Live simply, and simply live
This series has been a long time coming, and it has been sitting on the back burner, mostly because of how much time I’ve been spending actually digging my head into this apparent way of life most commonly called ‘minimalism’. I had this post sitting there for a while to serve as some kind of introduction but my list of planned posts for this series isn’t going to go anywhere if I don’t start.
I was encouraged by Michelle and Bhairavee to write blog posts on this topic. Both of them really wanted to hear about my decluttering experiences.
First things first, though…
Nick told me to stop calling myself a minimalist, stop saying I’m trying to be a minimalist, and stop referring to it as such – and, of course – stop getting brainwashed. And I think that that is the place to start. Labelling things can make you lose sight of the real point or real meaning. Labelling something does not give more credibility to what is actually involved.
The way it has always manifested in my mind, though, even as a young girl, was to ‘live simply’. As I write this, I continue to see it as my ‘Decluttering Adventures’, but over time, all of these names encompass a certain way of thinking.
What is ‘minimalism’?
Let me put it this way: Minimalism is whatever you want.
Kenneth, who I have only known for a short period of time, mentioned that it was surprising that a girl could be this way. I absolutely didn’t take offence to that, as he explained it was because most girls seemed to love collecting trinkets, toys, cute stuff, and general ‘junk’, and find it difficult to have less stuff.
For me, this isn’t specifically about having less stuff. I’m not telling you to get rid of your stuff. Heck, I’m not telling you to do anything. However, the general misconception is that a ‘minimalist’ gets rid of everything material that they own. It can be very extreme/full-on/just plain weird for some people.
My personal definition is loose, but over the past six months I have tried to declutter and remove physical items in my life that I don’t use and therefore don’t need, so that I feel more free to:
- do what I love,
- spend valuable time experiencing new things, and
- make memories.
I’m not just removing physical items, but I am making better decisions with my spending, focusing on things in life that should matter more, and overall identifying and doing what makes me happy.
I was inspired partly by The Minimalists, but more inspired by Jon Jandai’s TED talk, ‘Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?’ As a poor farmer from Thailand, Jon’s view on his carefree life was confused by the successful and wealthy, who introduced him to the world of eight-hour jobs, tertiary study and expensive houses – until he realised that society and its expectations were affecting people’s happiness.
I recommend watching the video or just listening to it, just fifteen minutes of your time – it’ll also give you a laugh.
Why are you writing this?
I am writing this just to share my journey. I am not encouraging anyone to follow me or do the same. I’m going to talk real talk here, and share my thoughts and experiences related in this series called Live simply.