No, I’m not referencing Glee, but nevertheless the name’s fitting for what’s happening here. In case you haven’t had a look around this blog, things have changed. I’ve got a new look (I don’t just mean my hair) and a brand-new website name. From now on, I Who Wander will now be known as Charity Ever After. Why the change, you ask?
- I was having some trouble keeping up with my blog. I think it’s because I gave it this name that suggested I should explore the word more, go forth and globetrot then return to report back my adventures. But that’s not what was happening in my life. (At least, not often enough to warrant the blog sound like a traveler’s journal.) So maybe a new name will help me expand what I’m doing here to encompass my life as a whole – and not just my experience as an expat or as a traveler.
- I needed a fresh start so I’ve updated the look of the blog and I’ve simplified my sidebar navigation.
- And lastly, but maybe most importantly, I’m living a season of change.
For a long time, change in my life was incremental. Slow. But for the last few years, it’s sped up. In fact, change has haunted my very steps over the last few years. In 2014, I graduated with my masters degree and got engaged. In 2015, Tea and I got married and I started a new job. And in 2016, I moved to the UK and switched gears into a completely different industry.
2017 will bring with it more changes since we’ve recently purchased our first house!
Of course this has all been extremely exciting for us! We’ve been trying to decide how to decorate and have been having a lot of fun picking out our future furniture. But this house, while it looks rather large in this photo, is actually smaller in square footage than the 2 bedroom/2 bath condominium we rented in California. And it doesn’t come with a garage! I started to slowly go into a panic about how we’d store everything, where would we put things, how will the office be set up, where would our future guests stay? Would there be enough room? Should we have gotten a bigger house?
Then I stumbled across the Minimalism documentary (it’s on Netflix if you haven’t yet seen it) because I was looking for clean, Scandi-inspired minimalist interior design. As I watched it, I began to ask myself why did I feel I needed more? Why did I think it wasn’t enough space? Why was I trying to cram so much into such a small house? And as I started to consider all the excess ‘stuff’ I’ve actually got, I remembered that when Tea and I had moved over, we’d decided to only take the things that meant something to us or things we thought we’d actually use. This meant a lot of our ‘stuff’ was already gone – furniture that wouldn’t have anywhere to live while we stayed with Tea’s parents, kitchenware that wasn’t worth the money to transport, bakeware that I couldn’t be sure would actually fit into the ovens here. I’d even downsized my extensive (400+) novel collection to 20% – and here’s the shocker – I didn’t miss any of them.
Everything of value came with us. Even then, we couldn’t unpack it all when it arrived since we’re temporarily staying with Tea’s parents so we only unpacked the things we knew we could actually use: clothes, computers/electronics, books and games. Everything else remains in boxes. Even now.
Since we’ve lived without much of our excess for a year now and we can’t remember more than 80% of the items we brought with us, we’ve decided to live differently than we have before. We’re going to aspire to live more, with a lot less stuff. This decision has freed me from viewing our house as a tiny space in need of lots of storage solutions (though it will indeed require some), but as enough space to house the two of us and our little dog. It’s inspired a greater attitude of gratitude within me – and this is just the beginning!
I’ll have more to share on this particular new direction as the year unfolds, so you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that my Word to Live By in 2017 is Minimalism. If you’re curious to find out more about this minimalist thing we’re working toward, read a bit from The Minimalists or Joshua Becker’s Becoming Minimalist. And don’t forget that documentary…
Stay tuned for more…