I have always wondered why everybody I knew seemed to have a craving for a “simple life” yet none of them ever achieved the feat after so many years of wanting or trying to obtain it. My aunt, for example, have always told me since I was little that when the time comes for her to have a family, she’d want all of them to live in a cozy home with a very beautiful -yet simple- backyard that’s enough for her children to run around with. Her family having a good health and having a stable job would be enough for her, she said, and that she would never ask for more. Come 13 years later where she already has a kid in primary and middle school. Her life is absolutely far from what she have dreamed of. Today, she’s running around the New York with countless meetings and conferences. Her family does not live in a cozy home with a beautiful backyard but rather in a very exhilarating Manhattan apartment with a beautiful view of the cityscape. She’s still living her life with far less valid things to complain with, but my question is, what happened to the simplicity she was yearning?
Simplicity is a word that has no definite meaning nor extent. A simple life for me would mean having just enough cash to get a cheap travel once or twice a year, a car enough to transport me to where I want to go, a home where my heart is, and someone who would love me through good and bad times. Whilst some people will say that travelling is a luxury and so is a car that needs maintaining. My definition of simplicity is not simple at all for them. And because of that fact, it is safe to assume that we ourselves is the best judge on matters of having a simple life.
But why is it so hard to achieve? I have given much though about this issue since I started living on my own here in Brooklyn but it took me years to sort it out. The problem, maybe, is that we are trying to achieve it. Now, the main point of simplicity is being satisfied and yet we are not satisfied with what we have right now. We want it to be simpler, more efficient, more healthy, more slow or more lovely. We read countless articles online, subscribe to a sophisticated gym to have a healthier lifestyle, enroll in yoga classes to feel good about ourselves, remodel our houses in a more “simple” way and ofcourse, we do the hobby that we loved doing ever since. What we forget about is the reality that is called life. We’ve got bills to pay and we need real food to eat that is why inserting these “simpler and better” things would mean more cash spending and more time consuming. We have school, we have jobs and we need to do certain stuff in order for us to survive in this world. Because of the lack of time and funds, we get stressed out and we start hating on our lifestyle thus making our life miserable bacause we know the fact that we can’t escape this lifestyle. Not right now. Not until we get what we want in life and not until we can afford the time and money we need to have in order to achieve a “simple life.” You work your heart out saving money for the hopes that when you get that certain bank digit, you can finally have a life without problems and you can finally do yoga without thinking of the next food you need to serve on the table. You fail to realize that you are growing older everytime your money is getting bigger. At the end of the day, when you finally have those sums of cash and time in our hands, you will realize that none of it matters anymore. Why? It’s ’cause you’re already old and you have no use of it. Your youthful body got wasted for your future self to have a “simple life.” Now that you have it, you don’t know what to do with it. You go to the gym because your doctor told you so not because you want a holistic life. You read online articles and instead of reading stuff about simplifying life, you gaze a view on those articles that dictates what you should’ve done when you were in your twenties or thirties and think, “I’m 50 now. Why haven’t I thought of doing those stuff when I still have the energy?”
What we need to do is to stop making our present lives the slaves of our future selves. We should just embrace our lives at present because all of the things that happened to it is our doing. If we lived our lives listening to our mother, brother, priest, boyfriend, bestfriend, husband or even the president and then one day we regret the decisions that we made, well there’s no one to blame but ourselves! And we need to stop doing that. We need to stop blaming things on other people, especially on ourselves. We need to embrace what we have now and love it, instead of hoping and wishing that we get to live a life we saw on an article. We need to accept our lives and stop thinking that we have no choice. We always have a choice! We’re just too scared and comfortable to take risks because we’re not sure what the outcome would be. If you do not love your job, quit it. If you hate your friends for always saying negative things towards you, tell them. Just be true to yourself and simplicity will come knocking at your doorstep before you know it. Because with everything that’s stated here in this post, simpicity as a matter of fact, is just another word for satisfaction.
I hope you, the person who is reading this, is living the life you wanted for yourself. If not, then I hope you have the strength to start anew. And when you do start, make sure you do not make decisions when you’re angry or sad nor should you make promises when you are happy. Before you start making and creating life-changing decisions, sleep on it for a week, for a month, or even for a year if that will make things better. We need to remember that the decisions that we make in our lives shouldn’t slowly poison us to our graves.
You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.
-(John Green, Paper Towns)
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