17 Jan how to adopt a bohemian lifestyleReading Time: 4 minutes
a bohemian is a person who lives creatively. there are no trends to be followed, no specific boho dresses or hispter haircuts. rather true bohemianism is about bringing originality into every aspect of your life.
I discovered the first bohemians thought a talk given by vanessa nicholson who grew up surrounded by this creative community in the early 1900’s. the way the term is used nowadays falls short and I felt that a redefinition was necessary. I also wanted to think about creativity, to think about ways that I could live more like the bohemians.
this doesn’t mean you need to suddenly take up oil painting or buy an analog camera, only look for ways to live creatively. we spend way too much of our free time passively consuming products and media. this is a challenge to create more. maybe this means learning a craft you’ve always had an interest in, maybe it’s actually just making more memories, going on adventures, having experiences worth remembering. creative living doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to make you money and it doesn’t have to be validated by anyone, but it will make your life delightfully more interesting.
“everything was going to be new, everything was going to be different, everything was on trial” -virginia woolf”
when you question why you’re doing something you begin to live intentionally. instead of following social norms you do things because they add depth to your life.
when you think about it it’s quite silly that nowadays boho clothing is associated with a specific trend when the bohemians of the nearly 1900’s weren’t following trends at all. they were wearing whatever they pleased. black baggy pants, floor-length robes, chinese silk and patchwork dresses. they were breaking social norms and using their clothing to express themselves creatively. there aren’t any rules to dressing like a bohemian, only to clothe yourself expressively.
be picky and minimalistic. rather than having a closet full of clothes you’re never sure you want to wear look for treasures. find clothes that make you feel comfortable and uniquely yourself. have clothing exchanges and shop at thrift stores; it’s cheaper, more interesting and more sustainable.
create a comfortably beautiful home
make your home a place you love to come back to. fill it with all your favorite things. think about the colors you relate to, the textures that make you feel comfortable; pick out art and plants and lighting fixtures, it doesn’t really matter what. the point is that whatever they are they are, they are details that make you happy. don’t focus on what other people will think when they walk in the door, think about that will make you happy. a bohemian home is a space that is beautiful in a liveable way, somewhere you feel comfortable and inspired.
don’t worry about other people’s opinions
it can dangerously easy to slip into the game of comparing yourself to others and start weighing your worth in imaginary competitions that you will never win. the bohemians threw victorian society’s opinion out the window and we can thank them for a great deal of the freedom of expression that we experience today. society is a concept we made up based on other people’s opinions and we have just as much ability to let the concept go. so when you catch yourself starting to tally up a comparison list, be mindful enough to let it go.
be mindful of how you spend your time. the bohemians understood this and they valued time to be creative over superficial gains such as money and social status. think about the parts of your life that most inspire you and make time for them in your life.
focus on friendships
friendships were very important to the bohemians and I still believe that true friendships are the cornerstone of a happy life. appreciate your friends and the unique qualities that each individual adds to your life. appreciating these differences gives you a more open perspective and allows you to accept your own uniqueness more. choose friends who share your passions. this doesn’t mean that all your friends have to like everything you like, actually, it’s quite the opposite. maybe you are completely different but you both are learning portuguese and enjoy reading poetry together, maybe you motivate each other to go to the gym or maybe you just laugh a lot. every friendship is valid and is an opportunity to appreciate and love another human being. this is the true lesson and when you live like this you will feel more comfortable in your skin and more expressive of your passions.
the bohemians have taught me many ways to live creatively. and although I have never met them I share their love of creative living and I feel that I understand they joy they got out of their colorful lives. they inspired me to take more risks, to live daringly and follow all my curiosities and above all to find people who share my passions and experience these joys together.