Everything I Own

 

Before last year, I never understood why women stayed in abusive relationships. I thought, why don't they just leave? Now I know. Sometimes it feels less painful to stay. After years of feeling like I finally belonged somewhere, it was a shock being back in a place and way of life I never understood or felt comfortable in. I felt like a foreigner in my own country, whereas every door was open to me in Paris (I know it's a rough and unwelcoming city for most people, but that was never my experience). I came back to the US with two suitcases somebody else packed; I had no credit score or job prospects. I secured several positions in my field, but these companies eliminated their sustainability departments before my scheduled start date in late November 2016. I have a new appreciation for people who come to this country with nothing and no one. At least I had good friends and my grandma, uncle, and aunt in the US, though I left most of my support system in France.

I finally get why people feel such an attachment to material things. It's not always about stuff. It feels good buying things with your own money that you alone chose after never having a say for however long. It feels powerful having something somebody else told you you'd never have or deserve. And it feels safe hanging on to something, when everything you had was lost before. I shouldn't feel this way, but I understand a little better now. The everything I own posts are my most popular ones, and people say it's because they can't believe I have so little. It feels like a lot, especially after these past few years.

 


Clothing


  1. Levi's Wedgie high rise 
  2. Levi's 517
  3. Levi's Wedgie cuff shorts
  4. L'ecole des Femmes Oui shirt
  5. Black H&M tank top (similar)
  6. Black Re/Done bodysuit 
  7. Reformation Lozita bodysuit navy 
  8. Reformation Piper top 
  9. Reformation Axel bodysuit 
  10. Dior black dress 
  11. Dior navy dress 
  12. Dior gray dress 
  13. Louis Vuitton black wool skirt
  14. American Apparel grey henley dress
  15. Three Doen t-shirts
  16. Louis Vuitton raincoat and London Undercover umbrella
  17. Camel Dior coat
  18. A Wool Story socks, hat, and mittens 
  19. Pact Organic socks (nine pairs)
  20. Christian Louboutin Simple pumps  
  21. Ferragamo Vara pumps 
  22. Stuart Weitzman boots (similar)
  23. Nike Wedge Sky Hi's 
  24. Nike Air Force 1's 
  25. Longchamp Pliage
  26. American Apparel swimsuit
  27. Gucci sunglasses and Rayban glasses 
  28. Dior Oui ring sz 7 
  29. Pansy sets in rose and black (two bras plus enough briefs for the week) 
  30. J Crew vintage cotton pajamas


 
 

Bathroom / Toiletries

  1. One bamboo carrying case, one bamboo toothbrush holder, and six organic Brush With Bamboo toothbrushes
  2. Razor and blades
  3. Cup and carrying bag
  4. Two Gladrags pads
  5. EcoTools bamboo travel size blush and bronzer brush
  6. Elate cosmetics blush and bronzer in bamboo compacts and Urb Apothecary lip and cheek tint
  7. Ilia Beauty mascara
  8. Eyelash curler
  9. Tweezers
  10. Who Gives a Crap rolls (box of 24)- I still don't use toilet paper at home, and haven't for six years now. I didn't have a bidet until two years ago, but soap and water is fine if you don't have one- I don't think we're supposed to wipe that area actually (and actually you're not really supposed to use too much soap around there either). Gentle cleansing just feels so much fresher and cleaner and I don't like the idea that conventional toilet paper is bleached and causes microtears. I know people like family cloth, but I never tried it. My family and guests need toilet paper, so I buy it, it's just taken me two years to even go through one roll.
  11. Tushy bidet
  12. Six bars palm oil free Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve castile soap

 

Electronics

  1. IPad
  2. iPhone
  3. Goal Zero nomad solar charger
  4. Conventional charger 

Appliances

  1. Vitamix
  2. Vintage GE iron

  
  

Furnishings

  1. CNC cut platform bed with two pillows, wool duvet, and mattress
  2. CNC dining table
  3. Knoll Bertoia white chairs, secondhand (four)
  4. Modernica white shell chair (I think I don't want this anymore, I really like the Knoll chairs)
  5. Plywood sofa and mattress
  6. Five Caroline Z Hurley cushions 
  7. Floyd side table, white legs
  8. Copper pipe garment rack and 12 wooden hangers
  9. DIY copper pipe coffee table
  10. DIY copper curtain rods (with Caroline Z Hurley throws as curtains and copper clips)

  


Linens

  1. Four Fog Linen bath towels
  2. Four Fog Linen hand towels
  3. Seven washcloths
  4. 1 set linen sheets- secondhand Fog Linen flat sheet with duvet cover and two pillowcases
  5. Six Ambatalia bento bags, various sizes
  6. Two Turkish towels (for the beach, picnics, travel, throws)
  7. Four Fog Linen dish towels
  8. 12 Caroline Z Hurley napkins
  9. Two Redecker cleaning cloths cut into twelve 
  10. Three recycled linen rugs / mats (Fog Linen and Caroline Z Hurley, the Fog Linen one might have to go) 
 

Kitchen / Garden

  1. Eight sets Arne Jacobsen Georg Jensen cutlery, secondhand (fork, knife, spoon)
  2. Arne Jacobsen salad serving set (fork and spoon), and cake / pizza server
  3. 1 All Clad (I chose All Clad for all my pans because I could buy them 40% off from the factory in Pittsburgh and talk directly to the people who made the pans) long handled saucepan
  4. 1 long handled pan
  5. stock pot
  6. 1 Duralex glass baking dish (these are indestructible, I brought mine from France)
  7. 1 Duralex mixing bowl
  8. 1 set measuring cups
  9. 1 colander
  10. Sori-yanagi metal ladle, metal spatula, metal spoon
  11. 2 Opinel knives (1 chef, 1 paring)
  12. Maple cutting board-  mine is handmade by a friend - and Jacob Bromwell baking sheet
  13. 36 glass Ball jars- 8 for drinking, the rest for storage, all secondhand. I break glasses, so I prefer drinking from jars
  14. 2 mini Weck jars for my travel toiletries
  15. 8 Helen Levi mugs / cups, various models - I bought one every time I went to New York during her seconds sales
  16. 3 reused kombucha dark amber bottles, used for propagation / clippings
  17. Settle Ceramics plates and 4 each Settle / Colleen Hennessy bowls
  18. Redecker dish brush, pot brush, and veggie brush
  19. Glass sprayer bottle (reused kombucha bottle and black sprayer)
  20. 1 bamboo dish rack
  21. Stainless steel Ecolunchbox bento
  22. Terracotta planters, made in the US from a local shop (I have a lot of plants now that I don't have cats, all grown from cuttings or seed sharing)
  
  

Other

  1. Wooden ironing board
  2. Wooden clothes drying rack from the Amish in Pennsylvania (local wood)
  3. Twelve vintage handkerchiefs
  4. Four large art pieces (maybe I'll do a post on this later but not right now- I was happy to be friends with amazing artists in Paris whose names you'll recognize)
  5. One passport with holder, three credit cards, one debit card, one driver's license, one AAA card lol
  6. One Kerfcase phone case and wallet (thanks Kristy)
  7. Cork ipad case (similar)
  8. 30 books and magazines (vintage books and some books and magazines I'm in, yes I organize by color)
  9. One notebook (Lamali makes the best ones)
  10. Redecker snow brush
  11. Redecker cleaning brush
  12. One folder from when I was Cavs Full Court Press
  13. One black Caran d'Ache refillable pen (mine was not this expensive- I got this pen when I was in France and have just been using it for years, but there are American made ones)
  14. Two Rimowa suitcases
  15. Two textile wall hangings
  16. A dozen needles and vintage spools of cotton thread
  17. Personal set of keys and spares
  18. Wooden trunk
Starting over this time, I vowed there would be nothing in my home I didn't love or find useful and beautiful. Everything is a joy to look at- there's nothing from my wardrobe to my cleaning supplies and toiletries that I wouldn't mind people seeing- and I enjoyed choosing each item, because everything told a story about me alone. These are just things I use personally. For a master list of zero waste recommendations, click here.

In the end, it was only stuff I lost. My friends are still my friends, many of them are just farther now (I will never get over the cats). It’s still strange when I wake up and see I’m not in Paris, but I’m grateful for what I have, even if it doesn’t always come across that way online.

Paris to Go

80 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post & intro !! While we are at it, what have helped you the most, to move on/get over your past relationship? I just got brutally dumped, and... that’s so hard. I looking for advice everywhere ���� thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pauline, Im so sorry to hear that. That is awful. I don’t understand why people can’t be more considerate and thoughtful enough to end a relationship in a loving way. For getting over a relationship, I’m not the best person to give advice- I was diagnosed with PTSD so I guess I’m still dealing with that. I guess just time and continuing to focus on other things (like helping others) will help get you through such a difficulty. I’m sorry 💕

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your reply. and thanks for putting out such a good blog ! Cheers to healing <3

      Delete
  2. What's that ironing board like? I just lost a fight to our metal one and am looking for a new model. The reviews aren't great?

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She obviously just said she was IN an abusive relationship? Maybe try reading more slowly rather than rushing down to the comments to leave something pithy.

      Delete
  4. Ok not sure why the above commenter felt the need to write that in such a gnarly passive-aggressive way. (Ah the internet.)
    I have been where you are in terms of the end of an abusive relationship, and having to leave almost everything and move back "home" to a place that was no longer my home.
    It is really difficult and I applaud you for the work that you must have done (and are doing) in the wake of trauma like that.
    For me, it took a long time to feel that I was deserving of good things after being treated so deplorably by someone that was supposed to love me. Just wanted to say that there is healing, and there is wholeness, and even beautiful successful relationships possible. Or in internet speak, "You're doing great sweetie."

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for this post! What soap you use to wash dishes?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the internet- thank you for your beautiful comment. I unfortunately grew up hearing (and still hear) “she could just leave” without anyone considering the logistics and legal aspects involved. I’m privileged i was able to obtain an apartment and the furnishings needed but so many women can’t. And the laws in this country protect the abuser- like if you sign a lease before getting divorced you are legally required to disclose your address to your abuser. And not everyone has the resources to get a protective order. Add all this to the emotional upheaval - I really feel for the women who don’t have any other choice. I’m glad you now realize you deserve good things and are out of that toxic situation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I actually love the ironing board! I can stack things on the left side without it falling over and it’s very sturdy on wood floors and tile floors- it’s hefty and not lightweight at all and really solidly built, the cover isn’t what I was used to though (it’s just a thin cotton fabric but I haven’t had any problems).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Where did you get your umbrella?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I got the umbrella secondhand in Paris but you can order it online- there’s a link above, it’s all recycled materials and they ship plastic free

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ah, minimalism. It's something so hard for more to work towards as I have 23 years of hard-wired materialism in me. I have a shopping addiction and I fear my closet will never feel organized - maybe I should set that as my 2019 goals.
    With being on the beginner's side of zero waste lifestyle (my bathroom/shower routine is really the only thing I've 100% converted), I find it super hard to stay organized. There's a lot of rewiring that needs to be done from "buy what I want when I want" to "research & plan ahead"

    Thanks for sharing this post. It gives me something to strive towards at least

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the post Ariana. I read on instagram that this is your last post on the blog. I just wanted to say that I have really enjoyed your blog - your writing, your humour, your style, your take on minimalism and life in general. I wish you well in the next phase of life and hope happiness in all areas of life comes your way.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ariana, I am very sorry that a person who was suppose to love and protect you, was abusing you.You are a survivor. I hope you are surrounded by loving family and friends and healing from this trauma.
    I read on instagram that this is your last post. I just wanted to let you know how much I love your blog. I found it inspiring, informative and I love your sense of humour. I wish you all the best in life. Thank you for being you.
    Alina

    ReplyDelete
  14. On a whim I decided to check out the Turkish towel brand you linked and they are having a sale! I snagged myself a nice bath towel. Thank you so much :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ariana, your blog has been my favorite blog on minimalism. I regularly come here to find inner peace when my thoughts get unclear or my life go off track. I am so sorry that you have to move back to a place that you didn't feel belong to but I am hoping you will find your way out. Life can be hard, especially when the summer blue hit us. You said this is the last post. We will miss you very badly.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What happened to your cats, couldn't you bring them with you?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ariana, I am sorry to hear about your previous situation, but relieved to know you have a good support system. Take care. I just read another comment that said you posted something on Instagram about this being your last blog post. I am not on Instagram, but if I ever give in I'll look for you there. Big hugs from me and my kitties.

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  19. Dear Ariana, I'm Sophia and I'm in a 6th grade journalism class. I think the zero-waste lifestyle is absolutely prodigious and I am interested on writing about it for an assignment. The assignment is to write about things that significantly fascinate you (me). I have a few questions about the zero-waste lifestyle so I can write my article.
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