On jewelry

As part of my minimalism thang, I got rid of most of my jewelry. None of it was valuable. It was cheap, gawdy stuff I bought years ago that I didn’t see myself wearing again. The funny thing is, I’m not a jewelry person at all. I’ve got these crazy tiny wrists so most bracelets and bangles are too big, I feel awkward wearing necklaces and I usually forget to wear earrings.

The thing I noticed with getting rid of stuff is that sometimes, I end up needing to replace it! Haha! But in contrast to the past, where I would get something just because it was cheap and looked cute, I decided it was time to build up a proper collection of pieces that I would see myself using regularly (and to pass on to my future kids when it comes to that, heh).

In case someone’s curious and is also looking for nice, affordable, everyday pieces, I bought:
Gold circle studs from Ernest and Joe
Silver tough love earrings from Lucy Folk

I recently got my hands on some earrings I inherited from my grandmother. When she passed away years ago, I found out she was leaving me, her only granddaughter, all her jewelry. When I first found out about it, I was touched at the gesture, but I don’t think I really appreciated it as much back then. As I said, I wasn’t really a jewelry person.

But now… I’m more selective of the material possessions I keep around me, and more appreciative of where things come from and the story behind them. And these earrings are special. When I put them on, I imagined how she must’ve chosen those earrings and worn them. She wasn’t rich, by any means, and these wouldn’t have been a frivolous purchase.

I like things with stories. Sometimes people say all you need are memories, but memories fade. I am happy that I can have something to remind me of her everyday.

I don’t need a grand start

That’s what I’ve learned over a couple of decades of living. (I realise I have quite a number of these life learnings, now.) I remember, when I was in high school, a friend of mine told me he couldn’t join the track team yet because he wanted to start running again first. We didn’t have tryouts for the track team — anyone could just join, and as long as you were dedicated to practice you made the team. I found it bizarre. It was like saying I couldn’t join a book club because I had to read a ton of books first.

Anyway, I know I haven’t been writing here in a while, but I figured… I don’t need to make a grand re-entry back into updating this. I know I can sit and stew for weeks on the “perfect” blog post but… I’ll just go ahead and do it now. I’m writing this and it’s nearly midnight and I’ve had a long day. But I want to get into the habit of writing again… and putting this out there, no matter how raw and incoherent, is a great first step, methinks.

Which leads me into another related thing.
So my life this past year has been quite uneventful. OK, so I went on a holiday overseas (my first trip to Europe, yay!) and I’ve had a lot of great times with people around me. But things have been steady. A bit boring. Routine.

I figured it was time for change.
So I made one! And now I’m a bit worried because I don’t know how things are going to pan out. My friend told me that I should savour this time because it’s rare that we truly get periods of uncertainty. But I’m still scared.

And I realised that I’m never scared anymore. I haven’t been scared in a while. I haven’t been learning anything truly new and I haven’t ventured out of my comfort zone. For example, I still do a lot of dance. While I learn new routines and push myself in class, it’s still within my comfort zone of lyrical. So a couple of months ago, I tried a Brazilian partner dance, Forro. It was different. I stumbled a lot of times. I’ve never done a partner dance before. I don’t know if I’m sticking with it but it made me realise I’ve got a nice comfortable bubble around me. I’ve become a very predictable creature of habit.

I need to break out of this nice, comfortable, homey groove I’ve set out for myself.

On blogging/writing

I’ve been shutting down my old blogs. I’ve been saving archives, though realistically I have no idea when I’m ever going to dig them out again and read through all my adolescent drama (and then some).

It made me miss about how candidly I used to write about things, but I have to remember why I stopped.

Well, for one, I used to put too much of myself online. I got weirded out when someone approached a high school friend of mine and told him he knew him from my blog. Or people online would say we were friends and that we met in such-and-such a place but I had no idea who they were. It’s different now… everyone wants to become a social media influencer and get the most number of likes and followers. Young people! (Haha!) I can’t imagine myself talking about boyfriends and fights with parents and depressive moments as much as I used to. I cringe at the thought.

Second, the “writing for an audience” thing was getting to me. I felt like I had to write about everything… I would be out and be mentally composing my blog posts. I felt like I had this persona I had to live up to. Not really an ideal way to live.

But yeah, I miss writing. I write in my (physical) journal, but that’s mostly a gratitude journal, and I miss writing about my everyday. After going through my previous blogs, this one feels like a watered-down version of me — it’s a blog “where I talk about my minimalism journey” (oh man that word feels so pretentious) for crying out loud. But it’s a conscious decision I’ve made — I’m a lot more private now, where I only share my deepest thoughts with my closest friends.

But, as with taking photos, there is a balance somewhere.

Finding bits and pieces

So, one of the things I’ve noticed with this minimalism thing is I’ve been re-discovering a lot of things. A lot of articles say, “if you haven’t used it in the past year, you’ll probably never use it again!” And that is true, for the most part… but sometimes, I find something that makes me wonder why I gave it up in the first place.

It can be something tangible. There were some pieces of clothing I hadn’t used in a while, but decided to wear again. They’ve since graduated to my regular rotation.

As part of the digital cleanup I’ve been doing, I’ve been trying to consolidate my accounts, notably my photo accounts. I pay for Smugmug, which gives me unlimited storage, so I figured I’d just use that for everything in the future.

Looking through my old photo accounts made me miss photography. Here’s a photo I took of Circular Quay when I first moved to Sydney, six (!!) years ago:

Right now, most of photos are taken with my smartphone. I might bust out my compact camera for longer trips, but my DSLR and assortment of lenses largely goes unused. I miss taking nice photos… but at the same time, I have to remember what made me stop:

  • I would drag my gear everywhere. Even if I was just going over to my aunt’s house, or a routine catch-up with friends. It was heavy. I like traveling light, now, and be out and about unencumbered by my heavy(-ish) gear.
  • I took photos of everything — the location, the food, small details, candid moments. I felt like I was too obsessed with capturing moments rather than enjoying them.
  • Post-processing took too much of my time. Transferring photos to my computer, sifting through them, editing them, uploading them to my albums was way too time-consuming.

I do miss taking beautiful images to remember my days by, and I think I want to get back into it. I feel like there’s a happy medium, somewhere… I just have to find it.