{on living with intention}

Before I get to the heart of this post, I feel the need to tell you a little about my background. You see, my family did not have a lot of money when I was growing up. My mom raised my brother and I on her own, so most of my clothes were hand me downs or came from Walmart. I don't resent this; my mom was, and still is, an amazing and resilient person who did what she needed to do to give my brother and I the best life that she could. I will say, however, that being a teenager and not having the hippest clothes or trendiest accessories was difficult. I was trying to figure out who I was, but was held back by something so inconsequential; I see that now. But it was still difficult at the time. 

Intentional Living


When I got to college, I was blessed with a scholarship that exceeded the cost of tuition and my living expenses. I worked my sophomore through senior years, which often led to spending money that I'd never experienced before. I loved spending my own money on clothes and things for my dorm room, but the frugality that I lived with my entire life didn't just disappear. I was, and still am, really, really, good at finding a bargain. Which is a good and bad thing. 

It's good because I can find cute clothes on the cheap. It's bad because if I find cute clothes on the cheap, I feel the need to buy them. This led to a swollen wardrobe that far exceeded the space of my tiny dorm room closet. 

Over the years, I've realized that cheap clothes aren't the best clothes. They fall apart easily, and most of the time I don't really love them. So, that's where this topic comes in. 

Shopping is just an example, and a really obvious one at that, on living with intention. I've really made a commitment to only buying things that I love and not just because they are on sale. I've made a commitment to buying with intention. This is most definitely a work in progress, but I've really seen it make a difference. I don't waste money anymore on the little things that I don't care about. I can walk into the store without heading straight to the clearance rack. Instead, I take my time, looking at the style of clothes they have. I still don't buy anything unless it's on sale, but again, I only buy it if I love it. 

This concept translates into so many aspects of my life, from the wine that I drink to the blog posts that I write. I try my hardest to make the decisions that are the best for me, that will make me enjoy life the most, and that will help me become a better person. It may sound strange that I say I choose my wine intentionally, but I do. I just don't see the point in drinking two-buck chuck. I don't enjoy it, and I would much rather spend $10 on a better bottle of wine. It's as simple as that. 

I don't publish blog posts unless I'm 100% satisfied with them. I don't even follow people on Twitter unless I have a good reason. 

There are probably a lot of different definitions for living with intention. It's a very personal subject, and something that we all need to figure out for ourselves. There's no one formula that works for everyone, and it's taken me a long time to realize what it means to me. 

Note: I know that my definition of Intentional Living is different than some common definitions out there, like Jess’s from Makeunder My Life, but that’s alright. Like I said, we all need to come to terms with what living intentionally means to us. I just thought that I would share my own experience with all of you.

Do you "live with intention?" What does it mean to you?


in HER shoes said...

i like this post. i had both parents growing up, we were a middle class family, but even then, once i reached high school, they knew it was time to put a stop to the irrational wants that i had. it's not easy, especially growing up in l.a. where trends are always a flowing, even to this day.

living with intention, in my personal opinion is living the life i want. so for me, that includes traveling, being happy and independent. it also means consciously choosing people you surround yourself with. with the lifestyle that i have chosen, i learned to give up certain things - material things, personal relationships. living with intention for me is owning up and holding myself accountable for every single decision i make,

Jacki @ A Certain Type of Glow said...

Yes!! Excellent post Joelle. I am focusing this year on living with intention and it's a challenging concept for me but a really good one that I need to learn. I'm writing updates on my progress to keep me accountable, too. To me it means to be present and mindful in everything I do. This is pretty broad - which I think works well for me as I get started - but like you said, we ALL need to come to terms with what it means for us. I think the common ground is being purposeful in our choices, actions, words, and even - to the extent we are able - our thoughts!

Kate said...

I love this post! I've had to learn how to do that with shopping, too- if you spend money on something you don't really want, you're still wasting that little bit of money, even if it was cheap to begin with. I need to work on living intentionally in other areas of my life, too!