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.
Even though most of us carry our inner minimalist inside for years, it seems like there’s always some trigger, a moment in your life when you fall down, facing the ground and feeling like that’s the end of it unless something happens – a miracle that will give you new purpose.
And then something does happen, you hear about minimalism as a philosophy for the first time and you find out that this is it. This has always been it, you just couldn’t see it under all that clutter and crap.
That’s what happened to me, too. My biggest life crisis came in 2010, quite funnily (now when I see it in the perspective) with the most cliché thing of all, a breakup. It obviously wasn’t just that, add years of stress before, uncertainty and failure after failure but this was the last straw and it broke me finally. Even though I was just 22, I couldn’t see any way out and didn’t believe that there could be anything in the world that would bring meaning back in my life, make me hope again, have actual fun (I‘d completely forgotten how to do that), let alone the ability to get back on my feet, regain my control and live a good life again. I became nihilist, there was nothing in the world to make me excited or hopeful.
And then I discovered the world of now and learned how to meditate. Just switching from thinking about the painful past or frightening future to now had a massive impact on my life, but adding meditation, I learned to observe my thoughts and listen to my own guts. And that was my biggest restart moment ever. I suddenly felt incredibly awake, alive and ready for a change, I could sense better days ahead, the silhouette of something glorious and amazing shaping in front of me, I was so excited about what I learned and how I could immediately apply it to my life and change it a bit by bit. And all the things I’ve ever read about minimalism, simplicity, joy of living in the present, doing what you really want to do and being free from your material possessions – I’ve always liked to read it but now I could actually live it, it became possible and true.
So refreshed with the new positivity I started to purge my stuff, starting with any unfitting clothes that I hated but for some ridiculous whatif reasons I’ve kept it along with other clutter. Suddenly I could quite easily let go of the things I’ve been keeping forever, sometimes it was harder but I loved the challenge and with every single piece of junk that I purged or gave away, I felt more and more free and energized.
It’s been four years now and it has changed me in so many ways. I developed many little minimalistic habits that make my life simpler, whether it’s about organization, mindful shopping or dealing with spam in your mailbox. It’s the little things but they have the biggest impact. It helped me to sort out my priorities, cut off the crap, quit some lousy jobs, come up with a plan for next few years (I used to be the kind of person who never knew what to do next and was always waiting for something or someone) and move to England where I’ve badly wanted to go for years but never had the courage!
And here I am now, I finally do what I want to do and I feel inspired with loads of ideas of what to do next. I think of myself as an aspiring minimalist, always looking for more inspiration on what to do next. I keep on decluttering continuously and it actually became my hobby along with organising, general minimizing and coming up with more ideas on how to simplify. Above all, minimalism taught me to do stuff, not just talk about it, and that feels amazing. I now know how to be happy and I’m not afraid to follow the callings anymore.
I felt like I had nothing back in 2010, I’ve burned out and yet minimalism helped me to get reborn as a brand new person once again. I have a boyfriend now again, I can laugh honestly again and I work constantly on becoming a better person by fighting my ego, developing positive attitude and focusing on the important. It’s a brand new life now and I love it!