Are You Drowning in Stuff?

I moved house recently, which is fun and exciting but also rather tiring and draining. During the time-consuming and painful process of packing and relocating my things, I came to the realisation that I have accumulated a lot of stuff. A lot of clothes, a lot of shoes, a lot of books, stationary, jewellery and basically just a lot of meaningless crap.

Now, considering I am basically a gypsy, having officially moved seven times in the past five years (did I mention I like change?), in which each time I managed to significantly eliminate the quantity of useless junk I own, I have to admit that I’m kind of surprised, and frankly embarrassed, by the amount of unnecessary shit I have somehow still retained.

Seriously, the volume of virtually unused and (for the most part) unloved clothing that I found hiding away in my drawers or squished to the back of my closet was ridiculous. Yet for some reason I felt it necessary to keep hold of it all ‘just in case I wear it again’. Well, that ‘just in case’ moment never seemed to occur, and so this time I sucked it up and chucked it all straight into the good Sammy’s pile.

I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder. I don’t really have that much stuff and I don’t buy things very often. Yet whilst packing up my life, I did feel a strange and unjustified connection to some of the things I have accumulated. An unwarranted attachment to books I had never read and necklaces I’d never worn. Each time another item was ditched in the bin or thrown towards the salvos collection, I felt some momentary grief. It stung a little bit. I was hesitant to part ways. Though not because I was mourning the loss of that pair of high waisted denim shorts. Nope. I felt sadness for all the money that had been wasted over superficial crap. All the money that I was basically just throwing away. All the money that could’ve been put towards better things.

Better things like travelling and experiences. Exploring and chasing adventures. Weekend road trips, spontaneous mid-week outings and dinners with friends. All the stuff that create lasting memories, not just collect dust in the back of a cupboard somewhere. That’s what I believe life is all about- collecting moments, not things.

It was money that could have helped feed a homeless man on the street or rescued a stray puppy or provided a water well for an entire village in a third-world country. Yet it was money just sitting in my wardrobe achieving nothing, providing no purpose, collecting dust.

It makes me angry. Both at myself and at society. Angry that I wasted so much money on useless possessions, but mostly angry that we live in a world where such a huge importance is placed on materialistic things. We are a society ruled by consumerism. We want our houses to resemble a photograph in an interior design magazine. We spend money on new outfits, only to wear them once. We are constantly upgrading to the newest technology when what we already have works perfectly fine.

Why do we do it? Why do we feel the need to dress up our lives in sparkles and glitter? Western society has put unrealistic expectations on us to always be, look and have the best of everything. Social media, with its #fitspo models, online clothing boutiques and sponsored posts is hugely to blame too. Instagram and Facebook encourage us to become fixated on appearance and possessions. Social media makes us become aware of products we didn’t even know about, yet suddenly we need them.

It’s easy to get sucked up in it all. Become victim to the way of the world. It surrounds us everywhere we go. It is constantly in our face – consciously and subconsciously. But I guess we each, as individuals need to decide what is more important to us? Stuff or unforgettable experiences? Having an amazing wardrobe or helping others?

Here’s some fuel for thought…

No one is going to stand up at your funeral and say, “She had a really expensive couch and great shoes.” Don’t make your life be about materialistic stuff.

That right there, sums it all up.

Love Elo xx

You know you’re getting old when.

Look, it’s no secret that I am a bit of an old biddie. I don’t like going out and I hate dressing up. I’d choose a night in over a night out, brunch over dinner and bed over bars any day. It’s just how I roll.

I might still be lingering around the mid 20’s mark but sometimes I act more like I’m in my mind 40’s. I’m totally ok with my hermit, fuddy-duddy lifestyle, but lately I’ve realised that SHIT, I really am getting old! And I know I’m not the only one to have this revelation. Here are a few thoughts all of us mid-20-year-olds have had on more than one occasion.

You know you are getting old when…

1. You’ve gone from drinking Vodka lime and sodas to red wine by the bottle. And you enjoy it.

2. The first thing you do when you arrive at a party is survey the room for all exits so you can safely ‘phantom’ outta there later.

3. Everything hurts. All the time. And not because you worked out yesterday. It’s just your body slowly giving up.

4. Netflix and chill literally means, Netflix and chill.

5. A good weekend is judged by how productive it is and how many things get crossed off the to-do list. Not by how much socialising you do.

6. On the rare occasion you do head out, you feel like the most overdressed and under manicured person there. Short skirts, cleavage and full faces of make-up everywhere!

7. New homewares brings you more excitement than new clothes.

8. The bulk of your wardrobe is made up of jeans, trackies and activewear. If someone asks you to come out on a whim you’ll likely rock up in your Lorna Jane.

9.  Someone suggests going out mid-week and your first thought is, ‘Go out on a school night? Is this a joke?!’

10. If it hits 9pm and you’re not already in bed with your face washed, teeth brushed and pj’s on, you genuinely start to rethink how things ended up this way.

11. FOMO? More like JOMO (joy of missing out).

12. There are more foam rollers and trigger point balls in your house than there are people living there. They’ve even developed a permanent little posse.

13. You don’t even no what it’s like to be awake after midnight anymore. And the only time you see the sunrise is when you wake up for it.

14. You barely do anything all day but you still need a afternoon nap.

15. Those wrinkles under your eyes and around your mouth aren’t just laugh lines anymore. Those bastards stick around even when you a resting bitch face. Not cute.

16. You wake up early on your days off and not by choice.

17. Your ideal Saturday night consists of comfy clothes, a movie and bed.

18. You stop celebrating your birthday and let it go under the radar each year.

And that right there, is 18 signs you know you are getting old. Can I get a raise of hands of those who can relate?

Love Elo xx

I’m an Introvert Trapped in an Extroverted Personality

You know those people who love to fill every minute of their down time with plans? Those who live for the weekends, to go out and be social? Dinner with the girls Friday night, drinks and dancing Saturday night and beach all day with the crew Sunday? You know, the people who see the weekend as an opportunity to be as social as possible.

Well, I am not one of those people.

The other day I was speaking to a work colleague when I mentioned to her that I am an introvert.

“No you’re not!” She exclaimed in shock – half expecting me to say I was joking. “You are far too sociable and outgoing to be an introvert. You are definitely an extrovert,” she protested.

Firstly, you don’t know me! Secondly, thank you for the lovely compliments. But thirdly, you’re wrong! I am an introvert.

I totally understand why she would say that though. I am bubbly and animated. I am friendly, happy and I pretty much always smiling or laughing. I generally have a lot of energy and have on many occasions been likened to an excitable puppy. (Think golden retriever pup discovering it’s tail for the first time). I can also be pretty chatty. Very chatty in fact. To anyone from the outside looking in, I am a lively little extrovert.

I may not appear to fit the stereotypical mould of what is perceived as a classic ‘introvert’, but truthfully I am.

You see, people have a bit of a confused perception of what it really means to be an introvert. Introverts are shy. Introverts don’t like people. Introverts always want to be alone. These are just some of the myths people believe about introverts. However, what really makes a person an introvert or extrovert is how they obtain their energy. Generally, extroverts thrive in social situations. They are energised by being around people. This is the opposite of introverts, who are energised by being alone.

And that’s exactly why I fit into the latter category.

When the weekend comes, I am the person who gets excited to hermit for two days straight. To roll myself up in a blanket burrito and watch a movie. Not much makes me happier than doing a whole lot of nothing with me,myself and I. (Other than doing a whole lot of nothing with my man). That’s my idea of bliss. Mention a night out of drinking or a party of more than 10 people and I am basically spun into a spiral of social anxiety. Those are the sort of things that exhaust me. Drain me. Not necessarily physically, but mentally.

Extroverts love being surrounded by people. They are generally the life of the party and don’t mind being the centre of attention. They feel energised by group interactions and get bored easily on their own. Introverts… not so much. Introverts think a lot and require their alone time to recharge and process life’s happenings. It’s not that we are anti-social or shy or even loners. It’s just that is how we roll.

In large social situations like parties, events or anything that involves a room full of strangers, introverts can become overwhelmed, anxious and uncomfortable. I for one, recluse in these scenarios and feel as if I cannot be my true self. What introverts need is a reason to interact. We don’t interact just for the sake of it. We think for ourselves and just want everyone to be real and honest. Making small talk doesn’t come naturally. We won’t say anything unless we have something to say. But get us chatting about something we are interested in or passionate about and we won’t shut up! It’s all about one-on-one quality time with close friends and like-minded individuals.

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Truth is, most people aren’t 100% extroverted or 100% introverted. You can be an extrovert who has introverted qualities or an introvert that has extroverted qualities. It basically comes down to how you recharge your energy? Do you need to be around others or do you require solo time to renergise? Do you feel bored when you are on your own or do you live for those moments?

If you are interested in finding out more about introversion and extroversion I suggest reading the book Quiet by Susan Cain. You can even do this personality test to see where you sit on the scale. (This test is what confirmed to me, exactly what I suspected all this time… I am an extroverted-introvert)

Love Elo xx

 

Photograph by @jypsea_