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.
Today, Manon tells us how minimalism saved her from the work-and-spend treadmill. Visit her blog to read more about her journey.
Minimalism… Until about a year ago I never even heard of it. I mean, I knew about minimalistic art and design and found it to be utterly boring. I like colors, bold prints, wonderful fabrics! So, how did I fall in love with minimalism then? It’s a funny story really. Or, well, not really. But it has a very bright silver lining to it though! So stick with me.
About 2 years ago, I collapsed at work. Just dropped on the floor, totally blacked out for a moment. Turned out I was overworked. And not just overworked in the way that I needed a few days off to sleep a bit, regain some strength. Overworked as in the way of not being able to sleep at night, because all I could think about was my job and what would happen if I failed at it, overworked as in the way of not seeing my friends and family anymore, because all I did was work and after that I was too tired to do anything else. Overworked as in the way of yelling and screaming at my beloved boyfriend and my sweet feline friends about every little thing, because I was so tired and stressed out all of the time. Overworked as in not eating well anymore, because I had no time and energy to prepare meals. Overworked as in feeling like the only way I could make myself feel worthy and not like a total failure was by buying stuff, lots and lots of stuff…
So, that’s what I did, I bought stuff, and some more stuff, and some more. Shopping was like a drug to me. I would feel good for just a moment, but after that I would feel even worse than before. I’m pretty sure I was addicted to it. Until one day. It was about a year after I collapsed. I left my job after that horrible day, stayed home for a whole year, just to get a grip on reality again, to regain some energy, spirit and strength. After that year I felt ready. I didn’t knew for what, but I was ready for whatever would come my way. As I was browsing the Internet, I came across a weblog, called the Zen Habits. I started reading and a light went on. This was what I needed! To regain clarity of mind I needed to clear out my life!
So, I started right away. Not only did I deleted all phone numbers of people who where toxic to me, I also dropped all beauty products I needed to value myself. After that I went to my closet. Armed with a dozen trash bags I tackled all the clothing that I had that made me feel uncomfortable and/or didn’t fit my body or my personality. I felt so relieved, so… light! So my journey continued. I was reading every blog I could find about minimalism, including the wonderful Miss Minimalist, and I became more and more enthusiastic.
It has been a year now, and I feel better than ever. I don’t have to worry about stuff anymore and I regained my self worth by realizing that I am not my stuff. I still feel like I’m on a journey when it comes to minimizing my lifestyle and belongings, but isn’t the journey part of the fun? I think it is!
Looking back at before I made the chance that might have saved my life, I felt like the wheel was turning, but the hamster was long dead. I think I knew all along that my way of living wouldn’t make me happy, and I’m so thankful for discovering minimalism. It gave me back my life.
Maybe you would like to read more about me, my journey and other subject that spark my interest? You can visit my blog: http://upgradingyourlifewithless.wordpress.com/