A Minimalist Journey: The beginning
My first steps into minimalism.
My first steps into minimalism.
I'm starting this journal out of a need to document the current process of simplifying my life, as well as sharing it.
I’m going through a huge purge of unnecessary things, material as well as immaterial. I’m getting rid of junk in the house, old digital files, inactive accounts and contacts. Anything that no longer has purpose in my life.
I stumbled upon The Minimalists and the whole concept seems to resonate with me. It feels like it’s something I had always wanted to be able to do. I had always tried to get rid of old junk and declutter, but now it seems like I found the missing piece of the puzzle: mindfulness and purpose.
Back in 2008 I was stuck by the movie "Into the Wild". I admired the freedom the character (based on Christopher McCandless) created for himself, but I could never see myself doing anything like it, ever. I was too much of a city consumerist kid.
And until very recent, I was still in that mindset. I was a blind slave of the system, dulling and numbing myself with a giant load of tv shows, junk food and "therapy shopping", when I wasn't working long hours.
Then, the Minimalists' story struck the same chord on a new more approachable level. They showed it's possible and they showed how to go about it.
I’ve also finally had the complete realisation that I don’t need material things. Growing up a rather materialistic child, this feels like a very big awakening for me. I’ve also only now started to value my personal life much more than my professional life. Only very recently did this fall into place for me. I realised that work won’t be holding my hand on my deathbed.
Knowing and understanding something rationally is not enough for me to change, I need an emotional trigger. I believe that has happened now, something finally snapped into place. It seems like my will has finally started to align with “Less is more”.
Being a designer, Minimalism makes sense to me. It makes sense to transfer that line of thought into my lifestyle. It makes sense to be mindful and more purposeful of my actions. It makes sense to evaluate what brings value and what is obsolete in my life. It makes sense to reflect on how my actions and my lifestyle affect the world around me.
I want to live with meaning and purpose. I want to work towards something positive, something that matters. Shedding the necessary clutter in my life helps me see and focus on my priorities more easily.
Like many people I wished the world would be a better place, but I felt powerless to act on anything at all. And again, like many, I remained idle by in my cozy life even though it felt empty.
Letting go of this mindset was a slow process. Once I blocked out unhealthy relationships, I became increasingly aware of things I cared about and started to make small changes, such as making an effort to only buy fair clothing and only when I needed it.
My biggest problem was, I always wanted to be able to make big changes overnight. Yes, I'm impatient. I couldn't see the slower path of starting off small and being okay if no one gave a damn about it.
Now I'm finally learning to be more patient with myself and to slowly lay out a path for myself that feels right.