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.
I love this story from Kim, who tells us how she gave up her possessions to travel the world. Follow her adventures on her blog, So Many Places.
In a span of two weeks my husband and I sold almost every single one of our possessions.
We sold our house (furnished!), our car, our silverware and our patio furniture and our knick-knacks. We kept photos and old letters and the things that held meaning in our lives, which was a surprisingly small amount of stuff when we got right down to it. We sold it all with the gusto of a storming Calvary. Less stuff and MORE LIFE! we declared. It was our mantra, it had to be, because giving up that stuff was hard.
We gave all up because we were leaving to travel the world, indefinitely, and the life of a nomad doesn’t lend itself well to material possessions. But oh how I cried as it all went out the door (My books! My favorite coffee mug! That adorable orange teapot that we never use but look how cute it looks sitting on the burner!).
Here’s my point: back then, I didn’t know if what I was doing was sane or crazy. I didn’t know if, in losing all of my possessions, I would also lose a part of my identity. And I didn’t know if I’d miss the things that I spent a lifetime acquiring so much that I’d regret my decision altogether.
It’s been a year now since I whittled my possessions down to a backpack-sized load. And you know what? I’m still me. In fact, I might argue (ahm, don’t mind if I do) that I’m a better version of me. I’m a spunkier, freer, more carefree version of me.
I loved that stuff I used to own. Really, I did. But I didn’t need it. That’s what I know now. None of that stuff defined me. I was never my books or my coffee mug or my really cute teapot. None of it really mattered. And I know now that when the day comes to settle down and start accumulating things again, that I will look at each new item in a different light. I’ll look for function. I’ll look for value. Less stuff and MORE LIFE! I’ll declare. And this time I’ll know it’s the truth.