Simplicitas: A Journey of Realisation
When I was younger, I had a lot of stuff. I'd say I was a relatively spoiled child, though I hate the connotations that come along with it. If I wanted a toy, I got it, and as the only daughter in my family I feel that played a part in it. My mum wanted me to be happy and have everything I wanted. I didn't come from an upbringing where we had family holidays and expensive things, but I was surrounded by what could be afforded and the lovely nature of my small village.
At nineteen years old, nearly two years ago now, I moved away to the city to begin studying for my degree. I remember before I left that I felt resentment towards where I was from, and that I was glad to be moving out to somewhere with more life and opportunity. I had reached a point where I felt ready to stand on my feet and to make paths for myself. When I put my luggage away at this new "home", I still knew that I was ready for it. I didn't cry which, to be honest, surprised me a bit, and I didn't regret my decision to take this step.
Fast forward to today, and I'm sitting alone in my university accommodation. Tomorrow is officially the day that marks the end of my degree's second year which is a lot to come to terms with, as it means there is only one year to go. I have two part-time jobs, one in social media marketing and another producing student blogs, and I've spent the last year single-handedly running a student publication which has grown steadily. I have a partner and we are soon to be celebrating our one-year anniversary. On the 29th of May we shall be going on a hot-air balloon ride; something I've always wanted to do despite the fact that it'll really challenge my fear of heights.
On the surface, it sounds like I've given this whole "adulthood" thing a good shot, considering that I'm only twenty-one. However, lately I've been feeling incredibly overwhelmed. My university work for this academic year is done, and my part-time work for this month I've completed in advance, so they aren't the source of the overwhelm. I genuinely enjoy my jobs and my degree, despite the inevitable stress that comes with wanting to succeed.
The overwhelm comes from my thoughts and insecurities. The "is everything going to be worth it in the long-run's" and the "why can't I be as effortlessly pretty as her-s". I was bullied in school for two years about my appearance, but I like to think that it doesn't impact me as much as it used to. Although, that being said, it still does at times. And despite the fact that I know my hard work will be worth it, moments of irrationality cause me to question why I do it and then, ultimately, what the point is of doing anything.
The numerous lockdowns caused as a resulting factor of COVID-19 have provided me with plenty of thinking time, which comes with its perks and blows. This time has helped me to realise a variety of things about myself and ways in which I should focus on cultivating goodness better. Many of these boil down to simplification in my life or simpler ways to break down how I understand myself.
I have realised that feeling "special" is something very important to me, not only in terms of any kind of relationship, but to myself as well. I don't want to feel replaceable. Because of this, I value reassurance and to feel acknowledged.
I've realised that I don't have the time nor surplus energy for stuff that doesn't add value to my life, whether that's a physical possession or an empty friendship. If I don't feel a connection towards it, it can't and shouldn't grow. I've been exploring and researching the art of minimalism for a number of years now, but I still believe that I'm on a journey with it both in terms of action and spirit. I no longer want items and thoughts in my life that add no purpose or happiness. Having a dress that makes me feel insecure about my body as opposed to comfortable and beautiful isn't right, and owning a camera that hasn't been used under my bed is pointless, regardless of how "cool" it is. I'm currently in the process of selling items with some monetary value to them as a way to take them out of my life, as well as to save up for the future. I want to fill this future with experiences and what, to me, feels right and necessary.
I have also realised just how valuable self-care is, and that making no time for it is detrimental. Self-care doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. It can be meditating or writing out what you're grateful for, or it can take fruition in the form of a warm bath and lighting candles. I get most of my candles for £1 at a local store, and there's another nearby which sells packs of two face masks for 79p. Over the third lockdown period especially, I tried to listen to what my body wanted or needed in terms of self-care. I switched to plant-based milk on March 1st and haven't looked back, and I take lactose tablets to assist my digestion. I've stocked up on multi-vitamins and make a conscious effort to walk more. And I also take a vegan Omega 3 supplement every morning, as an alternative option to other sources.
I have more deeply been aligned to see what matters in life, and how to attempt to rid it of unnecessary complications. For, if you think about it, why would anyone want them? Take time to tune into yourself and wholly listen to what your soul wants and needs. If you could benefit from seeing a doctor, go, even though it's scary. If you're feeling too tired to keep working, honour what your body is communicating and give it a break.
When I returned for a visit home after the longest time ever, I realised how much I missed my village and its simple life. Cherry blossom trees, gorgeous sunset-filled skies in the summer evenings, and expanse after expanse of fields. Simplicity is important and necessary. Discover what it means to you, then take action.
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