don’t know what an impossible list is? well it’s sort of like a bucket list but for your entire life and if you think you will complete it then you’re not doing it right.
There was an impossible list on the old hollowpetal.com but it was seriouslsy out of date, so here is my new and improved list
- Learn the dvorak layout and type in dvorak as my default way of typing (May 2015)
- Touch type in dvorak as my default way of typing (June 2016)
- Be at professional typist level with dvorak (80wpm with 98.25% accuracy)
- Learn stenography
- Type at 200wpm (be able to transcribe people speaking)
- German A1
- Esperanto A1
- Spanish A1
- Japanese A1
- Draw a self portrait that expresses my gender accurately
- Become MTA certified (Server Fundamentals (2015))
- Cisco IT essentials (v. 4.1 (74.3%) in 2012 and v5 (87.1%) in 2013
- Double Degree
- Certificate IV in TESOL
- Certificate IV in training and assessment
- Become an Accredited High School Teacher
Finish a Qualification at every level of the AQF
- Certificate I (In Information Technology 2011)
- Certificate II (Creative Industries (Multimedia) 2011 and Nail Technology 2014)
- Certificate III (Beauty Services 2014)
- Certificate IV (Information Technology 2015)
- Diploma (lvl 5)
- Associate degree/Advanced diploma (lvl 6)
- Bachelor’s Degree (lvl 7)
- Graduate diploma/Graduate certificate/Bachelor honours degree (lvl 8)
- Master’s Degree (lvl 9)
- Doctoral Degree (lvl 10)
- Ira Glass
- Roman Mars
- Adam Savage
- Jamie Hyneman
- CGP Grey
- James Dodds III (@threeboy)
- Derek Muller
- John and Hank Green
- Chris Hadfield
- Dakoda McCoy (@growingdark)
- Tom Scott (@tomscottgo)
- Shirobon (@shirobon)
- New York
- San Francisco
- The Dead Sea
- Travel by train across
- Follow a musician on tour
- Become a teacher
- Own my own spa
- Start my own cosmetics/skincare company (Soap Lab, November 2015)
- Get a NICNAS registration (Be able to sell soap)
- Make the business feasible
- Get a warehouse
- Get first employee
- Get a shop
- Loan $1000 with Kiva ($175 so far)
- Learn to skateboard
- Get a black belt
- Lose 20kg
- Be a Foster Carer
- Go snowboarding
- Become a volunteer
- become someone’s mentor
- get my own mentor
- Create my own website from scratch (2015, it’s down at the moment)
- Make my own web app (June 2016, it’s bad but it counts)
- Build a game
I have been using the dvorak keyboard layout pretty much exclusively for 14 months. I made the commitment to the layout may 2015. I have been judged for my choice to use the layout. Yesterday I was hanging out with some cool folks who appreciate the reasons and the work it takes to commit to changing to any new layout. Today I questioned my choice to switch. If you are wondering why people make the switch, then just check out the dvorak zine. One of my big reasons is that my brain/hands have always struggled with typing. To me dvorak was a good way to start a fresh with good habits and with a layout that made logical sense.
Switching to a new layout sucks. My speed, even looking at the keyboard dropped from around 30wpm in a typing test to 4wpm. To put that into an context, let’s say I needed to write 500 words (approx. 1 page). At 30wpm that would take about 17 minutes, at 4wpm it would take 2 hours.
Once you are dvorak you can’t just take a break to do a test or reply to an email. As soon as you switch back to qwerty you lose motivation and quit, it also slows down your learning. I was stuck in that phase for about two weeks before I my non-touch typing dvorak and qwerty tests were pretty much the same in terms of speed. The next step was improving accuracy, being able to touch type and getting used to the change in more intangible ways.
In the past year my commitment has fluctuated, I have typed close to 2000 samples with keybr and recently I put all of my laptop keys back in qwerty order and have started touch typing exclusively. My dvorak non-touch typing speed in May 2016 was 38 words per minute. I am proud of that, it’s hard to go from nothing, to better than qwerty in one year. I took this as personal proof that dvorak was better for me, I was close to 10wpm faster, those 500 words would take just over 13 minutes.
With having qwerty back on my laptop I had the opportunity to do a qwerty non-touch type test. I did three, my best result was 36wpm. I had improved at qwerty with no direct practice. Why did I spend these hours dedicated to dvorak? What was the point? even more terrifyingly, although it was harder for my hands. My brain felt clearer back on qwerty at least compared to touch typing. By the way, myth busted that typing dvorak atrophies your qwerty skills.
Do I regret being on dvorak, no. I can touch type now, after years of trying, maybe not as intensely as the past year. I can now actually touch type. I type in a way that I know I can build upon. I know that with practice I will improve. Now that I touch type all the time every time I type it’s touch typing practice. The advantages of dvorak supported me in making this leap. Also it’s much more motivating to do well when you know that you are both proving the haters wrong and you have a great party trick.
So as I have hinted at over the last few months, this blog and all of it’s content created up until today has been for a subject on web publishing that I was doing with Curtin university. That is about to change.
Nothing that I wrote was fictional but I did limit the content of this blog to cover only things that related to minimalism. I will still write about minimalism but I am also going to write a bunch about other things. All the minimalism content will be categorised as such so you can just bookmark this if that’s all you want from me.
Funnily enough a lot of the original content that I created for hollowpetal.com is going to migrate to here and hollowpetal.com is most likely going to be about minimalism. For my current unit at curtin, I am going to create an interactive educational page, most likely on the topic of minimalism. It was a strong topic that I care about and I see potential for it to make a great website.
hollowpetal.com is currently really broken, I think due to some changes from getting soaplab.com.au up and running. Soon I will take all of the files down to begin this new project with a clean slate.
So I’m going to try my best to really go at this hard core.
Here is a little audio intro to a future post about reclaiming my bedroom from clutter.
I last seriously used twitter when I was about 16. I was quite possibly depressed and I did have anxiety attacks. I was not happy with my life I have since made the adjustments I needed to and left twitter behind. I made some really great friends during that time (Shout out to @growingdark, @threeboy, @londonjustin, & his family). I have dipped my toe in the twitter ocean a few times, lost week I returned once again under the instruction of the current guiding force of this blog, my university.
I made a new shiny account (rather than using my original account with 12k in tweets)
I mostly stuck to the minimalism tag but I also thought about the content I was summarising and looked at the accounts of the users that wrote them. They didn’t seem to use those tags, they used the tags for the projects they are creating or sharing but not topical tags. I don’t know if this is a twitter trend a minimalism trend or just representative of the users I follow.
No-one directly responded to my tweets or retweeted them but I got two likes on one of them. I am sure I would get more engagement as I created and shared more content.
Twitter to me is work, not as in effort work but as in something that I am doing to promote myself and my content (even when sharing other people’s) for the hopes of fame or profit. This space might do well but I am not planning for it to. I feel like I talk about CGP Grey too much but this reminds me of his urge to create work out of his hobby of playing games. His fans want it and every now and then he considers it; then he thinks about it and realises that ruins the whole point of having a hobby that is an escape from his work. I don’t participate on twitter for my business because I don’t think that’s where my audience is but I get the same feeling when I create posts for facebook and instagram. Part of the point of this blog is to disconnect it from work and the obligations of writing as a brand. I don’t want this blog to turn into a project where I spend as much time writing as promoting. Sapping the fun out of it and adding more online clutter.
Huffpost recently published an article about the label ‘minimalist’. There is an issue that the author has found with the label and it’s also an issue that I have found. It’s a stereotype more than an accurate description. I brought this issue up on the first post on this blog:
” I hesitate to call myself a minimalist. In part because I am so new to minimalism and I also don’t like the implication that it’s living a life of restriction and deprivation,”
It’s not the only label I have an issue with. I have previously been criticised for my discomfort with the label ‘feminist’. I admit that some of that discomfort comes from feminists who spread hate about other groups. An example being Germaine Greer and the trans exclusionary content that she spreads. White feminists spreading or not acknowledging racism, and negative stereotypes and tropes about feminists. There are plenty of arguments about why people should use the label anyway. I see myself more as an egalitarian or a human rights advocate. I support feminists like Patrick Stewart and Emma Watson who share my views. Regardless of the label they apply to themselves because the label doesn’t matter, what they say and do does.
And this extends to my view of the minimalist label. I do not call myself a minimalist, I stand with Courtney Carver, Dan Erickson and Jessica Kateryan who each have discussed minimalism misconceptions and each have promoted action over labels. I practice minimalism write in a minimalist blog. I advocate for minimalism and I love debunking myths and talking to people about making do with less. I like sorting through my drawers and deciding what I will throw out, what I will donate and what I will keep (for now). I feel relief in letting go of the burden of stuff that I don’t want. I am not as big a fan of buying less things but I am adjusting. I like Tom Scott’s idea of digitising objects by digitising their stories and the emotions and memories in the object.
I should really be okay with calling myself a minimalist. like I should be okay with calling myself a feminist but I want my actions to speak louder than words.
On the surface this is a simple question. Because it’s the life that most people live every day. But to truly understand minimalism we need to understand what it’s not.
As minimalism is a life ideology the best way to look at it is through other life ideologies. A the most common is the modern ‘american dream’ or ‘great australian dream’ or whatever localised version. The core tenants normally being including or being an internetwork of financial security, home ownership and higher education. Financial security is the most interesting on that list in relation to minimalism, because we could take a communistic approach, the wealthy give up their wealth to live within their means and the poor then get the money to live within their means. But that really doesn’t bring to mind financial security. What is financial security? Increasingly it’s about material goods, the newest smartphone the biggest flat screen. It is compulsory consumption. It is what is sold to us in ads and by the ‘more successful’ around us. Increasingly it’s not leading to happiness it’s leading to debt, dissatisfaction and the urge to consume more to fill the hole in our lives. Buying a new shelf to fill with clutter rather than throwing the clutter away. Truly believing that the clutter (emotional and physical) can be solved with better organisation and buying more things rather than letting go. The ‘american dream’ is about following the status quo it’s about living up to the expectations of others and feeling depressed when that doesn’t make you happy. If following the rules doesn’t make you happy then what hope is there. There must be something wrong with you right?
Minimalism is about opting out of the system of compulsive consumption that is not making us happy. I think everyone has something in their life that they can minimise that will make them happier. It might be hard to do, it might be just a wardrobe or your entire home. In the end it’s a journey to a happier future. Not a mandated list of rules about the things you need to get rid of. Really, in the end minimalism might not be a choice consumerism is bad for our planet and bad for human workers.
“we’re going to have to give up a lot, the secret is a lot of that we are not actually going to miss”-Jay Austin