For years now I’ve been decluttering my life.
I’ve been reviewing and removing all the things which distract me from the reality that it’s shit I don’t need.
Whilst I’m far from done—and I don’t think I’ll ever truly be done, which I’m very okay with—there’s a question which has begun lingering in the back of mind.
The minimalist creed is that we’re supposed to let it all go and everything gets better.
Anyone who’s done this, “letting it go,” shit for long enough, knows how disappointing it is.
It doesn’t just get better.
The actual hard work doesn’t start until after all the distractions are gone.
Because once you have removed all those distractions, what you’re left with is a rawness the likes of which you’ve never felt before.
Like a cheese grater to your soul.
Except, this time, there’s nowhere to hide, there’s nothing to numb the pain of a thousand unaddressed thoughts and insecurities.
Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little. Epicurus
Finding a new road to take to a new proverbial home is hard and painful work.
Yet somehow, we don’t talk about this nearly as often as we do about the glorious goal of minimalist living.
I suppose maybe because it is hard.
And it’s a hard sell when the elevator pitch to a better living includes walking on shards of glass for years first.
So, with all of this in mind, here are my tips for making the journey just a little more bearable—mind you, it’s still going to hurt, best put your helmet on now.
Tips for making the road more travelable
- Bring a friend (being alone and lonely are not the same things)
- Make a playlist (life is better with music)
- Occasionally stop and appreciate how far you’ve already come
- You’re allowed days when you just fall back into your comfortable routines (just don’t start unpacking, you don’t live there anymore)
- Find an anchor, something that lets you get your bearings again when things get rocky (and they will get rocky)
- Your journey, your pace (never apologise for that but do articulate it to people)
- You’re doing the best you can (and that’s good enough)
If failing that, alternatively, and I do mean this alternatively, you could just go back to your old ways.
Ooh, look at that shiny old road of familiarity, doesn’t it look good and comfortable with all its distracting social media platforms.
There’s no shame in admitting that you prefer a life filled with shit you don’t need, bought using money you don’t have, to please people you don’t like.
If the Joneses can do it then so can you!
Maybe you can still put the genie back in the bottle and eat the sausage despite knowing how it’s made?
Let’s call this the Stepford Plan.
Mmm, delicious sausage.
As for me, I’m still going to stick to the new road, despite its many ups and downs and shards of glass.
Because I’m finding more calm and stillness in the absence of things and stuff than I ever did in their presence.
And sure, some days it’s hard.
And some days it feels like bullshit but it still feels worth it.