Why do I do this? Why am I trying to live my life with what is comparatively considered not a lot of possessions? Why don’t I make it easier on myself by following the usual system?
Well, because the usual system wasn’t working for me. In my college years, I was moving at least once each year. I averaged close to two moves every year (for various reasons), and didn’t stay in one place for more than 12 months at the longest. When moving that frequently, it became exhausting to pack and unpack everything I owned, especially if I wasn’t using much of it in between moves. I started deciding I’d rather get rid of some of it than keep packing and unpacking it.
By the time I finished college, I had unintentionally pared down my belongings quite significantly. I had the chance to stay in one place for a few years, yet didn’t have the money to buy much past the necessities. I had gotten used to living on not much anyhow, why not keep it up? That’s the same time frame I first heard about “minimalism” as an intentional choice people made. Talking about minimalism as a conscious choice with a friend of mine was my light bulb moment. I realized there was a name for something I had been wanting. Until then, I just thought the accumulation of material possessions was an inevitable reality of living in our society, something that was simply required as you became an adult.
Finally! I felt this huge feeling of legitimization for what I hadn’t been able to put a name to in my own thoughts up to that point. There was a whole community that had figured out alternatives to the ever increasing pile of stuff I kept feeling like I was being told to get. So I started reading, reading a lot. I read about different methods that others had used to live with less. I have spent roughly the last year making my move towards a materially simpler life an active effort. I haven’t had a specific direction in mind until recently, just cutting down where I saw the opportunity to do without.
This blog, in part, is meant to serve as an outcropping of my simplification project in my own life. A way to keep a record of where I am and where I go now that I have gotten a basic handle on what the goal is.