Keeping the Possessions Minimal, but Not My Interests.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAVJAAAAJDY2ZTI5OTNiLTA1YWMtNGEzMS05ZTljLTUzNmRlZTE0YjE1YgSometimes people think (and I think) I’m contradicting myself because I choose to live a minimalist lifestyle with less clothes, less makeup and overall less possessions. Yet, my interests are not minimalistic at all. I’m currently interested in writing: blogging, creative writing and handwriting/lettering.

But I also like to read and talk about psychology, the environment, sustainability, sewing& embroidery, botany & gardening, cooking & nutrition. Not to forget I work full time as an English instructor and I love teaching. And I’m almost sure I forgot to mention a few some.

My old (though somewhat related) interests were in playing the guitar (which I decided to sell as I wasn’t playing for nearly a decade), knitting and crocheting, animal rights, social anthropology, sociology, and political sciences. Last but not least, I also want to learn (and feel the need to learn) more about positive sciences. I’m regretful that I hated Math and Physics in high school.

Does a person who wants to lead a minimalist life style need to keep their interests to minimum? I definitely don’t think so as the whole idea behind minimalism is to keep what matters and what is valuable. So it pretty much depends on the person.

But then again, I sometimes feel guilty that instead of excelling in one particular skill, I tend to go back and forth between these areas, and knowledge and skills  grow slowly. It feels like I need to have a life purpose yet I don’t. Wouldn’t life be easier for me if I just tried to excel in teaching? I sometimes wonder.

However, recently I came across a term, coined by Emilie Wapnick:

Multipotentiality

“An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.”

She also has a fantastic TED talk:

She simply describes those of us who has many interests shouldn’t blame themselves, or be afraid and discouraged. Even if you lose your curiosity in one subject and be a beginner many, many times in your life, you use all your accumulated skills and knowledge and bring a new perspective to your new areas. So in a way, you are always a beginner, but because of your complicated history, you are never a beginner.

This really makes sense to me because as separate as they may seem, all of my interests feed into each other, and help me lead a more meaningful life every single day. I can relate to most of my students, who are studying at different departments, because one time in my life I delved into their profession in one way or another.

Sometimes I decide to quit one of these areas altogether, as in the case of the guitar, and I feel a bit guilty about that too. But after watching Emilie’s talk, I realized practising classical guitar taught me rhythm and mathematics, as well as  how to appreciate music. It introduced me to great musicians as well. So I’m always grateful for that. I don’t want to go back in time and become a master guitarist, though, I just wasn’t meant to be one. I didn’t have the motivation that my teacher had, for example, practising four to six hours everyday. I was too busy researching some other area I found mind-opening.

Learning that there are a lot of people like me is a relief. Learning that multipotentiality is not a burden but a gift made me more confident in pursuing my endeavours (or starting new ones, does learning really end anyway?).

Do you feel you are a multipotentialite, too? Or is specializing in one area more of your thing?

image source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-multipotentialite-judi-umali-rajkumar ( a good reading piece too if you’re into it)

you can also visit: puttylike.com (Emilie’s website)

5 things to be before you die

In a creative writing book, one of the prompts was to write “5 things to do before you die”. Five isn’t a big number, that’s why you  need to put only the biggest dreams there. You can’t put “not so sure” kind of dreams in a list of five.

At the beginning of the list, I wrote “publishing my novel or stories”. Then I thought, what if it happens? Will I accomplish my dream when I get to publish one book? That didn’t sound right. Or one of my biggest dreams was to travel to Japan. Hopefully I’ll realize it this month, then what? And when I thought further, I really couldn’t find any goals or things worth “doing” before I die.

So I blamed myself for having no dreams, no passion. But the problem wasn’t with me, it was with the question. The word “to do” indicated a process which is fated to end. If you say “to be”, however, the things you’ll write can be more extensive and more meaningful. And as long as you live, your dream doesn’t have an ending. You can keep on “being”. With this in mind, I prepared a list of five things to be before I die.

  1. To be a writer. A blogger, a novelist, or any kind of writing that I can’t imagine for the time being.
  2. To be a traveler.
  3. To be a minimalist, living intentionally.
  4. To be consistent with my beliefs and principles.
  5. To be a master of yoga (having it as a part of my life)

Now this list feels right!

And not to forget:

Style Matters (but not the size of your wardrobe)

style

I really can’t say I’ve found my style yet, a style that I can keep for years. Or rather, I’m denying my jeans & basic t-shirt style and hoping that I’ll come up with something chic (or I’ll be a cool grandma who’s still wearing jeans and a star wars t-shirt). Meanwhile, I adore people with style, people who follow a timeless fashion.

In an earlier post, I talked about fashion designers like Micheal Kors and Vera Wang, who stick with black in their wardrobe. Today I’d like to turn to Royal Family and the “repeaters” that I like a lot!

princess anne

Princess Anne, the only daughter of the Queen is definitely my favourite, she likes wearing the same outfits with small changes again and again, and here is one outfit that I love. She first wore this marvelous lavender coat with a matching hat in 1979, and has worn it to several occasions since. Her outfits are probably made from the finest material and with great design and tailoring involved, why waste them, right? This coat is definitely timeless fashion. If you want to see her other outfits that she’s wearing again and again, you can check this newspaper article out.

12717700_758802920921271_7437587303452081329_n

Princess Kate also follows Anne’s footsteps, and she’s getting lots of attention for it, like everything she does. I remember how the media blamed Kate  for wearing skinny jeans! (I thought she looks great in them too.) She is on the newspaper no matter what she does, so if she chooses to do nice things everyone knows about it. I’m not British, but maybe because I teach English for a living, I’ve always thought the Royal Family is a huge influence on today’s society. They are big role models, along with superstars and scientists and politicians. So I really appreciate these two princesses’ styles and hope we can learn from them. Being thrifty and frugal is not only for the commoners! 😀

Things I said Goodbye This Week

This week I said goodbye to my guitar, which has a sentimental value but has never been used for the last seven years. It’s been sitting at my parents’ house, sadly. I remember the first time I started to play when I was twelve; I had a very cheap guitar, but I was quite eager. I even filled my journal pages saying that it was my only friend. Ovsn853792er the years, however, after I saved some money and bought a Yamaha, I realized I wasn’t made for playing the guitar. I could write, or cook for hours for example, but I couldn’t stand guitar practice for more than an hour. So I slowly stopped playing it, and this photo is from 2009, when I almost never played the guitar.

I asked a friend of mine, who is a musician, what to do with it, and he said he can gladly buy it. As a matter of fact, he needed a classical guitar. I sold it for a symbolic price, after all, what matters is that he is going to use it far better than I did, and it will make the guitar happy.

 

The second thing I said goodbye to is eight books. Two of these, I realized I will never read them again. Two of them, I realized I had the original English copy of the book, and these img_0997are the translation. I never liked the other four anyway. So I put them on the Freecycle group of the university I’m working at,
and in a minute, I gave them all away.

We fill our homes with items saying “what if” to ourselves. What if I play the guitar again? What if I read this book again? What if my grandchildren want to read this book? We even imagine these items as our legacy, we see our grandchildren using them as a memory. In reality, no grandchildren will keep 500 books just because they inherited them. They will most likely keep the ones of utmost value. So I believe even if we keep some items as legacy, we must keep the best of them and in the best condition.

 

 

5 Reasons to Prefer Short Hair

Even a very simple choice such as a haircut can change one’s daily routine greatly. Here are my top reasons why I prefer short hair.

crkqtgqgqx0-tamarcus-brown

1. It’s practical.

You need minimum time and effort when styling short hair. Even with very stubborn hair like mine, all I need is a straightener and it takes 5 minutes at most. But for most, it’s just wash and go.

k_4a59mzzty-binh-ly

2. You don’t need that many hair products.

When my hair gets longer, it tends to tangle and shred, and makes me worry and run to the drugstore like most women. But with a bob-style haircut, all I need is a small amount of shampoo. And now that I’ve found the right shampoo after many tries, I’m in heaven.

hxctvxljrwi-aidan-meyer3. You need less accessories.

Of course I need pins and stuff, but when my hair is long I tend to tie it, which means my husband will find hair bands everywhere in the house, and it drives him crazy. So less hair, less mess.

4i7-mcm7xsy-jens-lindner

4. Less hair loss

Less hair, less mess again. When my husband or I skip going to the salon for a couple of months, our house is filled with hair! Gross, and I did a little bit googling about the fact. It turns out many people experience it, but there is little evidence to suggest that longer hair shreds more. Maybe it’s because they just break in the middle, or they stand out as they are longer. It may also because of tying the hair, which I do a lot. But when I have a bob haircut, I almost never shed any hair.

0b73d34bc373c1ee29654fd4aeba1be8

5. It looks cool!

Some people worry that they won’t look beautiful without long hair. You never know, most people who have the guts to have their hair cut look much younger and cooler in my opinion.

As my teenage role model was Dolores O’riordan, I always thought short hair was much beautiful and interesting than long, except for Alanis Morissette of course. She should never cut her hair! 😀

alanis-morissette-005

I hope this inspired you to try out a new hairstyle next time you go to the salon!

all images except Dolores and Alanis are taken from unsplash.com, a place for free photos.

17 Before 2017- and thoughts on 2016

Earlier in September, I set seventeen goals for myself to accomplish before 2017 starts. Here is what it looked like:

 

img_0728

November and December was crazy at work, so I can’t say I was great at making all of these goals come true. Let’s see how it went:

Goals 1 to 4: Minimalism

These were the goals related to my minimalism journey. Although my kitchen and vanity are quite compact as they are, I wanted to declutter them once again. However, apart from giving away empty jars and throwing away unused make-up, I haven’t been quite successful in these.

And again, although I know what to wear pretty much every day, I couldn’t set a time to organize my wardrobe just for work. I do love my winter sweaters, though!

My fourth goal was to finish 7 skincare and make-up products before 2017. I finished 2 of them, threw away 2, and working on the other 3.

 

Goals 5-9: Mind Goals

These are goals related mostly with mind. I started a novel about 4 years ago but never touched it for 3 years until I went back this year. But I am not sure if I like it anymore. I am like 5000 words in, and I’ll maybe go on, maybe not. Anyway, I would like to write an independent short story no matter what happens in my novel journey.

This is what I set out on. I’m proud to say that I wrote more than one story, in fact, I wrote 3 stories and I’m working on the 4th one. Plus, I registered for a creative writing course, which has been my highlight of the year.

FutureLearn: I managed to finish three courses at FutureLearn, which has been so great and informative. The courses are: Nutrition and Well-being, Start Writing Fiction and Mindfulness for Well-being and Peak Performance. These courses are given every two or three months, they are entirely free and given by professors all around the world, and are interactive so you get to participate in a lot of discussions. I strongly recommend the platform and these courses in particular.

In addition to writing, I wanted to read 50 books, but I could only finish 29. This is pretty big for me, I had set a rather impossible goal anyways.

And for my blog:

My blog of course is among my goals. Keeping a record here really helps me put things in perspective. Right now I have 100 followers, I want to double it by the end of the year.

I couldn’t spare much time on blogging since October, so I am a bit disappointed with myself. I have only 53 posts and 134 followers at the moment, which isn’t much progress since September. I hope I can work more on it in 2017.

Goal 10: Job

I started my new job on January 6th, and towards the New Year the committee will decide whether I will be permanent or not. Fingers crossed!

I have my final examination on Wednesday, so still fingers crossed!

Goals 11-14: Health

 

Oh I feel so guilty about this! I haven’t had my check-up, nor did I practice much yoga.

Goal 15: Crafts

I did finish the table cloth I started! Here is a close-up:

humming

Goals 16-17: Spirit

I’m still working on making meditation a daily habit. I think my main problem is that my days can be unpredictable, so it can be difficult to set a routine. But I am hopeful 2017 will be a better year for me to practice more mindfulness.

And last but not least, finishing the year in gratitude is so important to me. This year has been both challenging and rewarding for me. I got into a new job, and I went through a very interesting training process. Some parts of it I loved (like getting to know yourself first and being more mindful), while some parts I couldn’t really make sense. Serenity was my key word last year, yet I was more stressed than ever. Still, it is very interesting for me to see that every passing year I am growing as a teacher and a person, and it feels like I am getting more self-confident. I make more conscious choices, and behave more responsibly. I guess I have become an adult without even realizing!

As I am writing these, I am worried as well as excited for 2017. It hasn’t been a good beginning in Turkey (mass shooting at a night club in İstanbul) and it seems we can’t escape terrorism: it’s in our daily lives now. It is very distressing to live with it and go to public places, as there has been 3 massive suicide bombings in Ankara, where I live. There has been students in my school who lost their lives at the age of 18. It is just hope sometimes that keeps you alive, so my wish for the new year is to never stop hoping.

No-Spend November: Final Update

November was one busy and difficult month for me. I had so many responsibilities at work that I wasn’t surprised that sometimes I forgot about I wasn’t buying anything in November on some days. I wish that we had some sort of a winter break here in Turkey, but even New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday. Here is a handwritten report on how November was:

15193475_10154188508411325_6851593492867023161_n

So, I made 5 purchases in total:

1. an iPhone 6S. I wasn’t sure about it, but it turns out I like my new iPhone a lot, but I have to agree I miss BlackBerry Hub and the awesome BlackBerry keyboard. I’m still not on good terms with iOS keyboard and autocorrect, especially when I  write half-Turkish half-English and don’t check what I wrote before posting. I did send some meaningless texts!

img_0844

2. A red block note for my mother-in-law. She loved it and was looking for a way to make it a permanent notebook by writing quotes or verses in it.

3. Teacher’s day gift for my teacher trainer: A journal and a nice pen in a box.

4. Rhodia pad (A6 size): I am so happy about this notebook. The paper is the stuff dreams are made of!

img_0223

 

5. and finally, some cartridges for my Platinum Preppy.  (and in the photo you’ll see my beautiful Christmas plant that decided to blossom a month before Christmas)

When I set out, I had 5 criteria for things I won’t be buying this month and yeah, stationery was one of them. Apparently I spend much more money on stationery in a regular month, but although I was mindfully trying to keep out, I couldn’t. Even the two gifts I bought this month are notebooks and pens. I knew I liked paper and pen and ink all right, but this challenge helped me see this is my weak spot.

Awareness is the key, after all.

You go girl!

15032097_10157905518130393_2204106549265326375_n.png

Oyuncu Shailene Woodley diyor ki: “Özellikle kullanılmış giysiler alıyorum. Ben bu gezegenin bir vatandaşı olacağım, ve sorumluluklarımı yerine getirip, doğayla sürekli savaşmaktansa onunla barışık yaşayacağım.”

Keşke Türkiye’de de ikinci el giyinme yaygınlaşsa!

No Spend November Update

photo-1444760134166-9b8f7d0fc038.jpgIt is mid-November, so I thought I might share my no-spend experiences with you.

In my original post, I especially wanted to avoid online shopping and shopping for clothes, so I completely managed that. It was no big deal because on weekdays, I get almost no stimulants about shopping. My typical day is driving from home to work, work to home.

I live in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, which has no tourist attractions other than malls. Little shops are about to be history, so it is quite usual for some people to go to a mall every day. Although I hate malls, sometimes I just have to, so I went to the mall twice so far this month. In the first trip last week, I had almost forgotten that I was on no-spend because actually, I hadn’t spent any money on something other than food. So I ended up impulse-buying a gift for my mother-in-law. She loves notebooks and she loves small checks. She also loves the red color. When I saw this notebook which has all of them, I could not resist buying! Only after I got home, I realized I was on a no-spend challenge. If I’d remembered in the shop, I wouldn’t have gotten it. In my second trip to the mall, I was completely aware so I just went to the market for grocery shopping.

To be honest, the small notebook was nothing compared to my (well, my husband’s but we share the same budget) next purchase, an Iphone! I was getting really frustrated with my BlackBerry, which I loved but lately the news that the new BB phones will run on Android, and not BB10 really disappointed me. This also means that there will no longer be app designers for BlackBerry, and no updates, also recently they decided not to work with Whatsapp as of 2017. Not to mention they don’t run Facebook, WordPress or Instagram apps either, and the maps are terrible lately. Then what is the use of a smartphone, I thought. OK, it is a reliable phone, never crashes, and Hub is awesome but the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.

img_0844

My husband, traveling to Dubai every month, offered to sell my BlackBerry Z30 and get me an Iphone there (which is much cheaper than in Turkey). Luckily, we sold my phone pretty quickly, and now I have a brand new 6S. I really resisted for years not to get a pricey phone, but I hate Android, BB10 is dead, and I had two options: Either go for a no-brain cellphone like Nokia 3310, or go for Apple. I hope I won’t be disappointed by my choice.

So that’s it. My one small and  one big purchase other than food, bills and gas. I hope I will keep it this way until the end of November. And yes, Black Friday is also a thing now in Turkey, but I have no plans in participating! 🙂