I’m writing this in my iPad, in my bed, after three weeks of personal growth and realizations. Ultimately I’ve matured a lot in this time and have come to believe I understand what I need to do in order to “live the good life.”
Let’s get a couple things out of the way first: I’m fully recovered from my injury last year, I’m 25, I live in a rural area.
This story begins after being released to return to work in January. With no brain damage (I cried for hours I was so relieved), a wish of good luck and a “hope we don’t have to meet again” from my neurologist it was time for me to pick up my life and redits over my normal. Normal. What does normal look like for me now?
From June 2014-January 2015 normal was rest. Normal was painful migraines that would wake me from my sleep. Normal was being overly ditzy, falling down, tripping down stairs. Normal was not being able to drive. Normal was sleeping with the mattress on the floor. Normal was feeling guilty about my situation and not being able to contribute to our home, to help Trevor pay the bills or make things happen.
Normal was not being able to keep up with the house work, even though I should have been capable. This bothered me. Even after being released from care, I couldn’t keep the house clean. I started going through our stuff and moving furniture around. “Something is wrong. We aren’t setup right, or we have too much stuff,” Trevor, or I, would say.
What is Minimalism?
For an exact definition, use your search bar.
Minimalism for people who choose to live by it means a lot of things. It means having less to live more. It means keeping things simple, as simple as possible. It means less spending and less extras. It means less stress and less worry over less junk. It means more time, more freedom, more happiness.
T and I have always enjoyed minimalist architecture and interior design, so we were quite familiar with the concepts of the Minimalist housing movement.
However, I’d never really realized living minimalist. Our families all have houses filled with stuff: Christmas decorations, tablecloths, storage of childhood toys and belongings, multiple extra bedrooms, and heaps of closets/clothes/shoes. I knew I didn’t like it, but I couldn’t say why. This year I realized it.
Since 2012 we’ve been trying to make our apartment a home for us. Through furniture, decor and things we wear trying to breathe life into the space, to make it feel homey to us. We bought decorative pillows for spring/summer, fall and winter. We bought fairy lights for Halloween and Christmas time. We put pots and pans, bake-ware, cookie cutters, wine glasses and a punch bowl on our wedding registry like the Knot said to. We bought tons of clothes to try to stay stylish. We bought full-size luggage for travel (why? I don’t know, we travel in carry-on). We’d buy traditional furniture pieces to find they wouldn’t work for us; we’ve had two dining sets, that don’t work for us, thus far.
For two years we amounted all this stuff, until last summer.
This year it was one event after another, we’ve had plenty of stress since I was given the green light in January. Colds, flues, family illness and emergencies have dotted the time between January and now. Taking care of our junk-filled apartment wasn’t a priority in the slightest. Instead, I continued to slowly move items into a sell pile.
While I was sick I rediscovered my love for Japanese design. People live so big with so little and efficient use of space. I looked around me and began to become inspired to change the way I live. I could live big with so little, too.
We live in a small apartment that should be easy to care for, but it isn’t. Why? I don’t have a place for everything, we have unused items we bought when we moved in, we have an abundance of personal belongings. All these items were supposed to make me happy and make life easier, but they don’t. They cause anxiety, stress and self-loathing.
The Next Step
We came to the conclusion it was time to make a change together. After talking about it, T and I came to the conclusion that it was time to make a change and live the way we want to. We’d downsize our junk, selling and donating what we could.
I’m thinking this will begin a series, following our process and how we’ll be achieving our goal of living with less. I’ll cover every aspect of our personal journey and, hopefully, inspire you to look at your own things and consider why you have them.
Please feel free to comment below if you have had a similar experience, or have successfully attained minimalism for yourself! Would you read this series? Let me know!