Over the last few months, I felt kind of reductive – in that I have been paring back what I own and what I do.
In physical form – it has been decluttering, sorting, tidying and tying up loose ends, withdrawing from seeing people who don’t nourish me; giving up various volunteer work things.
In mental form – it has been ceasing doing things I no longer want to do, saying no more, doing less generally and trying to rest more.
Now, I feel like I’ve hit the zenith of that paring back and am feeling at a sort of bare, barren place – I can sense change ahead, but I’m not sure of its form. There is only so much reducing I can do before I go off and become a nun, or something. It’s time to put some things back in the basket.
This is me trying to work out what all this means…
I am liking less and less:
-social media; volunteer work; spending time listening to people who aren’t capable of returning the gift of listening and don’t really care about me; socialising for the sake of socialising; crappy over-packaged, processed food; passive aggressive nonsense from anyone; the writing scene and what it can do to people’s heads; the ‘more is more’ approach to life; exhausting type-A people who can’t be still; only having two days a week to do as I wish.
I am liking more and more:
-silence; quiet family weekends; reading a good book instead of a facebook; devoted discipline; yoga yoga yoga yoga; friends who can a) listen deeply and b) give good useful advice; honest direct dialogue; the genuine; space – in my day, in my mind; simple vegetarian food; the notion of self-employment; relaxed, honest people who know how to rest and how to care for themselves; integrity.
I spent a lot of time in my twenties and thirties trying to be good, trying to be nice, trying to be helpful, trying to ‘build community’; trying to be all things to lots of people, trying to achieve certain things, only to achieve them and discover that – wherever you go, there you are – they mean very little.
I think my forties is going to be about being real.
I also think ‘real’ and ‘nice’ are not necessarily compatible.