Back to Basics

Life in the Middle East really tests your values as much as any isolated post can. For a city girl who appreciates the accessibility to sustainable measures like recycling and purchasing natural products, I have noticed just how strong my value of, and appreciation for, Mother Earth really is. When isolation and selective imports prevent you from sticking with your tried and true household cleaning preferences, what can you do except adapt?

Here I start my occasional tapping into some of the other steps of minimalism – leading a simpler life and reaping its benefits, as well as appreciating it.  Continue reading

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The Change Up

Subdued in a long-lasting melancholy of how to move forward in life post-university, my extended summer holiday break had got me thinking seriously about my future, for the first time since everything well, stopped.

Caught up in a series of extracurricular projects, my last year of university passed in a blur of poverty, homelessness and volunteering. I don’t even know how I fit study in, it certainly wasn’t a priority by then – survival was. I remember one week realising I didn’t have enough money to get to class on the bus past Monday’s classes, and borrowing university financial aid for bus fare. I was so sure all the volunteering would give me those amazing ‘transferable skills’ employers look for, that I was one step away from my marvellous future. I just needed to survive the year. Lightening my load was never an option.

One of these projects, an event, carried over into the months after my undergraduate study finished. By the time the event was done I had started my post-grad degree, and a second short course, and found myself caught up in study plus seeking work and working in temporary jobs that would maybe lead to something more interesting. I had a career direction in mind that I was sure was the future I wanted – job security, interesting work, great salary; my future stitched up. Talk about a minimalist life – when I had my graduation ceremony in 2014, I was living in a hostel, had no computer after the robbery, then two donated, old heavy laptops, but no place to study, was surviving on unemployment benefits half eaten by credit card debt repayments, credit that had been spent originally on day to day living when money was tight. All my things were stuck in storage around the corner, but life was just, survival. Certainly not living. Continue reading