I’ve always had this idea that simple is better, and the way it sounds it seems like it could be so much easier to accomplish. Well that’s where things went wrong for me. There’s this thing called Minimalism, is a simple way of living, where you learn how to perceive things, more especifically the materialized things.
I was first introduced to this concept in my graphic design class, see this can also apply to many different things, but in this case it was a way to showcase a simple design yet still carry a valuable meaning, it still sends the message you’re trying to portray minus all the fonts and complicated illustrations. After doing that project,- this was 4 years ago, I fell in love with the concept of it. I found out that I excelled at doing minimalist designs and that it became the content I defined most of all my art work with. But I wanted it to be more than just art, I wanted to apply it to my daily life. I started with fashion which is what I mostly expressed myself with, simple clothing items yet still keeping the pieces that truly screamed ME, like my classic rock tees and my bohemian accessories. I also started getting rid of clutter and “organizing”. I would get rid of the things I no longer needed mostly things that would pile up on my desk, clothes I’ve bought, but never worn or didn’t fit, or magazines I’ve collected over the years just sitting there as decor, but never actually been browsed through and then I would organize the things I would think to myself would be of use someday.
This all felt good and made me feel happy, temporarily, until I went and bought more things to replace the ones I’ve gotten rid of. I would go and buy more sweaters and tops that fit, shoes that were on trend, 3 pairs of the same color jeans but different styles for different types of outfits, it was getting ridiculous. My credit card statements would be $400 a month spent on clothes and beauty stuff and this was on a college student budget. I did not come to the realization of this until now, but back then I still thought I was living a minimalist lifestyle, but I wasn’t. I was trying to organize the things I thought I needed when in reality I just needed to have less stuff.
See one thing I did realize is that I’ve spent all this money to fill a gaping void, that if I did my nails every two weeks, my hair was always done, and my clothes were up to the latest trends, I could actually fit in and be happy like those other girls, guys would actually notice me, or they’d appreciate the things I would do to look good for them. But till this day, have done all those things they still didn’t matter or made me feel happy, people didn’t notice me or treat me any less than anyone else, guys never realized if I got my hair cut or it was on a different style, everything still was the same, the only thing that felt wrong was this discontent and unsatisfied hole in me that just wanted all this to actually happen, finally satisfy it, and fill it once in for all. I realized that I was living this life to satisfy others and not myself, I wanted to be accepted by others and not primarily by myself, I wanted to be like those who I thought had it all figured out and were happy and living the true “American Dream”, but never thought what could actually make ME happy, because what could make them happy wouldn’t necessarily make ME happy.
And so I decided it all needed to STOP. I needed to take some time and meditate on what I really wanted in MY life, meditate on the things that were actually bringing me happiness and those that weren’t. And for those things that were not bringing me happiness I need it to learn how to LET THEM GO! I need it to reevaluate its purpose in my life, what were their true values. I need it to rethink my future decisions, my career paths,- am I heading into this career for the money, or because I truly believe I can help make a change in someone’s life and/or possibly the world. I needed to rethink who I associated with, do they bring me happiness, lend support, or are they doing the total opposite, and if so LET THEM GO!
I saw how much more there was to this concept of minimalism when I came across this documentary on Netflix called as is : Minimalism. This documentary really opened my eyes, and it really made me realize how much more you’re doing by living as a minimalist, you’re not only getting rid of clutter, but you are meditating on the things that ARE IMPORTANT. You don’t over consume by impulse buys and advertisements, you allow yourself to be more aware of yourself and your surroundings, you find out what mostly consumes most of your day and if it does not a have a meaningful purpose to your day, get rid of it or that habit. Like having all the latest social media apps instead of having that one you actually engage with more and connect with. Minimalism makes you more aware of the things that you own and their true values, as a minimalist you only own the things that are Important and essential, not all the extra things you probably used for 2 months and it’s just now sitting inside a full drawer. This way of living makes you feel content, freer, enlightened, stress and debt free. Who doesn’t want this dream?!
I’m inviting you all to look into this and see if it’s what you’ve been looking for. I know I will rethink and meditate on everything I do from now on, before I purchase something I don’t really need, or before pursuing something that’ll make me miserable later on, before I hold on to things I don’t actually use or need, before I buy a huge home that only 20% of it would be occupied, or before I bring people into my life that only fill me in with negativity.
Life is only one, we only get one chance to live it and actually live it the right way. Nothing in this world that one can possibly buy and own will ever matter the day of our last breath. Nothing but the memories we have made and experienced is what is most important. The thought that we lived our lives the way we were meant to live it and that we made a contribution to the world, THAT would be our last thought.
“Reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of material possessions” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club