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Carolyn Keep

Simplicity vs. City

Lately I feel like I’m living dual lives and I’ve been really pondering upon which one I truly prefer. One where the superficial things are fun (truly, they are and I’m very grateful for them) - Those nice things in life, fashion, eating out, having a reason to get dressed up, going to events, playing ladies, earning my keep, deadlines – the stuff that costs money, and sometimes a lot of it, the stuff that earns you money, just so you can spend it…I guess it’s the whole ‘independent woman, got this thing called SASS down’ part of life you could say.

Then, there’s the other life I live, generally in weekends only – The one where I long for simplicity, for a life clutter free with less ‘stuff’, calmer, full of spur of the moment adventures that cost close to nothing at all, no make-up, no dreaming of shopping and what I want to buy next, no care about what I wake up looking like, and lots of picnics and sunsets and active wear.

Can you have “life #2” for longer than 2 days a week when you live in the City? I’m not so sure. It’s traffic, it’s racing around, it’s clients, it’s finding a spare moment to just stop and stretch, and even while stretching in an attempt to chill, the ‘to do list’ still rattles on in your head.

All I do know is that when I’m by the beach, no matter what the weather, bare feet, fresh air, a day to do with what I choose, I tend to be far more relaxed, with not a care in the world. It’s like you go away for a weekend and on your way back home (in the car you don’t actually own, you just ‘owe’), you near the City and can just feel the ‘to do list nag’ seeping back into your bones.

Is it just me? Or is this a common occurrence?

I really don’t know how I’d go with having a simple life 100% of the time either. No doubt I’d struggle with parts of my identity, as well as miss the finer things in life. And my wardrobe!

That’s what I’m really looking forward to about going on my travels (finally.) A whole month of waking up with a day ahead, in a foreign country and culture with the option of not brushing my hair and applying no mascara whatsoever, knowing no one (my wonderful travel company excluded) and going from there. Eating, drinking, wandering, engaging in conversations that are new (most likely in languages I don’t understand a word of) and just letting each day take me wherever it will.

I get that life can’t be one continuous holiday (mental note, perhaps I should start purchasing Lotto tickets), but is it truly possible to have a balance of simplicity and calm in life, whilst living in the hustle and bustle of the City? Is it possible to be glamorous and be make-up free with bare feet and meet deadlines?

Will I move to the countryside and get some chickens upon my return in September? Will Europe encourage me to simplify my life and only eat croissants with my coffee for breakfast (as opposed to some sugar-free-Paleo-cereal-with-berry-compote-and-coconut-yogurt-with-almond-milk-on-the-side), or will it show me ‘stuff’ I love and therefore push me to jump back on the ‘City treadmill’ for a number of years yet and earn my lifestyle of choice? Who knows.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sit in City traffic and get frustrated about not being home in decent time. Gives me time to consider my ‘to do list’ for tomorrow I guess…Might go home via my local beach and whip off my boots in an attempt to have it all on a week night!

Caro x

Posted: Wednesday 18 May 2016


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