Here at Preen, we’re fully aware that adult life doesn’t always go as smoothly (and look as beautiful) as curated Instagram feeds. We all face challenges amidst all the good things. Meet Mikka Wee, a former food editor-turned-working gal in Singapore, who’s about to share all the ups and downs that come with adulting and living. Welcome to Bless This Mess!
As part of my goal to live this year with a minimalist mindset, I’ve been doing a lot of research on tips and tricks that help me stick to my vision—or at least, keep on track. It’s been a month and a half since 2018 rolled in, and to tell you the truth, not shopping for clothes has been easier than I thought. I can recount two instances when I was so tempted to shop: 1) At Tokyo’s GU, which is Uniqlo’s sister company and 2) during Chinese New Year, I slipped inside Mango and saw the cutest polo shirt studded with dogs! Other than that, I’m okay. However, I’ve become more attuned to where I spend my money that I noticed an increase in spending on other things. I had a Kindle spree before my honeymoon, and I bought quite a lot of Tita stuff during my trip to Japan—lots of face masks, eye masks, muscle relaxers, and moisturizers, to name a few. I also bought a few journaling knick-knacks such as post-its and stickers—I also gave into buying a Hobonichi—but nothing new in my closet, apart from some tees Andre got me in Japan.
I read somewhere that it’s such an irony how living “minimally” prompts most of us to actually spend more. Things often described as “minimalist” are in fact, quite pricey (hello, MUJI!). And in this consumerist age, we’re also all about living to the fullest. We like to accumulate different things—whether it is knowledge, skills, or even wealth. As much as we don’t want to admit it, quite a number of us, me included, are obsessed about “living wider,” or expanding our personal Product Information labels. Especially as millennials, we are expert Jacks and Janes of all trades. The formation of hybrid careers is evidence that we are indeed a multi-talented, multi-tasking bunch, and we thrive in these diverse, inter-disciplinary roles because we get to combine jobs we like and excel in them.
So here’s the kicker: what if, instead of living wider, we live deeper this 2018?
What if, instead of buying new books, we focus on devouring what’s currently on our shelves (Kindle books included!)? What if, instead of shifting to a new workout in June, focus first on your unlimited annual yoga subscription? What if, instead of learning a new hobby, develop and enrich yourself in the current one you’re fine-tuning?
There’s always a nice tone to starting something new. Whether it’s a new skill (e.g. painting) or a new language (e.g. learning Japanese), the idea of having something fresh enter your life is also a confidence booster, especially when we start posting about it in our social media feeds and getting hundreds of likes for finally learning how to make handmade pasta, when we have been so focused on learning how to make croissants for the past few months.
So another goal that I’d like to add to my 2018 list is that I’d like to build within my limits—this means, focusing on deepening skills that I already have or am trying to improve such as yoga and meditation, or reading the thirty books I have in my bookshelf and in my Kindle shelf instead of jumping into say, a spinning class or buying new reads when I have quite a backlog to catch up on.
It will be a test in discipline, patience, determination, and creativity. Instead of trying new things, digging deeper is what I’ll do. I guess, in a way, it’s going to be good practice in staying grounded even when the lure to jump into the next best thing is quite tempting. And while the idea of accumulating new things (both tangible and intangible) is very attractive, I believe that gaining a deeper appreciation of what we already have has its merits as well. I’m actually challenged to do this because sticking to one thing has never been my strongest suit. Whenever I find a new hobby, I immediately want to try it out, then when I can bored, I move on to the next. I also have a ton of different apps that serve the same purpose on my phone—I have several apps for yoga and several for meditation. I started taking photos with my film camera late last year, and now, I am curious to try using a drone. I like knowing that I can do a bit of everything, but this year, I’d like to know that I can do some things well, and attempting to grow and be a better person based on what I already have sounds quite fun…so let’s see how this goes.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Lara Intong