Everything in life becomes too complicated than ever before. We constantly thrive in life by alleviating the pressure, but somehow the pressure grows more. We thrive with what life puts in front of us despite how much it weighs. We keep up with the pressure, but sometimes the pressure is overbearing. We become too occupied keeping our roofs over our heads, putting food on our tables, paying our bills, and so on. We become so obsessed with achieving our daily contentment. Somehow our dreams got lost in translation. We neglect to enjoy our lives as we continue to do it obsessively. That is why so many people are stressed and eventually burn out.
We need to manage and find a balance between responsibility and leisure, but this is easier said than done. Undeniably, we prefer to stay under pressure or run away and leave it behind. We have many options for decluttering and simplifying our lives, but we always find excuses not to do even one. We all tend to complicate simple things and divert attention away from what matters most. We can find a new sense of freedom, a peaceful mind, good sanity, be more productive, and eventually have less stress when we simplify things.
Minimalism celebrates our desire to organize and live with fewer possessions. It holds a different meaning, such as a tiny house or a lifestyle that prioritizes necessities over luxury and lives to reduce clutter. Minimalism entails more than simply living with fewer possessions. It is also a design movement that breaks down things into essential elements to achieve design harmony and prioritize functionality over aesthetics.
Minimalism encourages us to focus on what matters most. It reflects our lifestyle and spaces. Undeniably, to achieve minimalism, we must first declutter. We removed things that we no longer use or require and prioritized what we need in our lives. In design, minimalism offers a better spatial experience and more light when we declutter and focus on functionality. It speaks less visual distractions results in more productivity.
Again, minimalism inspires us to live with less and only what is necessary. People were downsizing for the better. Life becomes less complicated and less stressful when we declutter and live a minimalist lifestyle. Many people have tried to embrace it but have failed due to the illusion of decluttering and downsizing. Since we have a fixation on decluttering and downsizing, some people do not understand minimalism well, whether in life or the design of built spaces.
We often live on the idea that minimalism has to be inflexible and plain, but it isn't. Minimalism still advocates authenticity to assist us in finding the freedom and identity that we align towards ourselves. But its losses it's meaning when we only subtract stuff without purpose. It has been a pitfall for those who live a minimalist life. It is similar to the design of spaces. We declutter and simplify our design to boost the spatial experience rather than simply for the sake of simplification and decluttering.
Minimalism sometimes hurts. As we try overly subtract and simplify things, we fall into the void. If we only make the space empty, we drive ourselves with boredom. Some say minimalism is clean, others say boring, but minimalism works well when it is an authentic representation of ourselves. We can't hide anything in a minimalistic space. Minimalism isn't about the freedom to take away was not essential and have simple things, or at least not solely about that. It creates and defines the space we need to deal with adversities rather than providing a path to happiness. Minimalism encourages separation from the outside world that allows for mental reflection. It is simple but no boredom.
A Little Tea
A few days ago, I was bored and decided to stroll around. My feet brought me inside A Little Tea, a milk tea shop. I have shared previously about the enlightening experience I had inside the shop. As to why I went to A Little Tea was of chance, I think it was purely a perfect moment to allow me to think and relieve the boredom I was experiencing at that time. I was adrift in the moment while ordering black sugar milk tea that I wasn't paying attention to the server and blurt out a response not suited for the question. So much for that "lutang" moment.
I wasn't paying attention cause my attention was drawn towards how good the interior is. The overall space wears minimalism, but there are splashes of playfulness. The milk tea shop has a modern minimalist look. It has clean white walls decorated with minimalistic paintings, tea bottles, and accent wood detailings. The pieces of furniture work perfectly with the wall profile and complement the overall ambiance of the place. But it was not the white wall, minimalist painting, or pieces of the furniture that caught my attention. It was the contrast in the opposing wall inside A Little Tea. The mural in the opposite wall brings playfulness to an elegant minimalist space. It breaks down a place from its tendency to be perceived as bored.
The mural brings authenticity and identity to the shop. It boosts the spatial experience with a splash of playfulness and fun, which is somehow different from overall minimalism. It proves that minimalism isn't about tuning down and decluttering to make things simple and functional. Even though minimalism advocates simplicity, authenticity should not be a trade-off. Warm lighting boosts the spatial experience to tie up the space well. They used accent lighting to play with light and shadows that solidify the ambiance and coziness we can feel in the shop. A Little Tea provides us minimalism with playfulness.
When I saw how playful the mural inside A Little Tea was, it reminded me that being playful, childish, and spontaneous can help us live our lives more fully. As we grow older, we stumble and come to a halt at the mistakes that occur along the way. We don't always get out of it. Sometimes we need to reflect on our inner child, then move forward without too much worry.
When we are a child, we play and have fun a lot. I wake up this working with ferocious zeal, which wilt me to do something good today. When we grow old, we somehow lose that zeal and playfulness we have in our childhood. The pace of life caught us, more responsibilities, and traps us with routines. We forget to have fun and be playful. Everything revolved around having fun. It was how I learned and a never-ending self-entertainment. From time to time, I play. When we play, we join a realm where reality and dreams meet. It is similar to design, which needs to integrate playfulness.
When we were a child, nothing could stop our overflowing creativity and imagination. We can create anything from a damn stick or doodle for hours out of that sheet of paper. We fully engrossed ourselves in the worlds that we create, a place where we can feel very real. There is a blurred boundary between what was real and imaginary. As adults, we forgot that. We mostly discourage indulging our playfulness.
When we have fun, we forget about things falling apart or the ugly circumstances. When we celebrate being spontaneous and childish, we remember the good times, think whatever we want, and dream whatever dreams we want. Places should be able to draw out the fun in our lives. Allowing ourselves to play not only relieves stress but also boosts our creativity. When we have fun, we can slip into a state where we forget I'm at work. When we revert to being a child, lost in our imagination and engrossed in play, we can explore possibilities we can think to be possible. Minimalism values simplicity and brings an authentic representation of ourselves. Our playfulness is part of that authenticity.
All featured photos is courtesy of the author, unless attributed.