Our living spaces are getting smaller and smaller aren’t they? Whether due to blended families, urbanization or simply cutting back on our cost-of-living budgets, all this downsizing makes it more difficult for us to enjoy some of the simple things like lounging in our back yards. For many of us, we simply don’t have a yard or garden to enjoy. As an apartment dweller, I have been fortunate enough to have had a balcony in many of my apartments throughout the years. With that small piece of real estate to the outdoors, there are however many limitations to an apartment balcony. In many buildings you aren’t allowed to BBQ, balconies are often littered with birds, and in high-rise buildings it’s impossible to plant flowers due to the wind. Because of these challenges we often turn our balconies into a storage space. It gets dusty, cluttered and what we don’t realize is that gazing out to that clutter only further boxes us in, restricting us from the fresh air in our own homes.
I have been a long time perpetrator of this behavior. For too long I have let my apartment balcony become a mess of junk. I always asked myself, what can I do with this space? Instead of taking the time to answer my own question, I would give up and resort to storing my outdoor space with clutter to make more room for my indoor space.
The past year however has made me reflect on the other restrictions in my life. The amount of energy I exerted trying to meet everyone else’s expectations caused me to forget about my own hobbies, goals and the things I enjoy. Thankfully, this blog has allowed me to stop chasing after things that I know I can’t always achieve and start living life in a different way. I have taken the time to notice things, embrace simplicity – I feel like I’m in control of me again. That’s not to say I don’t work hard, I love being busy. But when you’re only being busy for others you forget yourself – the hectic life you’ve created becomes exhausting. For me, much like my living space, I always felt restricted living life that way.
In addition to changing my lifestyle over the past few months, I have been working hard to clear out the material restrictions in my life – starting with my balcony. Using all second hand furniture or re-purposed items I am making my balcony a haven of tranquility and relaxation. The first item I created was this Victorian-era inspired decoupage table. Using a table I got for free and a garden magazine, I was able to create a colorful garden for under twenty dollars. If you would like the how-to, please like or comment and I would be happy to share the steps. Enjoying every second of this process, clearing out the clutter on my tiny piece of real estate is what I’m calling my Bohemian Paradise. The definition of bohemian is living life through having informal or unconventional social habits. I don’t think I’m unconventional, quite the contrary actually! But I thought the term was fitting.