|Photo from Bleubird duhhhh|
Lately, it seems that all of a sudden we're asking the same questions and having the same conversations all at once. At least that's my observation from my little corner of the universe. The subject of minimalism seems to be finding its way into all of my conversations, blogs I follow, and websites I check. One by one it seems that we're all slowly opening our eyes and being woken up to the reality of the sheer amount of excess and crap in our lives. "I feel like I'm being swallowed by all the stuff around me," a friend told me recently over coffee. I'm not sure what it is that sparked this shift in the way we're all thinking (it may be so shallow as the trendiness of Scandinavian design, which is having a moment) but isn't it about time?
I've never thought of myself as a particularly frivolous person. I drive a crappy used car, my Dell is quite literally falling apart and minutes from blowing up, and I never buy things unless they're on sale. I suppose I never thought I struggled with excess because I always compared myself to people that had more than me. Then, the wake up call...
A couple months ago I moved out of my last college apartment. This move seemed more overwhelming than any of the others and I'll go ahead and credit that to the fact that I waited until the last minute and did most of it by myself with the help of my fiance. But still, there's something about the act of moving that's the equivalent to putting on the most in focus pair of glasses you've ever tried on. It's amazing the common sense that can come from the motivation of one less box to pack and unpack. All of a sudden, I found myself asking, "will I ever really wear this dress I bought on sale for when I lose those ten pounds?" and then for the first time answering honestly. I seem to finally be able to see the five thousand knick-knacks littering my desk for what they really are...a waste of space. I filled up bag after bag of things that seemed so worthy and important and brilliant when they were sitting in the Anthropologie sale room and dropped them off at the Goodwill. Each time I dropped off those bags I felt lighter and because of that feeling I knew something had to change.
Nick and I have been talking a lot about how we'll soon be coming together to create our own little family of two, our own family with its own culture and values. It's very exciting. We like the idea of starting this next chapter with minimalism in mind. We've been talking about how we want to spend our money and the importance of quality of quantity. It's so easy to be seduced by a good deal without asking, "do I really want this?" Or more importantly, "do I really need this?" There's something to be said for buying only what you truly need and then when you do, investing well in those things and keeping them for the long haul. Being wise and thoughtful about each purchase, I like it.
I filled up and dropped off some more bags at Goodwill (shoes this time...RIP) today and was thinking about how the whole purging part of this minimalism thing is actually the easy part...the fun part. It feels oh so good to free up space in your life physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It's liberating. After I've sorted through all the piles though, ahh yes that will be when the rubber meets the road. It's time to actually practice this minimalism I speak of. It will be time to stare a J. Crew sale in the face and then walk away. God help us. Not as warm and fuzzy as the purging part is the actual practice of it. I suspect phase two of this new journey to be...a struggle to say the very least.
Your thoughts on all this minimalism jazz? Have you been feeling the same way? Let's chat.