A New Chapter
I know it’s February already. But since it’s the first article of the year, I would like to wish all of you a Happy 2016! I don’t know if it is going to be the last article of the year as well, but I would like to tell you what happened to me and explain why I’ve been absent from this page for so long.
To start with, let me tell you about an awakening moment I had at the end of December. It was maybe due to all the stuff I had read about spirituality, or meditation, sports and great conversations with amazing people when I realised that life is: simple! It is about love and sharing. Life is about people and moments, and not about stuff.
Waking up to the real world
Everything started in December when I didn’t have time to participate in a campaign that was helping poor people in Valencia. Luckily, I realised that in order to help someone I don’t have to go to a specific NGO. So I prepared four bags with food and some socks for homeless people. One night around 20th December, I was coming home and the city centre was unusually empty. I noticed a man with his dog and a book on the streets. He was not begging but, of course, he wasn’t happy either, staying in the cold outside. I went home, took one of the bags and came back to him. I told him that there was a small Christmas gift inside. His reaction? Big shocked eyes! Then he smiled and thanked me several times. He looked surprised but of course, happy. I still remember his tone of voice and words saying: “Really? For me? Thank you, thank you!”.
My reaction? As I turned around and I was trying to control my tears. I was full of emotions, questions and even ashamed and guilty because I gave him too little: two bananas, two yogurts, a few muffins from the supermarket and two pairs of socks. I came home thinking that I should have put more in that bag. But then, I gave myself a break thinking that I can do better in the future and it was good enough. Despite my tears, mercy and questions, though, I felt happy. But that was a different happy. It wasn’t the same happy feeling that I felt when I received a Michael Kors bag as a gift, or when I bought a new pair of shoes. It was a deep, sincere, overwhelming feeling of happiness, the true one that you only feel when you give (and less when you receive).
So the days after, I gave some pretty bags (I chose pretty paper bags to add that feeling of being a present rather than a support) to three other men, the last one right on our way to the airport (from where we left to Germany for our winter holidays). The reaction was always the same: surprised, happy and grateful…
The joy of simple deeds
These small actions gave me so much happiness and so many beautiful emotions that I had to stop and ask myself: why is there so much poverty in the world? What’s wrong with people? Why aren’t we all happy? What am I doing? What do I want to do with my life? How can I help more people? What does true happiness mean to me? What should I really, honestly do to be happy?
Answering some of these questions above, I realised the following:
– In order to be happy, I don’t need stuff. Actually, happiness is (only) inside of you. The more things you have around, the easier it is to get distracted and forget about yourself.
– Fashion bloggers are constantly pushing people to buy, consume and buy again. The business is like this: they force us indirectly, but very well emotionally targeted, to buy through their affiliate links because without them they won’t make a living (many actually don’t, but they fake it well)
– In general, the world “created” and shared by many fashion bloggers is actually fake. From Photoshop to borrowed clothes of companies to take one or two photos, to promoting cheap, poor quality products, to photographing everything constantly, to editing photos so they look as good as possible… pf!
– It’s a show for them, and as spectators, we really think that that’s life. No! Life is not having a thousand pairs of shoes, travelling around the world every month, having a skinny body and “craving” for luxury brands. Now that I’m more aware, it feels so sad that we really accept this reality and even “like” this false reality they’re imposing on us…
– In the end, my personal reflection was to decide to be part of this cheap game called blogging and e-marketing (this does not only happen in fashion by the way but all types of blogging which are based on selling and promoting sales).
I don’t want to be a culprit
This mechanism called the economy, where giant companies, governments and banks are playing a decisive role, is pushing us to consume, buy, have more, want more, desire more and even think that without them, we won’t exist. Companies, social media, magazines and bloggers, they are all emotionally manipulating us by thinking that if we don’t have, own or buy the latest stuff, we are old-fashioned, poor, stupid, unattractive, zero, and so on.
I don’t want to sound too pessimistic or dramatic, but those who have eyes to read, a brain to judge and a heart to feel know that this is a very important issue of the present age. And the actions we have to take to break away are even more important.
Without faking life
No matter how this website and social media accounts looked to you, I have to admit that I was working a lot on this project. Maybe I wasn’t having the best photos, the best clothes or the best content, but even for what has been published, all my weekends were spent in front of the computer. So many times I wanted to stop because of the time spent and the lack of positive feedback. But then, maybe an email was coming in with a beautiful message giving me hope that things will get better. However I don’t want to continue (in the same way) because this project isn’t bringing me joy and now I see that it’s not bringing any good to the world for the reasons I explained previously. Without Style Advisor I suddenly realised that I have a lot of time: time to read, to go for a walk, to practice more sports, to learn German, to relax, and sometimes to just do nothing….
Actions towards a better and pure life:
– Every week, I give (at least) a sandwich and drink to a homeless person.
– In general, I give more coins to more homeless persons.
– Here comes the hard work: I started to emotionally detach from things! I started analysing my emotional relationship with stuff.
– I started selling things that I didn’t use which were almost new. (You should see my boyfriend selling his collection of vinyls, he is an inspiration)
– I donated many things because I realised I wouldn’t wear them. They are just filling up space at home, and even though they bring back some memories, they are just taking time to clean up instead of getting rid of them and move on.
– In January, I went for sales shopping and didn’t buy anything on impulse. I spent a lot of time analysing, trying and thinking if it was a good choice and not just a cheap purchase.
– During sales, I avoided cheap brands and synthetic fabrics because they are not durable (and you will end buying more often because their quality is so poor).
– I decided to not go shopping at all in February (I’ll have to write more about this in an upcoming post).
The Future of Style Advisor
I have so many things to say. And even if I was thinking to stop my activity here, I still do love to write, share and talk about clothes and style. And now I have to also add the passion of talking about simplicity in life. I don’t know what I’m going to write about in the future, but you can be sure that I’m not going to accept any collaborations with unethical companies, that I’m not going to promote cheap brands (so I can receive another cheap piece of clothing), and I’m not going to try to sell anything that are is not aligned with my new vision, no matter the money. I have a job that I love, so I will leave this project as minimalistic as possible. By the way, I am a PhD Professor and the International Coordinator of my Faculty and I really enjoy what I do.
I would like to write more about quality clothes, real style instead of quick trends, about books, good pilates workouts and share with you my critical vision on fashion, life, economy and shopping. So, now, after all of these being said, I would really like to hear from you!
Please tell me what you think about my new direction in life? What would you like to read about here? What would you like to see here? What are your interests right in life right now?
Thank you very much to all of you that visited, liked and read Style Advisor! Thank you, thank you! Besides all, I learnt so much and it help me reach this new, clearer vision. It may have been hard until now, but without it, I am sure I wouldn’t have been the same.
Photos: 1, 2, 3 from my holiday in Croatia, August 2015 and the last one from Berlin, December 2015.