Long long ago, like any other twenty-something, I was trapped in the ethos of materialism. Accumulating unnecessary stuff which I had mistaken as a prerequisite for my own supposed state of euphoria got a little out of control. And even if I was already aware of my corporeal inclinations, I couldn’t stop collecting anything that caught my fancy at stores or from my relatives’ hand-me -downs. Notwithstanding my lack of funds, forbearance on shopping wasn’t one of my strong suits either. Eventually, all the stuff that piled up went on to clutter my already disorderly younger mind whilst gathering dust inside my house.
Learning my lesson well, becoming a dyed-in-the-wool minimalist has become a top priority for me which makes a whole world of difference now. The realization that I can be contented even without a car or a big home with fancy furnishings is quite liberating. I don’t know. If I were rich, would I be singing a different tune? One thing you should know about me, I’m not sure if I can handle the trappings of material wealth. I’ve never been comfortable dealing with any kind of complications in my life anyway.
A simple life isn’t for everyone. Most people might take a long while to come to the idea and it’s especially considered off the wall within the parameters of my society. Whenever I pass on this particular wisdom to people of this gen Y and even to some older folks here, they look at me as though I’ve just arrived from another dimension. I guess it is always pointless ramming a lifestyle down anyone’s throat.
Walk my talk. So if you peek inside my tiny apartment, you can find only the bare necessities. A refrigerator, a washing machine, two beds (I live with my son), a couple of cabinets and an oven. My dining table and chairs are even foldable so they won’t take considerable space. A television set? Sure I’ve got one (a very old model by the way). But it never gets turned on. And I’m not blowing smoke up anyone’s ass by saying that because my son and I are truly non-TV citizens around here. Owning expensive jewelry, clothes, accessories and whatnot was never my style. I’d rather spend my money inside a bookstore on reading materials that interest me. One thing I can’t live without though in these times is my netbook. Yep, I don’t wish for an Ipad or the latest in cell phones. What I simply need is just a portable computer for perusing internet materials, storing information and of course, writing (I could only work with the traditional keyboard, not the touchscreen kind).
I’m of the belief a Spartan life bears no relation to the richness of your mind or personality as long as you don’t lose that appetite for the sublime things in life. I say this out of my apprehension that I just might be accused of promoting a run of the mill existence. Guilty or not, rest assured, the greatest reward of downsizing is the liberty it will bestow upon you. Freedom from possessions and clutter to be able to focus on the things that really matter to you. Now if you’re gonna tell me that owning a lot of fancy things is your cup of tea, I can’t help you much and you should stop reading this at once.
When it comes to becoming an emotional minimalist, umm, that is another story. I’m at an age where melancholy and rapture can coexist peacefully inside of me. I may be a tough nut to crack and yet I’d be the first to run for cover when confronted with strong messy feelings. Attachment can likewise be my downfall anytime of the day. But as I told you, I’m a never ending work-in-progress so maybe there’s still hope for this old soul of mine.
This is gonna be controversial, but barring people from my life who make me miserable helps immensely. Sometimes, I’m left with no other choice. Sure I get lonely for doing that, although the painful process has somehow given me more clarity and purity on who I am and what I really want out of my existence.
Great people can change their lives at will so they can better make clear and rational choices about the substance and direction of their lives. It’s not like I’m a great person albeit I wish I were. So perhaps I’ll try to be one.
And you know what? Simplifying my life actually makes me feel like I’m bound for the stars. Can there be anything more awesome than that?
One thought on “To Simplify A Life Like Mine”
One of my favorite lines from Hamlet reads, “I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself a king of infinite space.” The toys and fripperies with which we distract ourselves are endless, but it’s amazing what we find when we spend time in our own minds.
Nothing external can make you happy. Happiness can only come from within. And it’s a journey, not a destination.