Living alone this year has set me up for a lot of reality checks. For the first time in my life, I have been confronted with all the things that I need to reflect upon and change within myself, in order to grow into an adult who–you knowhas her life together.

Some of these things hit pretty deep; like recovery, spiritual growth, and a shifting heart. And I realize now that there's not much room left in 2018–my grand year of change–for me to add things into. Rather, the challenge is to find the spaces that need a bit of a clearing up.

I've received so many new knowledges over the past 3-4 months. With that being said, I decided to write out the small list of things I've decided to have less of in 2018.

1. spending money on clothes/jewelry
No, I'm not committing to a year without buying any clothes. (When winter comes, a girl still needs her good pair of boots.) But now that I live alone, I no longer find many reasons to go shop for new wardrobe items.

Clearly, being away from my family puts an end to the usual mother-daughter weekend mall runs I have with my mom. But beyond that, this year, I've been sticking to less and less items of clothing in my wardrobe. On the rare occassion that I do shop, I lean more towards collecting basic, quality, staple items you can wear many times sustainably and comfortably. 

I learned that there's a term called building a capsule wardrobe, which is where you commit to only a limited number of clothes to own each season. This, combined, with the True Cost documentary, which sheds light on the damage of consumerism in fast fashion, inspired me a lot to start doing fashion differently.

If you're one of the people who no longer want to have a closet full of items yet still spend too much time trying to decide on what to wear, donating, selling, or just getting rid of the stuff that never becomes your first choice when reaching into the wardrobe is a good idea to simplify your life. If choices waste your time, lessen your choices.

Because in reality, we don't wear most of the stuff we keep, and none of us needs as many items as we think. None of us should desperately need more than two pairs of jeans. None of us needs to have a jacket in five different colours. So once you think about it, we already have more than we need.

2. meat consumption
Another documentary I watched a few weeks ago is titled Cowspiracy. The topic it brought up was about the massive harm of animal agriculture, and how veganism or vegetarianism is actually the most beneficial, ethical way of eating for humans at this day and age.

And I don't disagree. I remain convinced by the facts they brought up. I'm fully aware now that going vegan or vegetarian is a wonderful thing for both animals and the environment. And the rise of climate change makes it even more of a wise path to consider. 

But having been raised in a meat-eating culture, and living in a dominant meat-eating society, I don't know if I could ever fully pursue a life without consuming any meat or animal products. It's a possibility, but I still can't find the bravery to commit and withstand the amount of ridicule that comes along with it. 

What I've been doing, though, is purposefully reducing my meat consumption. Small steps, like how I never cook meat nor buy products that contain meat from the grocery store. I also find myself ordering more vegetarian/vegan options whenever possible. (I tried my first ever vegie burger this year and I surprisingly preferred that over any other real burger I've had in my life.)

This is achievable because I live in a city where vegetarian options can be found nearly everywhere. I try to keep track of my "meatless days" through my journal, going as far as four-day streaks, and aiming for even longer periods of time without it. Again, I'm starting small, but I do believe in the veganism movement. If it could create a better world, then surely, I'm all for it. Even though I'm not fully pledging to the lifestyle (yet?), it's good to start by deliberately making changes in my lifestyle that can support it.

3. diet culture talk
I'll say this once and very clearly; this third thing has nothing to do with how or what I eat. But it has everything to do with how I approach eating, and how I carry myself in discussions or conversations surrounding eating.

The truth is, I've had enough of diet culture. 

I've had enough of girls casually self-deprecating themselves, solely because of their food choices or exercise routine or weight or body shapes. I've had enough of the diet industry, marketing a thousand fat-loss apps and detox teas that none of us actually need. I've had enough of a culture that worships and adores skinny super model bodies as if these goddesses aren't 60% Photoshop. I've had enough of girls being paralyzed by their fear of getting fat. 

I've had enough of a culture that constantly tries to tell a girl how to eat so that she can be accepted as beautiful.

Not saying that I disregard health. I know one has to live healthy and take care of the body properly, but the diet culture that has dominated our society today is damaging, and couldn't be further away from "healthy". 

There's a significant rise in the diet industry, yet a steady decline in health statistics. The rates of obesity and eating disorders are both worsening simultaneously. Young girls these days already know they want to look thin, before they even know what career they want when they grow up. 

Because society has developed such a strenuous relationship with food and health, I feel like this third thing might be the most important act I'm taking. I've decided to stop pitching in to conversations that promote diet culture. When people say things like, "I need to lose weight." "Look at her body, she's so thin and perfect." "What's the least fattening thing on this menu?" "I'm so stressed out I feel so fat.", I simply refuse to engage. If it gets intense, I simply find another circle to share different conversations with. 

I choose to stay silent and not make any commentaries on someone's appearance, weight, or eating patterns. I choose not to encourage anyone who sounds like they're becoming overly fixated on how their body looks. To stop cultivating the idea that there is a perfect way to look and eat and feel that we must all follow, because after years of struggling, I've found that there isn't. 

(I have very strong feelings regarding this issue, but it'll be lengthy and I will write about them some other time. But in the meantime, if you want to educate yourself on what diet culture is, try this article, or this one.)

Actively trying to pursue the things I have on this list and incorporate them into my overall mindset and lifestyle have been a progress, but I'm enjoying every single second of it. Personally I find these things to be the most doable and sustainable, both for me and for my surroundings. 

I guess what each of these really stand for is


Practicing the art of not taking more than you need. Of appreciating what you've been privileged enough to have, while still allowing yourself to live a life with small, simple pleasures that you can still enjoy amidst that.

If you don't know where to start, just look within. What are some things you can start saying goodbye to this 2018? What are the things that occupy your space (either emotional, physical, or mental space) but do not benefit you? What's hindering your growth to become the person you want to be, and what can you do to put an end to it?

I hope this inspires you to learn to live with less. Also, I hope you remember that you can trust your intuition. And that you can start today.

You can always start today.