When I was younger and really was not in touch with who I really am, and I was trying to find ways to fill voids in my heart, I was a lot more shallow and needing of "things". I would have died if you would have told me that one day I would be washing my hair with baking soda! I worked in a few different clothing stores in the mall, and I shopped pretty much daily. If I wasn't buying something, I was putting something on hold for my next payday. But I remember that I wasn't happy. Shopping and acquiring things was just a temporary distraction, much like any addictive type of behavior. All the pain inside was still there. But at the time, I didn't know anyone who was a minimalist, and to be honest, I don't think I even knew what the concept was. When I look back on that time I can't believe what a horrible toxic cycle I was on. My life pretty much consisted of bingeing and purging, shopping, obsessing over every little flaw, and really any self destructive behavior I could engage in.
What first led me to minimalism was I guess necessity. I moved from the east coast to beautiful Seattle, Washington. I knew no one, and I moved there with very little money. So when I got my first apartment, it was furnished on things given to me by customers at my first job. What I remember most about my first apartment in Seattle was how it felt being in this new big city, and I remember the cast of characters I met, and I have so many emotions and the one thing I have never thought about were what things I had. But I know I had the basics and what I learned is that is all you need. I lived in Seattle probably for at least five years before I became a total minimalist. I hung on to the need for lots of clothes for a long time for some reason. Even though along the way I had pretty much stopped buying new clothes, I was buying a lot of clothes I didn't need at thrift stores. And let me repeat myself, I was not happy. Because the majority of the time I lived in Seattle I was so broke that a lot of the time I couldn't even buy food, things that weren't absolutely necessary just started to become naturally less and less important. I never really made a conscious effort to become a minimalist, it just kind of naturally happened. You can find amazing things in thrift stores, and not to mention I can remember a very groovy orange velvet couch that someone had set out for free! Honestly after some of the things that I have been through in life I'm happy to have food and a roof over my head. Anything else is extra.
People don't always understand minimalism. When I moved into my apartment that I live in now, which is a one bedroom pretty standard size, my mom was less than impressed. I remember she asked me why I didn't want something bigger, and I couldn't figure out how much space she thinks I need! In my opinion I have everything I need, for me, since it is my home, and the two people who have been in my home have kind of seemed horrified at my lack of stuff, and I felt hurt and offended at first because I take pride in my home. But you know what? Who cares what they think. We are out of control in this country with our constant needs and wants. And I am so proud of letting my need of things go. I am so much happier I really mean it. I don't have a lot of money, and I would rather be able to buy organic strawberries and feed my kitties quality food, and be able to feed some stray kitties, I feel more satisfied doing that than trying to fill my life with so much "stuff". I say don't judge the minimalists, because there has to be some kind of balance to the mass overconsumption that the majority of this country partakes in. So high five to all my minimalist friends out there! Have a wonderful blessed day.