Minimalism Life

As I unlocked the front door, my daughter had just fallen asleep. In the quiet still of the front porch, my rock bottom had whimpered into existence.

I realized that this was going to be every time.

I worked in London, commuting to afford a house relatively nearby. We had renovated and furnished that house through debt. These things required this lifestyle. This lifestyle enabled all these things.

My adult life had been spent this way. On autopilot, doing everything I was supposed to do. A house. A bigger house. Promotions. Thinking contentment from life was right around the corner with just a little bit more.

What did I want from my life? To spend it frantically rushing just to miss a simple goodnight?

I told myself that this wasn’t who I really was. The impatient, impolite, so-called important suits and ties? That was their lives, their values, not mine. The odious truth was that my actions had proved otherwise.

This was it. A so-called successful life.

And then the world stood still.

During lockdown, I was looking around my stuffed-to-the-brim ‘one day I’ll get to this’ collection of things.

  • I had hundreds of Video Games. Unplayed.
  • I had hundreds of Blu-rays and DVDs. Unwatched.
  • I had mountains of memorabilia and sealed action figures. Unopened.
  • I had shelves of comics, graphic novels and books. Unread.
  • I had a trunk full of filmmaking and music equipment. Unused.

The ‘one day I’ll get to this’ opportunity was here. Now. And I didn’t want to get to any of it.

In the context of lockdown, with time to spare and with these recent realizations, the documentary Minimalism resonated with me on a second watch. I saw the opportunity to change things. I started selling, donating, recycling, and purging.

A weight began to lift. I came to realize that:

  • I owned the video games because I told myself I was a gamer and that’s what gamers have.
  • I owned the books because I wanted people to see how well-read I was.
  • I owned the movies and action figures because I told myself it shows that I get pop culture.
  • I owned the filmmaking and music equipment because I was an aspiring film maker, and it will make me a better composer.

But it was not things that defined me.

After working to pay off our non-mortgage debts and downsizing our house, I was able to embark on a new journey away from finance, towards creative endeavors and more active parenting.

It is at the start of this new season of my life that I am writing these words.

Through the privilege of “succeeding” that prior way in life, I could see that it wasn’t for me.

Less stuff.
A less fancy job title.
Less hours commuting.
Less salary.
Less costs.
Less stress.
More time.
More peace.
More moments.
More creativity.
More possibilities.
More life.