Column: On how to be picky

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©artwork by Charles Bals / Another Slang

This column was of course a brilliant idea in the beginning, especially since the first one, titled “Slow Down“, enjoyed an increasing popularity. Message received: Sharing personal thoughts is rewarded by our readers with participation, engagement and words of encouragement. Awesome, you might think. More of this! Which leads me to my next point: “So how’d the whole switching to a lower gear thing work out for you in the first few weeks after going live?” was a question people would ask me all too often, usually with a touch of schadenfreude flickering in their eyes as well as the hope that I simply hadn’t been able to listen to my inner balance during all the excitement. But you know what? I really did. And so I have to once again mention my beloved meditation App as well as my close relationship with my inner self that I worked so hard to build over the past few months. At our office, we work with complete focus, so you can actually leave when your mind isn’t functioning at a hundred percent anymore. Reboot. Sleep. Go for a run. Distract yourself. Keep going.

Why, you might ask, didn’t we find the time to type up our second column until now? Quite simply, because I needed a quiet moment. And more importantly: An idea that I wanted to put down on paper hadn’t come to me. Which brings us to the heart of the matter: What’s it like to be overly picky on a daily basis? Veronika teases me about this habit of mine, of only wanting that ONE thing, which offers endless amusement to our office trio. What does that mean for daily life? You’d think it would create clarity, shorten thought processes and help make decisions. There’s something to that, of course. It’s particularly helpful in the morning when I’m picking an outfit: 80% of my wardrobe is black or white with one pair of blue jeans, old men’s shirts from my father, beige coats. C’est ca. Searching for THE shoe (story of my life) that’s long sold out can take a lot of time, although resisting compromise purchases with an iron will saves money. Still, always listening to the same music and generally only allowing a limited amount of new, good things can narrow your horizon.

Professionally speaking, this can naturally offer benefits: yes or no? Is there a better way (when in doubt, the answer is always YES) and if so, can we please take the necessary detour? Of course, this inspires the occasional eye roll and even if it’s uncomfortable, we’re often rewarded with the satisfaction of having gone even further than planned. A direct consequence: You can only indulge in a short break—or not and immediately start searching for the next special and especially good topic. Or the next idea, one that no one has had before and you find unbelievably great, which happens rarely enough as it is. The disadvantage: Things get too tight. You spend days searching and in the end you feel that you’re not moving forward at the right pace. Here’s where all of this gets really interesting: in your private life. Excessive minimalism is hardly socially compatible. No, that’s not what I want. Well, I do, but only in a certain way. Perhaps this is a good place to consider that letting go and not being picky can offer small guarantees for a wonderfully thoughtless and unexpected weekend. Leaving decisions to others, not thinking or judging and just enjoying being temporarily whisked away into a different world.

©Alex de Brabant

Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.