LIVING SIMPLY AND DELIBERATELY WITH LESS, IS MY MORE.
I RECENTLY DID SOME DEEP THINKING ABOUT MINIMALISM. SOMEONE SOON-TO-BE MOVING INTO A TINY HOME, IT HAS BEEN ON MY MIND FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS AS I HAVE GONE THROUGH AND RID MY LIFE OF CLUTTER. I HAVE ALREADY STARTED THE PURGE OF MATERIAL BELONGINGS TO GET READY FOR THE MOVE, BUT IN DOING SO, I FOUND SO MUCH MORE. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE EASY TO JUST FILL BAGS FOR GOODWILL AND GET ON WITH MY DAY, BUT ONCE I STARTED GOING THROUGH EVERYTHING, I REALIZED THERE WAS AN ADDICTION HERE. AN ADDITION TO STUFF. I WAS DETERMINED FOR A CURE. WHAT ARE THESE THINGS TO ME? WHY DO THEY MATTER? DO THEY TRULY BRING ME JOY OF SOME SORT? WHAT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY IN MY LIFE? WHAT IS EXCESS? CAN I JUSTIFY IT TO MYSELF? DOES THIS ADD VALUE TO MY LIFE IN ANY WAY?
MEDITATING ON THESE QUESTIONS WAS A TASK IN LETTING GO. ANSWERING ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS, WHAT THEY MEANT TO ME AND MY LIFE, REALLY AIDED IN MY MINDSET SHIFT AND I HOPE AS YOU GO THROUGH AND DE-CLUTTER YOUR OWN LIFE, YOU CAN FO THROUGH SOME OF THE SAME LIFE-CHANGING TRANSFORMATIONS THAT I DID.
MY LIFE USED TO BE DIFFERENT. I WORKED TOWARDS MAKING MONEY TO EVENTUALLY BE RICH ONE DAY! WHAT CHANGED IN MY MINDSET WAS WHAT IT MEANT TO BE RICH. I LIVED FOR MY PAYCHECK AND SPENT IT RESPECTIVELY. WHETHER IT WAS GOING OUT WITH FRIENDS OR JUST FRIVALOUS ACTIVITIES, BUT I NEVER THOUGHT OF WHAT I WANTED TO DO LONG TERM WITH THAT MONEY, AND I CERTAINLY THOUGHT IT WOULD JUST CONTINUE TO FLOW FREELY. LUCKY FOR ME, I HAVE AN AMAZING CAREER AND HAVE BUILT UP A LIFE NOW WHERE I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO MAKE A DESIRABLE PAY CHECK, BUT WHAT WAS THAT PAYCHECK WITHOUT MEANING. I WASN'T THINKING ABOUT ME AND MY FUTURE SELf, what i truly valued, or thinking my own thoughts. My blueprint started to change and so did my values and this is what has ultimately changed my view on life, clutter, materialism, our obsession with objects, and healthy amounts of connection to objects.
AFTER MOVING FROM PLACE TO PLACE INTO APPROXIMATELY 8 DIFFERENT APARTMENTS IN THE PAST 5 YEARS AND SLOWLY GETTING RID OF STUFF EACH TIME I MOVED, IT HIT ME! WHY DO I HAVE ALL OF THIS? I MEAN REALLY, A STAND-UP BABY GRAND PIANO (WHICH YES I MOVED Three timeS!) I WOULD LIKE YOU ALL TO PICTURE ME AND MY friend ROLLING an upright grand PIANO DOWN THE STREETS OF DOWNTOWN RALEIGH NORTH CAROLINA, OVER BOYLAN BRIDGE AND INTO BOYLAN HEIGHTS. A SIGHT TO BE SEEN! WE LOST ONE WHEEL, broke a piece of wood off the bottom, WE LAUGHED until we cried, AND then I REALIZED I WOULD NEVER MOVE A PIANO AGAIN.... ON MY OWN. SO WHEN I RELOCATED TO BOSTON FOR MY JOB, PROFESSIONAL MOVERS IT WAS. WHY couldn’t i leave this thing behind? i origonally got it off craigslist, it had no sentimental meaning whatsoever, but i was convinced i needed it to be happy. I COULD HAVE LEFT iT BEHIND, BUT I INSISTED I NEEDED that PIANO in boston. WHY DID I keep INSISTing THAT I NEEDED THIS? WELL I CAME TO REALIZE THAT IT WAS COMFORTABLE for me. IT REMINDED ME OF my HOMEtown. It reminded me of MY MOM. My mom is A MUSIC DIRECTOR and WE ALWAYS HAD A PIANO IN THE HOUSE AND MANY other INSTRUMENTS as well. I MADE MYSELF COMFORTABLE BEING SO FAR AWAY WITH THESE ITEMS I THOUGHT I NEEDED because they reminded me of another place. a place i couldn’t replicate but could remind myself of every once in a while. IT EVENTUALLY COST ME OVER $2,000 TO REMOVE THE PIANO WHEN I MADE THE MOVE FROM BOSTON TO SAN DIEGO. SO THE PIANO ACTUALLY COST ME MORE THAN I HAD HOPED FOR and more than i bought it for origonally. I HAD THESE SAME THOUGHTS ABOUT OTHER ITEMS AS WELL AND BEGAN TO SEE WHAT I staged IN MY LIFE TO MAKE MYSELF FEEL COMFORTABLE. TIME AFTER TIME, I KEPT MOVING TO NEW CITIES IN SEARCH OF UNCERTAINTY BUT ALSO NEEDED CERTAINTY! IT WAS AN OXYMORON AND I COULDN'T WRAP MY HEAD AROUND IT.
IN OUR WORLD, ESPECIALLY IN AMERICA, WE HAVE MORE ROOM THAN WE NEED. FOR THE MOST PART WE LIVE OUR LIVES TO GAIN SPACE, BIGGER HOMES, MORE ROOMS, MORE garages, more yard, bigger bed, another couch, seven tables, AND YOU BARELY USE IT. YOU'RE WORKING SO HARD EACH DAY AND DON'T EVEN GET TO BE IN YOUR HOME TO ENJOY THAT SPACE! FOR ME IT WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT, I HAVE BEEN LIVING IN APARTMENTS IN SOME OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES IN AMERICA. FROM BOSTON, TO SAN DIEGO, TO SAN FRANCISCO AND AFTER ADDING UP ALL OF THE MONEY I HAVE SPENT ON RENT IN THE PAST 4 YEARS OF MY LIFE, IT EQUALED OVER $96,000.00!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS WASN'T EVEN INCLUDING UTILITIES OR GROCERIES OR THE ESSENTIALS FOR LIVING! ALL OF THIS HARD EARNED MONEY TO PAY FOR SPACE THAT IN SAN FRANCISCO IS ACTUALLY SMALLER THAN A TINY HOME!!!! WHY WAS I WORKING SO HARD AND PUTTING IN MY EFFORTS FOR SPACE I WASN'T EVEN SPENDING TIME IN? ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS IN MY MIND. SO IT BECAME AN OBVIOUS CONCLUSION; I WOULD JOIN THE TINY HOUSE MOVEMENT!
SUSTAINABILITY WAS THE ANSWER FOR ME, IF THAT'S NOT YOUR ANSWER, I STILL CHALLENGE YOU TO LOOK AT THE MATERIAL ITEMS YOU VALUE AND ASK WHY? AFTER YOU ASK YOURSELF WHY, ASK A LITTLE DEEPER. I AM SURE YOU WILL FIND YOU DON'T NEED EVERYTHING. THERE WAS SO MUCH JOY THAT ENTERED MY LIFE THE MOMENT I WAS ABLE TO MAKE SPACE FOR IT. I FELT GRATITUDE TO BE ABLE TO GIVE AWAY ITEMS TO SOME OF THE HOMELESS IN SAN FRANCISCO AS WELL AS donate things to GOODWILL THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. IT ALSO FILLED ME WITH GRATITUDE THAT I WOULD FINALLY BE PRACTICING WHAT I PREACH, SAVING THE EARTH, AND SAVING ENERGY SUSTAIN-ABLY.
So there it is, our obsession with materialism is certainty and our obsession with riding of it is uncertainty, two major human needs and conditions. IF THERE IS ANY ADVICE I CAN GIVE, IT WOULD BE TO CREATE YOUR OWN LIFE DESIGN AND DON'T EVER APOLOGIZE FOR IT. IN A WORLD FULL OF FOLLOWERS, BE THE THOUGHT LEADER IN ALL OF THE CHAOS AND CONFUSION.
LIVING SIMPLY AND DELIBERATELY WITH LESS, IS MY MORE.