Today as a society we are heavy consumers. So much so that not owning stuff can be socially alienating and somehow can convey an image of weakness and lack of wealth. Or so we are made to think. The real issue isn’t really the amount of stuff we own or buy but rather the mindset of ‘I need this to be … happy, to make people like me, to make my life easier, to make me be accepted’ etc. What do you really need to live comfortably and what do you think you need? As a society, we cling to stuff for support and sense of belonging. The sense of entitlement is really the true enemy. There is nothing wrong with owning things but the real question everyone should ask themselves – what is the driving force behind you feeling like you need the obscure amount of things?
Minimalism is a lifestyle about evaluating your possessions and your mindset and this is what has really attracted me to it and what has persuaded me to declutter and get rid of ‘junk’.
So why would one want to go minimalist?
I have always wanted to travel and I will travel in my life. I try to travel as much as possible and for such lifestyle minimalism seems very appealing. Imagine having enough stuff to be comfortable but not having to worry about extensive packing. To me, minimalism goes hand in hand in a life that I want to have. Simple as that. I prefer spending money on making memories rather than buying things that I will never use.
I grew up in a family setting where great emphasis was placed on wealth. I used to be embarrassed if I did not have the best phone in class or the latest Nike sneakers. After I moved out and started from scratch I really learned to appreciate people for what they were rather than what they owned. Unless you are an exception, all students are usually very tight on money and buying super expensive things is just not practical. This means that all of us kind of are in the same boat – forever skinned.
I want to live a simpler life, where I no longer place emphasis on things and consumptions but value nature, characters and am not distracted by superficial things. I want to understand what I want in life and what my true long term goals are. I used to be someone, who strived to be wealthy and to me, that meant owning a big house, a car, a massive closet etc. Do you notice the pattern? Now years later I no longer wish that for myself, but I am also very young and not sure of what exactly I want so minimalism to me is a mean of understanding myself and analyzing what I want in life without the distraction of things.
As I have talked about before, one of the reasons I went vegan was due to environmental impacts of meat and dairy industry. As a minimalist, I’d like to strive in becoming more Eco-friendly and using or wasting less of the planet’s resources.
Lastly, I truly despise some aspects of today’s society and living minimalist is almost like me flipping off the society that somewhere along the way has forgotten about compassion, love, kindness and is only driven by sex and money. I didn’t want to be part of society that condone to animal cruelty so I changed my life, now I want to go step further and distance myself even more in hopes to finding a happy life spiritually. I aspire to seek happiness from within and not place it into objects.
With that being said I still stand by the fact that while I wish this wasn’t true, the world goes around thanks to money and while I aspire to live lightly that doesn’t mean I do not wish to live comfortably or make enough money, it just simply means that I probably chose to spend my money a lot different than you do.
With that, I’d like to conclude this first post into my minimalist series. Now go outside and spread some kindness!
Originally published August 7th 2016, edited January 14th 2017.