Less is Freedom

One year older and although I feel the same in most ways – I can feel change on the horizon …

I’ve spent the past few years lost, a discord waging between my mind and my soul. Throughout my life I’ve become accustomed to a nomadic lifestyle, growing and moving from place to place, from groups of people to the next, taking notes from my life experiences and counting each interaction as a blessing.

But the past few years I’ve become domesticated and comfortable, ultimately creating the restlessness and anxiety I suffer from day in and day out. I tell myself to be thankful, think positively, and take away the lessons from each obstacle I encounter. I AM thankful, but what am I thankful for? My position in life, my character, what I have? I could tell anyone my life’s story and they would say, “Wow, you’ve come so far! That’s incredible! Look at where you started and everything you’ve done and what you have now.” I wouldn’t disagree, but nothing I have earned has been achieved on my own, and although my life looks great from an outside perspective, I still hunger and crave for something more – or maybe something less.

Most of you have heard my story, but at age 16 I left home with just the clothes on my back. Of course there were challenges, but I took each day as it came – that’s all you can do. I also didn’t have “things”, bills, or responsibilities. Everything I owned fit in a single bag. If it didn’t fit, it didn’t come with me. Although responsibilities are inevitable, we do have control of our possessions before they begin to possess us. Sometimes less is more. Less is Freedom. If you haven’t seen Minimalism on Netflix – it’s a great documentary worth watching. It will change the way you think about your material possessions and perhaps inspire a new lifestyle.

Our Foraging Ancestors shared their resources, constantly moved from one location to the next, and took what they needed as they needed it – no more and no less. The development of agriculture, property, and capitalism have been disruptive events throughout our Human timeline.

“It is not the man who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor.” – Seneca

We live in an age where overconsumption is encouraged, we are hoarders of material possessions, we want the newest product on the market, we see what the next person has and we want it – hell we want something better. We are collectors of “things” instead of experiences.

I will admit, after my divorce I felt so empty and tried to fill the void by buying stuff. Half my house was empty, so naturally I “had to” buy a couch and TV for the living room. I was engaged at 19 years old and shared my money with another person for most of my adult life. Once I was free to spend my money how I wanted to – I went rogue. I bought mountains of clothing (some of which still have tags), so many pairs of Converse, a $900 camera I didn’t even use, so much weed without a weed budget, and I let people take advantage of me and my money. All I want in life is the freedom to travel – but I jeopardized that freedom spending my money on frivolous shit because I was convinced I “needed” it and it would make me happy.

Now that I’m a year older and hopefully wiser, I plan on making life changes that will enable me to travel, meet like minded people, and create unforgettable experiences.

In January I started downsizing my items, decluttering my house, and getting rid of clothing I no longer need or wear. Although I’m no where near where I would like to be on the scale of minimalist living; sustainable lifestyle changes begin with small steps. Over the course of the next several months I plan on doing the following:

  • Sell my TV
  • Get rid of duplicates (especially kitchen items)
  • Throw away most of my beauty products
  • Sell most of my clothing and shoes
  • Donate books I have read that other people may enjoy
  • Discard memorabilia, most of my memories worth keeping are in journals
  • Generate less waste
  • Make less material purchases and save money for travel, books, and education

Here’s to living a simpler happier life where less is more ….

~Jess

 

 

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