling dull, dreary and discontent becomes a way of life. You're not happy anymore. You're not excited. Things don't bring you enthusiasm anymore. Going to clubs are painful. Sleeping is respite. Things tire you. Annoy you more than they should.

You lose your spark. Your drive. Your determination. That spring in your step. You wake up, not looking forward to the day, but just to get it over and done with. It's all a necessary evil, you tell yourself. You push yourself further.

You get used to this lifestyle. You get used to feeling down. You get used to a sense of resignation being omnipresent in your life. Things don't seem so funny anymore. You just want to get through the day.

The thing is, I didn't even realize I was feeling this way. It's a strange feeling. You hang somewhere in between good times and misery - you are neither miserable, nor are you truly happy. You feel almost a little numb.

I say you, but I mean me.

And this week, I feel light. By the way, it wasn't Murakami who wrote The Incredible Lightness of Being. Nope. And I think I really shouldn't comment any further, because I haven't even read the book. But lately, I feel so light. So happy.

Call it a good start. Call it the novelty of newness. Be jaded and cynical and tell me it will pass. You can. But I don't care. I understand and know these things. But, what I know most is this - you cannot take away my happiness. You cannot take away how I now walk to work, beaming. It doesn't matter if everything get tougher. If I get lonely. If I face problems at work. Because now, I have had a really, great, super amazing first week here. It's everything, really. Even if things tank and go south, so what? I have had a great first week here!

I'm so happy right now. I haven't felt this happy in a really, really long time. I feel so excited and motivated at work. I'm learning so much. I feel stimulated, I find myself the newbie again. Today I spend 20 minutes trying to bind a book wrong. And, in a strange, twisted way - that was good. Because I'm no longer in my comfort zone. I'm now grasping in the dark, learning my way, finding out new things.

I wanted to walk home today but wasn't paying attention, and ended up walking the opposite direction, away from home. I only realized this ten minutes later. One of these days, what I'm going to do is just walk at night in the city and get lost. I will get lost in the streets, in the unfamilliar places, in this well organized, orderly city.

The last time I felt this happy, and this free, was when I was travelling alone in Japan for work. I was incredibly mentally stimulated then. I came back refreshed, excited, rejuvenated. I was alone. I discovered a little bit about myself. I'm a good lunch partner. To myself, that is. Of course, when I came back, there were some very nasty and mean people who made a lot of unnecessary comments - but this is always going to be there in life. You can't get rid of the lowlifes. It's part and parcel of life, after all.

Happiness is mine, for now. For this week. I've also discovered that the relative scarcity of happiness is what makes it so precious. I no longer cling on to it, hoping desperately it never fades away from my grasp. Now, when I have it, I'm happy. Content. If it leaves me, so be it. I will wait. I will chase after it. It will come back. It's all the cycle of life, isn't it? There are highs, there are lows.

It's good to be here. it's good to write.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Declutter

Sorry world!

I have been neglecting my blog a little this past week because I've been so busy settling in.

Now, I was thinking about it. This blog is called The Declutter Files, but it's not necessarily all about clutter, and getting rid of stuff. Anyway, how much can you write about decluttering? I think one of the best things I ever heard in regards to decluttering is this - 'When in doubt, throw it out.'

But this blog is a lot more than just decluttering physical stuff. It's about decluttering..unhappiness. That's the whole point of why people turn minimalist after all, isn't it? Nobody just turns minimalist to torture themselves and deny themselves of things. People turn minimalist because they realize that

a) stuff just doesn't and will not and can't make you happy in the long run.
b) buying more stuff doesn't buy more happiness.
c) the important stuff in life can't be bought.
d) you attain happiness when you focus on what's important.

That's why minimalism is important to me. I feel like I can't truly focus on what's important to me, unless I don't remove all the clutter. This means removing physical stuff. Removing things that take up your time, too. I've found that it's really important to start doing things that are more qualitative than quantitative. The easiest example is - meeting 5 friends in a day, one after the other, rushing from one corner of the city to another, vs meeting one friend a day, but having a real, proper conversation. It sounds very easy when you put it down like that, but when you're caught up in the hustle and bustle of the world, it's not that easy to make it happen.

I really do treasure my good friends a lot more than I previously did then. Of course, as you get older, you realize who is genuine, who isn't. Who's there for a good time, and who won't be there for you when you need him or her. A lot of times, you will be surprised - a person that you didn't expect to be there will end up being there, and a person you expected there won't be. So, yeah. Declutter friends too. Heck, declutter friends on FB - especially ones you don't remember ever having met them.

I might sound harsh, by saying declutter friends, but don't get me wrong. I don't mean have big, dramatic breakups with your friends. Don't put them in a large dustbin. But as you realize who is more and more important, and who will really be there, that should also be the equal level of emphasis you place on them. How many of us have fun friends that are just useless and unreliable at the end of the day? Yes, I speak this from experience. But think about it - you only have a limited amount of time, shouldn't you spend it more with quality friends than a large bunch of friends that you don't like?

I now have absolutely no qualms about not being there for friends who have really shown and proven to me that they are not there for me. See, again, it's not about 'I only want friends who have use to me'. But I want friends that value add my life. You value add my life with your company. You bring me cheer and happiness. If you're doing none of that and just draining my energy, why should I continue this friendship?

I also think that sometimes we have a set perception of what we want in friends. And, if we let go of these perceptions, often times we get surprised. We find out people we didn't expect connecting with, having a great connection suddenly.

The point of this post is this - quality, beats quantity. I think this is also in line with a minimalist principle - although I'm not sure most minimalists will tell you to declutter your friends, hehe.

At the same time, be generous. This isn't a calculation game of who gives more. I also find that when you give more, and when you find that you bring cheer to someone else, it lifts you up. It makes you happier knowing that you've helped someone else. But, give to the right people. Don't give your all to toxic people. Don't find your energy drained, and then you feeling hopeless and disappointed with the world.

I'm going to write soon about how much happier I've been feeling. There is a book by Murakami - I think the title is 'The incredible lightness of being'. I've never read this book, nor understood it's title. But lately, I feel it. I understand now, what it means to feel the incredible lightness of being.

That's a story for another day though. So, go ahead. Declutter today.

Happy

Hello!

I haven't had time in a while to sit down proper and write - I moved into my new place on Saturday, and before I know it, it's Thursday! Things have gone by really quick - I started working on Monday and right now I'm really, really loving my new job! I hope I'm not jinxing it by saying that, but so far everything is real good.

I've also started decluttering a bit of the stuff I brought here - yes, it would have made a lot more sense to declutter when I was back in Malaysia, but I was too much in a rush and ended up taking a whole bunch of things I don't need. No matter, anyway. Never too late to declutter!

I have been exploring a little bit, and meeting lots of new people. I've never used public transportation before (being Malaysian, I only drive) so I always get a very big thrill of accomplishment every time I manage to land somewhere successfully, hee hee.

I'm feeling really happy, and really blessed to be here. It's a good feeling to have :) I know everything is very new now, and probably that's why it's so exciting, but I also feel very glad that I'm having a positive start to things! I've also decided if I write about negative stuff, then I should also write positive things.

I'll be moving out of my current apartment either next month or the month after - may the house hunting begin! I'm still hoping to get a small unit on the outer suburbs, because while I initially thought I wanted somewhere more central, it seems a little bit too full of buildings for me right now. We will see.

So long, happy people!