Minimalist Lifestyle – My Story

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Have you ever seen Fight Club? There is a scene that struck me at the time, I even felt like I understood it. But, later on as the years went by I realized I was just that person. I’d become a slave to the nesting instinct. 

Owning things is great. We need to own things and we need them for a certain quality of life. But, for me there was a point where this balance board shifted. In between working 50+ hour weeks and consuming media voraciously, I had started to buy things.

It crept up on me. Until I was living a way that just felt wrong. I don’t mean this in a hippy enlightened type of way either. There are plenty of people who seem to be enlightened preaching minimalism. I’m not to their point yet, where I just feel at peace with everything.

But I knew something for certain, and that was that buying a bunch of things I didn’t care about wasn’t going to improve my life. I had screenprinting supplies, leathermaking kits, arduino boards and circuits. 

Yet, I’d never sit down and get to these hobbies. Why was that? Well, it’s hard for me to fully understand myself. But, I think the ideal version of me would jump on those things. Instead, I had this pile of stuff that just made me feel lazy.

I was starting to collect things, just to collect them. Stifling the creative part of me away. It wasn’t going to be satiated by buying products. 

I wanted a hobby, but was too drained at the end of the day. So what was the next best thing? For me, it was to buy stuff. I’ve always been an overly reflective person, to a fault! I overthink everything, but somehow this made sense. 

A mental shift

They say that a pebble can eventually change the course of a river. So when I decided to quit my job, and move abroad for a while I also decided to sell everything. It was insane, going from all the crap I had accumulated down to 2 suitcases.

But I did it. And it’s not something someone should have to do or feel the need to do. Unless you’re in a similar boat like I was. Accumulating things and just overall not in a good space mentally. 

Since then, I’ve managed to not accumulate much more. 

How do you decide when to buy something?

There are gurus out there who have criteria for this. For me I just think if it will add value to my life. Then I couple that with a cleanout phase every few months. I’ve always loved gadgets, and you’ll see me review many of them on this site.

It’s my healthy addiction that I feel no shame for! With this little simple process of mine, I decide if something is worth buying. There is no structured plan for me, that doesn’t work with my lifestyle. 

I’ve always had a strong dislike for steadfast rules. But, cutting out all the junk I had has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. For my mental clarity, reducing clutter, and overall well-being it is something I recommend to anyone in a similar boat. 

The minimalist identity

Have you ever seen people that base their entire identity on a way of life? “Hey, this is Jamie he’s a RUNNER”. You could substitute the second part of that sentence with nearly anything. From someones occupation to their favorite drug. 

With a trending topic like minimalism, you’ll see it all over the internet. “I’m a minimalist”. Well, for something meant to balance your life I think it’s important that it doesn’t become your identity. Rather, let it add to you(like some hotsauce on a delicious burrito-yes I’m hungry).

Your identity is deeper than the ocean and its a multitude of things. Minimalism is a part of a productive life that can compliment who you are. This isn’t a scolding of those people, if they need to identify as something then good for them.

Someday I hope to identify as a grumpy old man, but I’ve still got a few years left. 

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