Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Phase 2 of Minimalist Life: The Purge


About 2 months ago, I shared my venture of transitioning my life into living as a minimalist. The concept seemed a lot easier than the transition ended up being. At first, I was excited to get right into things; to start going through my closet and donating a bunch of stuff, I opened a Poshmark account for the items left that were in great condition to make some extra cash. Somewhere along the way, my natural human behavior of procrastination kicked in, one project rolled into another and 2 months later I was left with a pile of disorganized objects with no clear direction on what I wanted to do with it all.

At the time, getting familiarized with minimalism aligned with everything I wanted out of life: finding a sense of meaning with what I surrounded myself with and getting out of the mindset of overconsumption by asking myself will I wear or use this 30 times? Quality vs Quantity. When I started to put this into practice, the act of letting go and only leaving what adds value behind was much harder than I thought. Making the simple choice to give this shirt away was an internal struggle. Even though a lot of these things served no real purpose in my life, separating myself from the emotional attachment was hard to get through. I realized that I didn't quite understand the complete impact this would have on my life and how difficult it would be. Minimalism is more than just getting rid of stuff. It also involves a transformation of the way you perceive money, the relationships/people in your life, and adding value amongst all that remains.

After falling off the wagon a bit, it was time to rededicate myself into this transition, keep my word, and start letting go. Last weekend, I refocused my efforts back into staying on track and give this minimalist life a try. I didn't go the route of doing a packing party like The Minimalist did, but simply went through EVERYTHING I own and enjoyed being surrounded by my life's mess. I was surprised with how much I have accumulated over the years: Valentine's Day cards from elementary, Christmas cards galore, drama filled notes between a high school friend and myself, and a ton of clothing that seemed like have just been hanging out in my closet just for the sake of it.

These things have a story; they are a reflection of who I was and how far I've come and reminded me of people I was so close to but now hardly speak to outside of the occasional social media comment. Most importantly, it gave me an image of the person I was: a fabricated reflection of who I thought I should be. When I look back at the ruins of my life thus far, I can see the lack of identity in these things; the lost girl trying to find her way. I could tell some items were not a true reflection of my style or personality but may have been bought to fit in or be part of the "trend."

I also came across some of my old drawings and writings from when I was a kid. Inside a time-capsule toy that I kept, I found something I wrote when I was 12, back in 2000. I had a clear desire of wanting to be a designer in some, shape or form by wanting to be a photographer, artist, or graphic artist but somehow lost that courage as I got older. There were so many old memories and unfilled goals laid out in front of me took me back.

As I started committing to parting ways with things, especially some of my sentimental items, I could feel the weight being lifted off my shoulder; almost like I was paving the way to a better tomorrow. It was hard going through everything and seeing the lack of self in it all. The clutter I surrounded myself with shrouded my true self all these years. I followed "trends" to keep up with everyone else, not realizing that it leads to a life where all you do is follow and consume for no reason. All that is left now is what matters; the person who was hiding underneath the mess. When everything was done, I felt a certain sense of ease overwhelm me. I've never seen anything of mine this organized and for the 1st time, everything in my life has its place.

As the week progressed my mind feels like disjointed and less cluttered. I have been going through my days with much more ease and it still surprises me when I know exactly where to find something. For me, this start into minimalism has been a spiritual journey. Like I told you in my getting to know me post, my faith is one of the most important things to me. Experiencing something that is life changing in such a magnitude right now is great. I know it's one thing to say you’re living life a certain way, but it's another to live it that way. I don't foresee myself being one of those all-white-everything, everything- looks-perfectly-balanced, so-much-empty-space type of minimalist (lol); what I want is a life filled with meaning. I like this feeling of not being suppressed by my own thoughts and surroundings. I still have more items that I will soon let go but I’m holding onto while I find a suitable replacement. This is only the beginning and I am looking forward to the journey to come!



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