Bosnia and minimalism

This is actually kind of funny now that I think of it – minimalism. Heck, all I’m thinking is that my hoarding skills have gotten to such a level of expertise I almost think it’s not that bad. Oh lord it is that bad small child brain.

Finally gathered all my clothing from St. Pete, FL and Lille into my room in Lyon. Who knew one could have so many VS undies? Maybe Danielle and I should stop going to their 6 pairs for $26 deals for a few years – just sayin’. I mean who knows, maybe someday during the zombie apocalypse we won’t have electricity, therefore inducing an obvious lack of washing machine functionalities, causing a dramatic underwear deficiency. Once again, just trying to be rational about my 40+ pairs of undies. Probs wasn’t the smartest thing to take everything out and onto the floor while watching the very informative The True Cost fashion documentary (seriously, watch it – it’s on Netflix right now).

Did you know that the fashion industry is the 2nd largest polluter after the oil industry? One of the most interesting reflection of our society was when one guy explained how as we buy into fast-fashion more and more as a culture, the more we feel like unsatisfied. Ecclesiastes has never been so accurate – vanity! To think that we have gotten to a point in our lives where we buy things that cost almost nothing, aren’t ever completely happy with the way we look, throw them out/give them away, where they get left in huge piles in Haiti and prevent local workers from learning basic sewing skills. Just a messy situation that the fashion industry continues to exploit, and that we support through our millions of H&M shopping hauls.
It is an embarrassing contrast we find ourselves in – with a huge portion of the world living in poverty and no hope (as Bosnia showed me on many levels), and our excessive and exaggerated consumption rhythm in the Western world. When in Bosnia, I had the chance to accompany a local missionary to give bags of food to Bosnian families. The first one really shocked me into a reality I didn’t want to be faced with so personally. Little Emma and her mom and brother lived in a 25 m2 apartment, with only a couch and a few barbies to their name. After living dangerously with a muslim man for over a year, the mom had finally decided to leave him, and as a result lose any material safety she had with him. Emma was the sweetest, kindest little girl. Even with nothing of value to give away, she offered me a necklace she had made – the only one she had! You know those moments where you realise life isn’t fair? Something just isn’t right.

That being born in a french family would promise me such safety compared to her made me thankful and so disappointed in myself. I live with such wealth and many blessings (and I’m not saying that is bad!), and I can so easily fall into an attitude where everything is mine, and no ma’am you cannot borrow my pen because it’s 1,50 euros so you just get your paws off my stuff kind of thing.

Anyways, I think I’ve once again remembered that I am indeed part of the 5%, that I am very lucky and should not take my education and wealth for granted. I’m so thankful my parents have worked hard for me!

So maybe it’s time for me to sell a few coats, give some skirts away and be creative with what I have instead of taking the easy route of buying new items every time I’m bored.


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