Simplicity is an idea I’ve toyed with for a few years now. I’ve even gone so far as to complete a few significant purges, but the desire to consume — for a vast variety of reasons — was still there. And, the resulting behavior meant my closets, shelves, drawers, email inboxes, calendar and other spaces continued to house items that were not only needed but, in some cases, brought about feelings of negativity.
Then 2017 happened. Well, more specifically, the events of 2017 happened. And through those happenings (which were huge and life-changing), I was able to finally gain an understanding — and acceptance — of what was driving my behavior to consume and pack my life with stuff (whether it be of the physical or non-physical variety). I made big changes and the result was ridding my life of a lot of the clutter that had been eating up all of that space. It feels fucking amazing.
But, while I have made significant progress in this area, I know full and well I didn’t get here overnight (I had all of those years to prepare and dip my toe). If I’m completely honest with myself, despite the gaping space that now exists in our closet, I know this new simplified life takes constant care and work. Anything worth having does.
So in 2018, my intention is to continue down the path toward a simpler life. I’m still figuring out exactly what that means for me (especially during a year when we’re getting married — eek!). I still have work to do with expectations and understanding what a simple life means for me, which centers on not comparing myself to others. Like, if I own 30 pairs of shoes, would be sacrilege to call myself a minimalist? What if I used to own 100? Does it even matter as long as each pair brings me joy and contributes to a meaningful life? Am I silly for thinking a shoe can do that? See? I have work to do.
One thing that is clear is I’ll need help on my journey. Luckily, my amazing fiance is bounds ahead of me when it comes to simplifying and I have him as a role model. We’re also participating in “a simple year” course, continuing our one-in-one-out rule, using what we have (or, in my case, reading the books I own before buying more), and gaining inspiration from those whom we admire via podcasts and other resources.
Most importantly, I’m allowing myself an ample amount of grace when it comes to this journey. And, reminding myself that just as we are all unique humans, what might look like a simplified life for one won’t necessarily resonate with someone else. And, that’s okay. Or, at least I’ll just keep telling myself it is until I believe it. I’m getting a little bit closer each day.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ― Henry David Thoreau,