Saturday, February 18, 2017

Realizing I'm a Minimalist

The other day, I helped a friend sort through some boxes that haven't been unpacked since her family moved a year ago. For two hours, we unboxed the most random stuff: paper clips, a stamp pad, tape (lots of random rolls of tape!), stray buttons, random pony tails--that kind of stuff. All of it has been in a box for the past year and hasn't been missed. All of it was random. None of it meant anything to me--I wanted to throw out most of it. Why would I keep two stray bandaids? A random button? But my friend had a system where we sorted it all and then she found homes for all of it. I burst out laughing more than once when she insisted on keeping things like half used chapsticks.

I grew up moving every couple of years and before every move, my mom had all of us kids sort our stuff and throw out anything we didn't need or want any more. I grew up constantly throwing out or donating anything I never used. My friend is the opposite--she keeps everything because she knows that she can use it. As we unpacked those boxes, we were coming from different perspectives on what is worth keeping and what isn't.

I never even realized how little I own until I started to think through what I'll take with me when I move to Budapest later this year. I'm twenty-one and as I look around my room, I own very little that's worth taking with me to a new continent. I just haven't accumulated much stuff. Beyond my clothes and shoes and a few framed pictures, I'm not actually sure what I'll bring with me. I'm just not attached to anything I own. As I sorted through those boxes with my friends, I realized what a minimalist I am. My room is filled with books and pictures of friends--that's what's important to me. I know I can't bring my entire bookshelf of books with me to Budapest, which makes me sad, so I just don't even know what's worth bringing with me. I seriously had no idea how little I care about physical stuff until I had to start thinking through the things I have to take with me when I move overseas. I guess I can thank my parents for teaching me to constantly purge and not to own unnecessary stuff.

I like that I'm this way, though. I don't spend a lot of money on stuff (except clothes) because I'd rather spend it on adventures, especially travelling. I have a tough time even choosing souvenirs to buy when I'm travelling because I struggle to see the purpose in them. I really love the saying "collect moments, not things" and this is something I plan to continue to live by.

So, that's my realization for this week: I'm a minimalist and I've never even intentionally meant to be that way. Realizing this has made me want to sort through everything I own and get rid of more stuff--even though I don't own much anyway!

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