Starting a blog about minimalism in 2018 seems to behind the times. You can just “Google” the word Minimalism and hundreds of blogs and posts come up. Minimalism has become an advertising slogan and has been bashed in many articles as a fad rich people can “buy into” (not totally untrue). My blog is not to educate on “How to Become a Minimalist” or to brag about my minimalist lifestyle. The reason for my blog is to document the slow change of living 20+ years of life consuming mindlessly and trying to buy confidence, love, and happiness and now taking steps to change my mindset and habits to live life more intentionally (and sometimes failing miserably). I wanted a place to document my trials and errors.
Speaking of errors, with all the intention of starting to live a life with less, I failed spectacularly this past week. Labeling myself “The bad minimalist” was supposed to humble me and highlight my inexperience, but a side effect I did not foresee was that it (unfortunately) gave me leeway to continue living my consumer-driven life with the excuse that I am bad, so it’s okay if I give in and shop a few times. The goal of stopping mindless consumption was halted when I was invited to the “employee store” of a company my friend works for. It is a store that you have to be an employee or on an employee’s list to enter and you get half off of all retail priced items. Upon entering the store, I was overwhelmed by the racks and walls of clothes, shoes, and outdoor gear all marked 50% off, not to mention I was handed a coupon from the front desk offering another 10% off of purchase. There is nothing I have a harder time resisting than a “good deal”. I went wild, piling clothes up on my arms, justifying the need for them even though in reality I could have parted with the majority of them. I had a list of what I needed for an upcoming hiking trip to Tibet and it only included two things. Instead of just getting the two things, I came home with six. Six may not seem like a lot of items, but I even gave myself a pep talk before driving to the store to only buy what I needed and yet I still ended up bringing triple than what I should have. The only plus is that I was able to put more items back than I normally would have, so instead of bringing home twelve I brought it down to the six. The other thing I brought home: guilt.
Every time I go shopping, even if it is at the thrift shop, I usually come home with bags full of items I don’t need and a gut full of guilt. Usually I am buying things for the person I want to be, not for who I actually am and usually the things I buy are not even my style. I buy certain shoes because I saw my sister-in-law wearing them and want to be stylish like her. I buy the name-brand hiking pants because in the ads the women look so adventurous and that is how I want to be. I buy the make-up so hopefully I can transform my face into a Hadid sister instead of having to look like me. I buy the furniture so my house will look like a Pinterest board. I even thrift through the racks of discount items, digging through them until I come up with a treasure, which will make my blues abate for awhile. All of it gives me a temporary high, but then once that wears off I am stuck dealing with the real me, my real life, which then proceeds to lead me to pine over the next item I need to make me feel like I have my shit together and not a total loser.
My goal for the is to wean myself off the tit of excessive consumerism. To appreciate all the things I already have in my life and to stop pining for a lifestyle that I do not have or to try to be a person that I am not. In the upcoming months, I will be setting goals for myself to gradually reduce the urge to shop, scroll, and spend my time and money on things that ultimately cause more harm than good. I may be a bad minimalist now, but I intend to work towards being a damn good one.