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Moving, Minimalism & Environment

Updated: Jan 6

Good morning friends of Speakeasy Tattoo Los Angeles!

This is Marléna here, with your weekly blog update!

I am writing this post as a last moment in my old apartment before I unplug and move the last couple of boxes out. Maybe its symbolic, maybe it’s because I still don’t have a wireless internet router in my new apartment- no one will ever really know. I feel a little sensitive about leaving this flat in this 1917 apartment building in downtown LA’s Westlake neighborhood. This neighborhood was a really startling first place to live in LA. I am summarizing this chapter in my life as a practice in learning to stay calm and take care of myself while living in a really chaotic and unnatural place. Towards the end, my apartment like most in DTLA, had become overtaken by cockroaches. I’ve learned to be okay with people sleeping 2 ft outside my bedroom window, I’ve avoided nearly being robbed late at night, and I’ve pushed men out of my car as they tried to open my doors and get in.

There were a lot of amazing things that happened to me while living here as well. I moved here to find a tattoo apprenticeship, and I found one within 6 months of being here. I faced challenging personal decisions, ultimately these decisions have helped to reinforce my vision of what I want my life to be like. I completed a 10 month outpatient therapy program and learned tools to change lifelong behaviors, as well as freed myself from cyclical addictive thought patterns. Last but not least, I started making art that I really like!   You can find some of that art here,

To tie up this mostly personal post, I wanted to talk a little bit about something Scott often talks to James and I about: Environment. If you’ve ever been to the shop, you might have noticed it’s a pretty interesting environment. There are a lot of old things, small things, metal/wooden thing, and things from boats. Aside from the objects, the space is arranged very functionally- there are very specific areas for very specific activities. Other than the physical aspects of the shop, there is the distinct and familiar smell of Nag Champa incense. The temperature is controlled, the lighting is controlled. The point of this, is to say that your environment affects your reality, emotionally, spiritually, functionally. With moving to a new apartment or city, you are giving yourself a significant opportunity to re-define your life and habits through creating an intentional environment. As I packed my things here, I carefully picked up every object and heard the soft whisper of Marie Kondo’s voice asking “Does it spark joy?”. If you are not familiar with the concept of Spark Joy, take a moment and watch this.

That’s all for this week!

Thanks for reading


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