Just a few months ago, I was living in a 300 sqft studio apartment with floor-to-ceiling clutter and very little room to breathe. It was all I could afford. For other students, it was a place they couldn't aford. And for others, of course, it was a laughable dorm room. The space was barely enough to contain my possessions accumulated over a span of five years, despite so, I was quite fond of the college-esque experience of being shoved into an unreasonably tiny cubicle. In said apartment, I had one plant, an African Violet that I bought in the Fall of 2016 to break a bill for some change. Unfortunately that plant didn't survive the move this April.
My new apartment is almost twice as big, with too many corners and blank walls. The minimalist in me suggest I keep it this way. I don't need things to make me happy. Find joy in the bare essentials, the food that I cook, the stories that I read, or the view from my balcony. The shopaholic in me, however, nudges me towards things. Books? Sure, buy three at once even though I have three other ones yet to be read on my coffee table. Candles? Huh, must be a new obssession, sure, go crazy with it.
I'm being a little dramatic here. I don't carelessly purchase meaningless things (at least not anymore). I only buy things that make me happy. A lit candle on my dining table gives me joy, something I didn't bother with a few months ago. See, a few months ago, I had things on every inch of every surface that a lit candle would have been a fire hazard. But now, a candle, yet small and simple, gives me joy.
There weren't candles in my childhood homes, but instead, plants. Tall ones, small ones, and long ones that grew on forever. So today, I spent an hour searching for the perfect green addition to my home. Then, I went and bought pots and a bag of soil. When I was finally home, I went straight to my balcony, sat down, and five minutes later, I had two plants that were ready to grow and multiply.
These things are what make me happy.
I learned a new word a couple of months ago: hygge. It's a Swedish word that describes an environment or feeling of coziness. A cup of tea on a Sunday morning, plants on the windowsill, a lit candle... creating hygge is a newly found goal of mine in preparation for the cold and rainy winter. This weekend, I became another step closer to it.