LET'S TALK SOFT LIFE: THE REAL ON HAVING A SOFT LIFE LIFESTYLE
Just finished mulling over my weekly agenda, which includes "Soft Life" as a topic listed for today on my blog to do list.
Sipping my coffee as I sit in loungewear with my laptop in front of me, while also glancing up at "The View" which happens to be one of my favorite television shows, I begin to jot down my thoughts.
I have increasingly heard the term soft life over the last year and without looking into it or knowing what it actually is, I had already formulated preconceived notions for what I thought it could potentially mean.
No idea why before now I never thought to enlighten myself on the topic by at the very least watching a video or actually reading a social media post, but what can I say except it just wasn’t something top of mind nor did it pique my interest enough.
My initial thoughts about it included the embrace of a luxury lifestyle, femininity, and self care, as I would often glance over headlines and topics that almost always listed luxury and soft life synonymously.
Wasn’t until I was having a conversation with my daughter who asked me if I considered my life to be a soft life, that I would begin to have a bit more interest in finding out more.
Following that conversation I decided to do a bit of research which first included actually defining the term. This then led me down the rabbit hole of a number of blogs and other social media that would include a wide range of ideas on the topic.
So let’s first define the term soft life. It is defined as a life of ease without requiring hard work, sacrifice, and unpleasantness. The definition goes on to include that it is important to understand that this social movement is less about wealth and more about fair access to a standardized good quality of living.
More specifically, it is an expression that derived from the Nigerian influencer community rejecting the stereotypical lifestyle of Black women being laborers and providers.
After uncovering the definition for soft life, I immediately started to scan over my life in its entirety up to where I am now and I then started unpacking my thoughts to determine whether or not “soft life” applies.
As a Black woman, American born by way of the diaspora, I love everything about being a woman and choose to embrace my femininity in any and every way I can. I totally get wanting to refute the notion of always having to be the quint essential "strong black woman," always expected to take on any and everything with stride, showing little to no emotion during times of distress, and morphing into masculine characteristics as necessary. Yet I can not ignore that for most black women, many of the "strong black woman" characteristics have been necessary for survival.
Without going too deep, especially as I start to think of the many layers surrounding this topic, I am choosing to try to streamline and simplify my response to keep things light.
To also avoid making my response to soft life solely about me and my life, I thought it would be a good idea to consider POVs from other content I came across and pull in thoughts from a couple of friends. So my views are primarily reflective of my thoughts but also inclusive of a few other perspectives I have gathered as well.
I will first start by posing the question, can a soft life be obtained by anyone? I say absolutely. Is it easily attainable? I say yes and no -- depending on the type of lifestyle that an individual deems important and or successful if soft life is the goal or end game.
In the grand scheme of things I would venture to say that the idea of a soft life is ultimately the goal for everyone. I mean who does not want a life of ease without the trade off of hard work, sacrifice, and unpleasantries? Question is, how real is this idea?
From relationships to career trajectory and overall lifestyle, as a woman who has lived, I would say that I have experienced a bit of it all. I have endured the journey of aspiring to a soft life way before it was a thing, and now I know what personally defines what a soft life means for me. Yet I realize it is not a one size fits all concept.
When making the transition from a totally different career into my current one, there has been lots of sacrifice and much planning -- and this is continuous. I have also kissed a few frogs and have had to do the work on spiritual wellness and overall self reflection and discovery before being blessed with a wonderful parter in my husband and an overall life of peace and happiness. However, I believe it is important to make clear that the work for this lifestyle never stops as the journey to sustaining peace and happiness is a continuous one.
While I can say I am in a space that affords some aspects of a soft life, It is important for me to note that it has taken a great deal of intention and hard work to get here. I remain humbled by the idea that there is still so much more that I aspire to on my quest to be the best human I can be, as well as what I'd like to achieve for my life overall. For me this means that more work and sacrifice lys ahead.
I preface all these things because I believe it can be very misleading for anyone to suggest the idea of a soft life without also mentioning that a soft life for most is typically the result of a life that has often included hard work and intention.
Are there a few exceptions for some when it comes to soft life? Of course, there are always exceptions to just about anything. But -- nothing in life is free. So I am sure that even those who may have been born into privilege would agree that there is a price paid for what is perceived as a soft life - be it time, privacy, fulfillment, and often true happiness.
If you are a woman hoping that your fantasy prince charming comes along to offer the idea of a soft life, know that even in that scenario there will be concessions. You should be asking yourself, "what will I offer my prince charming to ensure that our union is somehow a balanced exchange that isn't anchored in something unsustainable?"
Although the idea of what a soft life means may be subjective, as different women aspire to different things, it requires first defining what it means for you and your life and then designing a plan for how to achieve it.
Using myself as an example, the older I get, more than any luxury item or experience, when placing my religious and spiritual beliefs aside -- agency over my peace, time, and autonomy mean more to me than anything. So almost anything I do is done with these values at the height of my intention.
What about you - what do you envision when considering a soft life? Have you started developing a plan for how to achieve it? Is your idea of a soft life contingent upon the ability of someone providing it for you i.e. a partner? Do you believe a soft life can be willed or manifested?
Never too early or too late to start envisioning what a soft life would look like for you. Nor is it ever too late or too early to begin devising a plan for your soft life.
Meanwhile I do believe there are ways to experience certain aspects of a soft life in the process of doing the work to prepare for the ultimate "soft life" experience.
As an example - we all can and should take the time to love on ourselves by simply creating and exercising healthy boundaries that make for a stress free life. Affirm and uplift with inspirational words and thoughts because you/we are worth it. Strive to surround yourself with positive people who may be on similar journeys.
While I do believe that everyone has the potential for their ideal #softlife, I believe it is necessary to give thought to realistically imagining what you want yours to look like and then strategize positioning yourself to ensure you achieve it.