For the past few months I've been trying to transition into a minimalist. Why minimalism, why not?
My experience of working in retail has turned me into a minimalist early on, but I didn't make anything of it until I did one day. Seeing the same customer come to the store every week to purchase the newest thing on the shelve makes you question what is that's missing in their life that material possession seems to be the logical answer to fill the void. While I critiqued and criticized these customer(s) and questioned their happiness, little did I know I was just like them. Like them their happiness seems to be depended on material possession, the more they consumed the happier they seem, but that happiness only lasted for a certain period of time and the cycle starts over again.
I would not say that I have a lot of things per se (clothes in particular), or at least that's what I thought. While I hate shopping and spending money on clothes the process of becoming a minimalist has showed me that I am no matter than the customer(s) who come to the store every week and purchase the latest item. While they did their shopping every week I did my shopping once a month, and over the course of the year my 'minimalist' closet was full of clothes that I did not wore for months. Like them my material possession have come to define me and my identity seems to be interlinked with my material possession, the stack of clothes in my closet to the bookshelf full of books that I refuse to allow others barrow.
Letting go of material possession seems to the least of my worry, with clutter of books and clothes I am also hoarding shitty relationship and friends because like my material possession they seems to be a part of my identity, individuals who my happiness seems to be depended on.
Becoming a minimalist seems like a logical answer to my stress, but also personal value and believe. Being a vegan and a health advocate I am always trying to lead a simple healthy life, my diet is very simple and things that I know don't add value to my diet I always let of, i.e. eating meat or diary. Yet, the other aspect of my life has not caught on to this "simple living." Letting go of material things and friendship that do not add value to my life has been the hardest thing. But I am half way there. While my closet is still full of clothes, now I have clothes in my closet that I wear at least twice a month depending on how busy the month is.
So what is a minimalism?
Depending on who ask the question of what is varies, however an agreed upon definition is that a minimalist or minimalism is the idea of living with things that one really needs, or adds values to one's life.
- "At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distract us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality ...... Minimalism brings freedom from the all-consuming passion to possess" - Josh Becker
" It’s a way to escape the excesses of the world around us — the excesses of consumerism, material possessions, clutter, having too much to do, too much debt, too many distractions, too much noise. But too little meaning. Minimalism is a way of eschewing the non-essential in order to focus on what’s truly important, what gives our lives meaning, what gives us joy and value." - Leo Babauta’s
I really like these definition because they sum minimalism perfectly, which makes the decision to become a minimalist seems like a logical answer for everyone irrespective of their life style. If something does not bring you joy or add any value to your life, why hold on it to it? The simple answer is to just "Let go"