There’s a quote in Paper Towns: “My days had a pleasant identicalness about them. I had always liked that: I liked routine. I liked being bored. I didn’t want to, but I did.”
Most of us have dealt with a similar thought. Or maybe it crossed our mind amidst other self-revealing others, but we probably didn’t give it a second thought as we unknowingly - but usually knowingly - seal the fate of every other such thought.
I mean, is going on an expedition of finding yourself even relevant these days? Who even has the time for that? That’s when we succumb to the social media pressure: posting a tweet and patting ourselves at the back for it.
But this quote refused to leave me alone. The relatability and accuracy of it left a deep wound in me. First, our life is indeed a cycle of all-too-familiar and oh-so-similar occurring events one after another, their inherent time period being indefinite and bringing only a mild unnoticeable newness each time.
Second, this fact doesn’t really bother us unless we’re on a soul-searching mission or re-evaluating our life after falling into yet another existential crisis. It’s either or neither for me right now; maybe this is what they call over thinking.
Third, even after making an effort to acknowledge it and draining our mind trying to decipher the meaning and the significance, we are not doing anything about it. We let it go - of all the things we should be letting go. Not caring, perhaps even starting to despise the whole idea of it when it’s obvious how bad we’re craving for even a drop of change in our lives, in us.
We fear change. We can never bring ourselves to embrace it with a wide grin, be it a big change or a trivial one, like going to the supermarket to try a different brand of tea. And, honestly, how many people gave up their profession after realizing at one point that it failed to provide the necessary satisfaction it should have, let alone contentment. How many people have actually taken proper action to eradicate a stereotype reigning and ruining their family for generations or banishing unconventional family traditions and not just bringing it up on social media? Are we really as strong-willed and courageous to take a stand, say no where we have to, reject when we should?
We say we don’t care - too much and all too often - but do we really? Or is it our only retreat? I mean, saying just that might get the other person to shut up but what about the voice that’s echoing in your head, insisting that “we don’t care” is indeed debatable.
We look for all things familiar, traditional and understanding. Somehow we decide that a particular thing is meant for us, has a value, a meaning in our life on some unknown level while others are just not our cup of tea. So we adopt what we find acceptable, wear it, hide behind it and carry it with us for the rest of our lives; it becomes our very own comfort zone. We spend our lives imitating others, following in other people’s footsteps never making our own path and not seeing that we’ve lost ourselves in the process, not realizing that we all get one chance at life and that chance was wasted trying to be someone we’re not, someone we are simply not meant to be.
Variety is the spice of life, people say, but the spice is not what you want all the time. If you own less, you groan less. With all the things around, don’t refuse to let them go. Life is too short to look after meaningless objects. Don’t let the clutter occupy your precious time and space. In case you are wondering how I can make my life sweet and simple, here are some plain clues.
The more stuff you possess, the more headaches you get. Scientists believe that if we go back to the lifestyle of the ancient civilizations, we could make this world a happier place. The key lies in simplicity. Don’t be a slave of your desires; act smartly. Keep the money in your pocket, and let it rest.
It’s a Herculean task to clean the house with so many useless things around. Plan up a cleaning schedule. One room at a time. Not all at once; you will get weary and might want to give up. But keep at it by assigning yourself small manageable tasks. Start with the bigger things. Once the big stuff is out of sight the smaller things are more visible.
When you have sorted the clutter, you can donate the stuff to a place where it can be best utilized. It’s always satisfying to get things recycled and reused.
More specifically, don’t feed your wardrobe too much. It’s unhealthy. Your wardrobe represents your taste and nature. If it’s filled to the brim that means you have complexes and you need help. A few good, decent clothes and just two or three pair of shoes, that looks like the wardrobe of a person who is calm and well settled, happy and content.
It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it, so variety is just a primary factor to look good. If you are relaxed your skin looks radiant and you look attractive even in your same old clothes. Buy new but first get rid of the old ones.
A mission statement
Make rules, whenever your heart tries to flirt with your brain, use your mouth and say this aloud: “I am not a junkyard”. Or “I am simple”. Or “simple is beautiful”.
Choose what suits you. As Confucious said, “life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”