I posted here that recently my minimalist journey has started to look a little differently than it had when I first started over a year and a half ago. Then, I wanted to be a minimal as possible – not shopping or indulging, no spending or acquiring anything tangible. It worked for a while. The initial ‘shock to the system’ and declutter was extremely beneficial. It felt like a weight was lifted, in my apartment, in my thoughts and in my bank account.
But as the weeks passed, things started to change. I didn’t notice it at first, but looking back retrospectively, I began to get harder and harder on myself. I’m a type-A Virgo… once I commit to something, this is usually how I handle it… And just like that, something that started as a positive change in my life, began to make me feel bad! I had moments of guilt when I did buy something for myself (which I even still would consider thoroughly as opposed to impulsively buying) and even felt moments of deprivation. (“XYZ is something I think I could really use/need, but I can’t buy things!”) It all became a little tiresome and pretty draining. It felt like the exact opposite of how living minimally is supposed to make you feel.
The past two months have been a little different. I’m allowing myself grace. With this, among other things. (Remember my type-A personality, Virgo-born tendencies.) I’m hard on myself for everything. Achieving my version of perfection is really the only way I feel satisfied. But I’m no longer allowing something that is supposed to provide freedom and genuine happiness to have the opposite effect on me. So what is the solution? I think it’s shaping up to look like a deeper dive into conscious consumption and intentional living, and what that looks like for me.
And I’m starting with this:
If I have thought consciously about a purchase (kept it on my wish list and have considered it over time), I have the means to afford it, and use those means to support local, ethical and/or women-owned businesses that I believe in, then I am allowing those things to come into my life and, as Marie Kondo would say, spark joy. It’s what feels right, what makes me feel good and happy. And that’s what this whole minimalism thing is about anyway.
What does minimalism look like for you?