Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
This week, Michelle tells us about her minimalist journey—from its beginnings over a decade ago, to her current “less is more” lifestyle. Please visit her blog to read more.
My process of becoming a minimalist is quite weird and interesting for me to look back on. I started out fond of collecting things – post cards, figurines…my belonging held a poetic sense of significance to me. However, even back then an image in my mind would keep popping up – an image of a small room with only a bed and a little table in it, and on the table was a cracked vase with flowers. I resonated with this image, but I left it tucked away in the quiet corners in my mind.
Then something inexplicable happened. I read The Lord of the Rings and by the end of the last book, I suddenly became incredibly sad. I was about 13 years old at the time and this feeling lasted for two weeks. I learned later that everything I experienced and exhibited during that period matched all the signs of depression. One of the things that happened is I lost all attachment to the objects I cared about. That was when I started throwing and giving things away.
I am 24 years old now and even though my beginnings as a minimalist were a bit melancholic, my way of life as a minimalist makes me happy. Through the years, I have slowly pared down to a very minimal wardrobe (why keep clothes you rarely wear anyway?) and eliminated many things from my life. I do have a library of books, but I am comfortable with leaving them behind as I’ve already started developing my ebook library. When I do have something that isn’t completely necessary, I look at the object as something that is simply passing through my life – not something that I need to find a permanent “home” for in my life. I do own journals, but (and this might sound extreme) when they are full, I throw them away. I look at a journal as a tool that has helped me grow, but at the same time, it contains a version of me that I don’t want to identify with anymore. The act of throwing the journal away for me is like an affirmation that it’s time to write more future, not read over the past. And that is what minimalism means to me. Every time I let something go, I feel like I am creating room for new experiences and deeper relationships. I’m putting my focus where it really matters.
And it’s funny, because I didn’t even know what a minimalist was until I stumbled on this blog. :)
My blog is www.secretowl.org.