Travelling to a simple, sustainble meaningful life – Janelle’s Journey So Far

As Megan said last week everyone’s journey through life is different and people travel through stages of their lives at different times and ages. This week I’m going to share with you some of my journey so far and what I’m hopeful for in the future.

By both of us sharing our stories and journeys to a simple, sustainable and meaningful lives we aim to open ideas and doors for you along the way as you move forward and grow with us.

 In The Beginning

From a young age I was taught the meaning and importance of friends and family in my life. Every birthday and holiday for as long as I can remember was always celebrated with friends and family – whether I wanted to be there or not. This has translated into my adult life and I have a high regard for friends and family and prefer people’s company over many things even if we are doing nothing special.

I grew up with my parents and sister and while we never wanted for much, we were never handed anything just because we desired it and were not spoiled. I still remember the first thing I purchased with my pocket money because it was given with a lesson in monetary value. There was a new Barbie doll out that I wanted – a mermaid one if memory serves me. I had to wait for a whole week after I had saved up enough money before I was allow to purchase it – which is a long time for any child. I was also sat down by my father and talked to about what this would mean. He told me that if I really wanted it I could have it because it was my money, but I then wouldn’t be able to buy anything else because the money would be spent. I was also asked if I needed it as I already had a few dolls. Now, I did end up getting that Barbie but I valued it more than any previous toy and whenever I purchase anything these days I ask myself these similar questions. Do I need or want it? What am I unable to have if I purchase it? And most importantly why do I want to buy it and is this reasonable?

I learnt through my childhood that it is not money or consumerism that will make you happy – it is the simple things in life that will bring you happiness and meaningfulness.

 Education and Entering the Workforce

Towards the end of my schooling I realised I had a passion for the environment and biology – the functions and processes of the natural world fascinated me. So this is where I focused my energy at university, where I also developed a keen interest in sustainability. At the end of my studies I wished to continue my interests in sustainability, environment and how these interact with people and governments; however this did not happen.

I did not end up getting a job in the areas that initially interested me and I did not wish to study any further, leaving me in need of finding a job. I ended up getting a full time job in the health industry where I have learned many new things yet it is not where my passion lies. I was originally happy just to be earning money, paying bills and got swept up in life.

 Where I Am Now

Today I am still in the same company with a slightly role and while not unhappy in life, I have drifted further than I had realised away from what I wanted for and from my life. Over the past year I have found I am not healthy, I have let many things just slide past me and come to the conclusion that I want to change.

I am not ill but my body has been sending me messages that I have not really been paying attention to. I have been swept up in life and while not unhappy, I do not feel satisfied or content with the life I lead. I have been friends with Megan for many years now having originally meet through our partners. We found that we have very similar interests, passions and even studied some of the same subjects at university, which has naturally lead to a close friendship. When I heard she was looking to do this website about living a simple, sustainable and meaningful life I thought this is exactly what I have been trying to find. While not entirely sure at first whether I had time to help her, I came to the conclusion it is time to start making time to begin leading the life I want to lead.

 Moving Forward

Now I’m excited about the future and changing the way I live my life, as I journey with you to a simple, meaningful and sustainable life. I am looking forward to setting goals and challenges as I learn what will work for me and what doesn’t while continuing to keep true to my core values. I want to make my life more meaningful and a life that makes me want to jump out of bed and face the day. I am looking forward to taking this journey with you.

Next week we are going to talk about what we mean, in more depth, by simple, sustainable and meaningful lives and what we hope to achieve over the next year, in the following week we’ll share what we hope YOU will gain from following us and joining with us on this journey.