My three years were up. I was saying goodbye to my crazy stint as a city girl. The lights had inspired me, but it was time to move on, to start a new chapter. I did not yet know what this next chapter would reveal about me, how the story would continue.
I had already filled three garbage bags of clothes. Where did it all come from? How did it all fit? Pare down. That’s what I needed. Strip it all away. When did I last wear/use this? Did I even know I owned it until this moment of rediscovery? Will it fit? Is it worth it?
With each thing release, a feeling of renewal, of cleansing, washed over me. I don’t need this. This thing has no power over me.
I had just started hearing snippets about this movement called minimalism. Or maybe I had just started listening. I didn’t know what Alabama would hold for me. I just needed a reprieve. I needed space. I needed room to think. The past several years had changed me. I needed to get lost in the Alabama woods, to find myself again. And all this stuff was weighing me down.
I had illusions of what life should look like. Society, culture, social media. They were all yelling at me. Look at what’s expected. Look at what she has. Look at his life. Maybe he has all the answers, maybe she does. Maybe I should do it their way . . . Maybe . . .
Is their an alternative to a culturally prescribed life? For me, there was, there is. Minimalism is one of those paths for me. It allowed me to find my center. What are all my decisions based around? What do I want out of this life, this moment? I decided what I wanted was a lifestyle. My lifestyle. Minimalism allows me to be more intentional in everything I do. I scrutinize my purchases more closely, and, in turn, I scrutinize my life decisions more closely. I exam my life and try to reflect on how the money I am spending, or not spending, will enhance it. Consumption, contrary to popular belief, does not bring satisfaction. Living a meaningful life does.
Love life, every dam minute of it, because anything less is a waste of time.
“Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.” —The Minimalists