No More Stuff

In the last several months I’ve become hooked on minimalism.

I’ve always loved travelling and having experiences, and whatever stuff I collect have to be unique to those experiences.

However, over the years, I’ve kept a hold of a lot of things for various reasons. Some, for sentimental reasons, some because I believed they would eventually be useful, and others because I would feel bad about throwing them away even if they were broken because I felt it would be wasteful.

Then, it all came to a head.

One morning, I had been especially stressed. I’d had multiple flip outs the past week, I couldn’t seem to make any head way in unpacking and putting together our house. It had been a good six months already and we were still drowning in things without a “home” that just cluttered every surface we had. The stuff was an ever present mental trigger for me, and it would send me into spirals of anxiety attacks and freak outs.

So on this particular day, I was tired, frustrated, and so incredibly done with working hard all day and accomplishing nothing but shifting piles of belongings from one space to another. That was when I came to the realization… I didn’t need all of it. I didn’t have to keep the stuff. If I wasn’t able to clean my house in one day and have everything put away in that time, I had too much stuff.

I didn’t broach this new discovery with my husband until we were in the car the next day. He agreed with me right away, and I grabbed a hold of this new found plan we agreed upon to half our possessions and began what I do best when hooked on a new project or goal. I researched it.

I looked up videos on youtube, documentaries on Netflix, books at the library. I dove in with an absolute passion. This idea of not owning a lot, and what we would own would only be things we truly loved or used on a regular basis, was inspiring to me.

I was not raised to have an obsessive need for stuff, I did not grow up with a “if I want it I need it so I’ll buy it” mentality. I was raised with a buy secondhand, recognize a good deal, and waste not want not mentality. But I found that I hadn’t come to a balancing point between spending little, saving what’s useful, and being able to recognize when things are no longer useful, will never be useful, or that it’s not a good deal if you don’t need it.

I especially struggle with this because my husband and I are in a constant struggle of making enough. We have variable incomes, both going to school, so it’s really tight almost constantly, and it’s so hard not to splurge on some things we “need” for the house on a month we make a decent amount. Especially if it’s also on sale.

You may recognize the term minimalism from all the hype and hoopla lately. Between Marie Kondo, The Minimalists, and the Tiny House movement, the term has gained a lot of attention in a very short amount of time.

The first thing to realize about minimalism is it has a lot of different meanings, and therefore is a very personal term that means something different to everyone.

For some, it is white walls, three chairs, a table, and not much else.

For others, it’s replacing cluttered space full of heavy curtains and Knick knacks with open concept and shelves, and green living plants in the corners.

For some it’s about focusing on the hobbies and not the supplies, for others coming closer to nature and experiences versus collecting.

For me and my husband, it’s first and foremost a survival thing I think.

We got to this point because the amount of stuff we had and were trying to house in our small two bedroom (technically three, but third bedroom is an office, so…) was in-housable and giving me mental fits and anxiety attacks.

It started as survival because the stuff that was supposed to help us survive was destroying me mentally, and this had a range of negative impacts on the rest of our lives.

So I told my husband one day,

“If I spend an entire day cleaning, and by the end it’s not clean, than we have too much stuff.”

He readily agreed.

Since that day, we’ve made at least 5 full car trips to salvation army, pitched an extra 6 bags of trash not including our everyday kitchen/bathroom trash, and have finally gotten to a manageable amount of belongings.

I don’t dare to dream this is it. Just this week I’ve once again purged my makeup and such to half its size. This will most certainly be an on going thing.

However, it no longer has to be an everyday thing. Now I can enjoy my home, and enjoy tweaking the “homes” of my belongings, playing with décor, and just enjoying actually being home without the weight of stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

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I Just Don’t Know…

As I’ve said I don’t know how many times in the past blog posts I hate not having control.

There is nothing more vile to me then having to utter with some genuine heartbreak, “I don’t know”.

And yet I know nothing.

Sure, I can do long division. I know the history of the American revolution. I know how Star Wars Episode 5 ends.

But I don’t know how to have the perfect life, how to have a life of no regrets and complete happiness. I don’t know… and that’s ok.

Recently I confessed to my mother something I’m still not comfortable discussing with others, even anonymously.

I thought she’d be mad and horrified that I’ve thrown my life away, or at least I’ve thought of it like that for months.

It turns out, even if she is mad, she can be very helpful sometimes.

Who knew a mom could actually be helpful huh?

I’m still trying to learn how to be happy again with a complete 180 happening on my life’s apart direction. It’s a struggle, constant and warlike in nature. Some days are harder than others, while once in a while I can actually find the strength to smile through.

I still have a long way to go.

But as it turns out I can get excited, even if briefly, about what lies ahead.

Sometimes giving up on one distinct course of life, even if it is solid, sensible, and safe, can set you up for a world of possibility. You just have to see the forest for the trees, and have the patience to find the one that whispers dreams and pleasant thoughts to you.

🙂

My Life So far

My life so far has been full of mishaps, misturns, mistakes, and missed chances.

But at the same time, it’s been full of joy, success, learning, growing, and change.

Still trying to cope with that last one, lol.

Today, after giving you a week to adjust to me, my writing style, and the things I like to talk about, I want to give you a closer look at my life.

It’s not all glam and joy believe me.

Once upon a time a little girl decided she going to fly fighter planes.

Or, more correctly, a high school sophomore realized in a panic she had no way of paying for college, no useful skill set, and no idea what she wanted to do with her life. So she decided to try to get into the Air Force Academy, then figure things out as she went.

After a summer vacation convinced her it was time to buckle down to work, especially if she wanted to get into one of the top engineering schools in the nation, she returned her home to her darling mother and told she wanted to go to a school that would put her in the military.

To my mother’s credit, she neither fainted, nor screamed, nor dropped anything breakable.

So, immediately after this the young girl joined this neat little organization called Civil Air Patrol. There, she learned she did have some interesting skills. She was good at military drill, at learning historical facts, studying leadership, making friends, and was the greatest perfectionist to ever join CAP.

Yup, the military lifestyle suited her just fine.

But after a long and arduous journey, nothing happened.

Ok, not true, a lot happened.

She met her best friend at a military prep school she got into when she didn’t get into the actual academy right after high school.

Then she had her heart crushed when she didn’t get in.

She tried to enlist in the Air Force, but couldn’t meet weight standards, so she gave the prep school another go.

And got her heart broken again.

So here she is trying something completely different instead.

She’s getting married.

That’s right, somewhere in between a college breaking my heart and trying not to flunk Calculus I started a long distance relationship with a guy I met through Civil Air Patrol (funny how those things go).

It’s been two years since we’ve met and now he’s moving out to live with me and my family.

I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, and I’ve by no means told you everything, but It’s kind of exciting to see where things will go.

In the mean time though, I’m going to enjoy this very sparkly engagement ring on my finger and keep hoping and praying for the best, while trying not to stress about the worst.

“You will be secure because there is hope; you will look about you, and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.” Job 11:18-19

 

 

 

 

Nothing But Words

I’ve never been very good at introductions, I’m not good at talking about myself which is why I’m probably so desperate to do just that. It’s probably why I read so much as well. I long to find words that describe my exact situation and what is happening to me without me having to say a thing.

The truth is I’m a very selfish person, but as the oldest I can’t be. I can’t demand things, and sometimes it seems my only purpose in life is to prove I’m not a total screw up and keep my siblings on the straight and narrow.

If that is true, then I’m not very good at being the oldest.

I’ve tried blogging before but I wasn’t very good at it. It was a random compilation of nothingness that I started only because I was looking for a way to be recognized by the world.

Perhaps that still is my reason.

But beyond that, I guess I want to anonymously tell my troubles and triumphs, so I can receive help without fear, and congratulations without feeling guilty for seeking attention and recognition.

At 20 years of age I’ve yet to  figure out my life.

The plan I had for my life since I was 16 has crumpled into nothingness, with three consecutive years of rejection and failure to attain the keys to that life, despite almost five years of prepping, studying, and planning.

My failure was not due to lack of trying, but that makes it all the harder to bear.

I made a vow to myself and my fiancé that this year, because I am such a  goal oriented control freak (see comment about five years planning for one lifestyle), I would not make any New Years Resolutions. I will not say “here’s what my life will be like in 6 months, 8 months, or a year”.

Rather, I will say this.

“I will give myself permission to find happiness, to do what makes me happy. I give myself permission to write whatever story I want and damn the opinions of others. I will let myself feel loved and love in return. I will not worry over things I can’t control.”

Life is not a highway with milestone and road maps, lines and markings we can check off as we go pass.

Life is never what you want it to be, but you can make it better.

So here I am, a 20 year old pretending I know something when in actuality I know very little.

And I’m ok with that.

Or I’m learning to be at least.

So dear reader, if you do exist, I hope you don’t mind coming with me for the journey.

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 6:34