Material Things

I feel like minimalism to some people is focused around trying to have the least amount of stuff as you can. Trying to constantly consolidate everything you own into just a few things that are essential to get by. I see the ideal “carry all your possessions in a backpack while you travel the world” theme almost anywhere the word ‘minimalism’ appears.

If non-minimalism is having a lot of stuff that doesn’t make you happy, is minimalism just not having stuff and still being unhappy? I think some people who try minimalism blame the stuff they have for their unhappiness, so if they declutter and they’re still unhappy, they assume they have to declutter even more.

I think this happened to me, but on a smaller scale. I’ve talked about this a lot on this blog– but before I decluttered, I wasn’t completely happy. Decluttering definitely helped me a lot, partly because I felt like I was more in control of my life for the time being. However, after all that, I still ended up feeling the same as I used to. Sure, it was a lot easier to keep my room clean, and I felt better having a clean room with space to breathe. But I still kept feeling like I had too much stuff, and maybe I would feel happier after I got rid of even more stuff.

What I realized from my experiences was that having stuff or not having stuff wasn’t why I felt unhappy. What I needed was to find the balance again. I’ve tried to start living a less material life by meditating and trying to fit the image I had of someone who lives simply. I’ve now realized that it’s harder than I thought, or maybe my ideal version was a bit too ideal.

Recently, I bought a new journal and it’s been making me so happy, and I’ve started taking it everywhere I go. My old journal served me well, but it was a very cheap book, and the pages were glued rather than bound, and they fell out all the time. The new one I bought was more expensive than the old one, but sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little more for quality!

I’ve also been thinking about computers lately. I’ve had the same laptop since I turned sixteen, which was just over four years ago. While the laptop I’m using right now still functions just fine, it is getting a bit old for a computer, and I will need an upgrade before I start back at university in the fall. I’ve spent so much time comparing brands and models and technical specs to find the best computer for what I need at a good price.

And, my family has decided to move forward on renovating the bathroom, which is exciting for me because my parents are letting me play the part of interior designer so that I can get some experience! I’ve been doing most of the tile demo myself, and I’m helping to choose the best replacement tile and the design of the rest of the room.

As much as I try to find joy in non-material things, there are some things that bring us joy anyway. I’d love to be a nomad, or live like Thoreau as he did when he wrote Walden. But, I don’t think I’ll ever live quite like that — or maybe someday in the future I’ll decide I don’t need technology, and then I’ll be the next Thoreau.

Thank you for reading <3

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