After some thought on the matter, I’ve finally decided to join the blogging world.
This thought started sometime in 2011, around the time I decided to become a minimalist. I started a “note” on Facebook and kept updating it as I felt necessary. Obviously not the best method for online journaling, I finally broke down and went the blog route.
As I stated above, my life has been changing recently in a very minimalist direction. I feel like I need to copy/paste my previous Facebook note (or at least the juicier parts of it) for you to grasp my beginning in this journey. Sorry this post is longer than you probably want to read. I’ll try to keep it short and put my biggest points in bold.
i hate new year’s resolutions. i never do them. it’s lame to me. why not make changes anytime of the year. if you see something that you need to do differently, don’t waste another minute. DO IT NOW! you never know how many days you have left.
i guess that’s why i chose now to make a change. it really has nothing at all to do with the new year, but more to do with the realization of how unpredictable life can be. you see, my family and i lost someone very close to us at the very end of december. the worst part is, we were told everything would be ok. he’ll be fine. then four days later, it happened.
it made me really step back and evaluate my life. what’s important?
now, if anyone knows me at all, they probably know that i’m extremely organized. i definitely have a case of ocd, which i’m pretty sure was passed down to me from my mother. i have a schedule for almost everything. i can’t live without my day planner and my innumerable amount of rubbermaid containers. everything has a place. i’ve always seen this as a good thing in my life. however, as of late, i see it as a handicap. in all this organization, i’ve also come to be somewhat of a hoarder. not as bad as some, i am aware, but a hoarder nonetheless.
after the funeral was over, i was back at work, and the separation from my family began to sink in, i felt an intense urge to get rid of everything. it was suffocating. i could not simply go through my days ignoring this inner pull for change. i couldn’t go back to the clutter that had become my life—my “normal”. i wanted my life to consist of things that mattered, and only those things.
it started with going through my old clothes; now it’s grown to EVERYTHING in my line of sight. i’ve gone on this raging rampage of tossing all of the trash out of my life.
i’ve always been sentimental when it comes to possessions, not for money reasons or the-more-stuff-you-have-the-happier-you-are reasons, but because i attach memories and experiences with my stuff. so, i started googling ways to emotionally let go of these things. after all, it’s the memories and experiences themselves that really matter. not the “stuff” to prove it happened.
as i researched and researched and researched, i kept coming across these recurring themes of the joys of having less, less is more, cling to what matters and let go of what doesn’t…. and it was like i finally figured out what i wanted to do. I WANTED TO BE A MINIMALIST! now, maybe not in the most extreme way. for example, i don’t plan on trading out my bed for a sleeping bag on the floor anytime soon.
minimalism isn’t about deprivation. instead, it’s about finding the things that truly make you happy and filling your life with them.
i’m still in the early stages of this journey, and i’ve read that it takes a LOT of time and energy to reach a goal of this magnitude. it’s a complete lifestyle change. it takes total honesty with yourself, a clear head, and the ability to let go. no amount of me releasing my possessions can even hold a candle to the loss that my family and i are experiencing now. knowing this makes me hopeful. i hope to, bit by bit and piece by piece, simplify my life only to the things that are important.
in reducing my life, i will be increasing it.
i’m so excited about this! everyday i find more things that are frivolous in my life, and the more i toss, the more i WANT to toss. i can’t wait for my personal surroundings to be a tangible representation of what’s inside my heart.
if there’s anything i want to do here, other than declutter my own life, it’s to influence others to follow my lead. to quote leo babauta, who put together a great little book i’m working through entitled “the simple guide to a minimalist life”, we all need to ”learn the concept of Enough……and figure out what makes [us] happy.” after we do that, we should then “get rid of the rest, so [we] have room for those important things.”
“be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. when you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” -lao tzu
I hope that you see where I’m coming from, now, and can maybe even relate to me on some level or another.
This really is a process that works in layers. Since beginning this journey, I’ve probably been responsible for putting together about 5 garage sales to declutter my life. While having one, I always feel like I’ve achieved my end goal, only to realize later that there is still so much left to be rid of! I’m actually in the process of planning another one right now.
When having a garage sale, I usually have the help of my wonderful parents, but especially my mother. She’s my best friend and has been on board with this whole idea from Day 1. I’m so happy to have inspired her in this way! Her excitement about streamlining her life is contagious.
Well, there you have it. I think I’ve said enough for my first blog post.
This should give you guys something to chew on for a couple of days until my next entry.
While reading, have you been thinking of things you can do without?