Why I’m Choosing Minimalism

 

Everyone can agree that we live in a society of mass consumerism. Advertising bombards us all the time, telling us what we need to buy to make us better, stronger, healthier, prettier, and happier than the people we interact with on a daily basis. Somehow our society has become convinced that more possessions will make us happier, when in actuality, the opposite is usually true. Being surrounded by objects and products at all time often causes more stress, frustration, and dissatisfaction than happiness.

This is just one reason why I have decided to make a life change and become a minimalist.

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Now, don’t freak out. I’m sure the word “minimalism” conjures up images of bare walls, five items of clothing hanging in a closet, and maybe a couch in the living room if you’re lucky. But don’t worry, I’m not going that far off the deep end. Each person and their situation is unique, so minimalism will play itself out for different people in different ways.

For me, it will veer more to the side of simple living. I really appreciate the allure of a simple lifestyle, one that is uncluttered and uncomplicated, and there are a few reasons why I want to make the switch.

1) Less Clutter, More Creativity? – I’m a writer who works from home. While it sounds great, I struggle to find a space where I can focus and get loads of work done. If I can cut down the clutter in my room, I will hopefully be able to focus more on the task at hand instead of getting distracted by everything around me. I also won’t have to clear out a space on my desk to work at before sitting down.

2) Mobility – This fall I will start my senior year of college, and then after that, who know where I’ll be. If I only have a few possessions, I will be able to move around a lot easier. I will feel more free to accept jobs in different parts of the country because I won’t have to stress about moving quite as much stuff. 

3) Less Stress – All the clutter in my room makes it really difficult to just relax. I’m always seeing something that needs done, but at the same time being completely intimidated by the amount of work that has to happen. So I just lay on my bed and watch YouTube to distract myself from all the crap around me. It really

4) Less Attached to Possessions – The two things that I value most in my life are friends and family, so I don’t think I really deal with an attachment to possessions. But I want to be completely honest with myself. A lot of the things that are contributing to the clutter are relics from high school and I have to be honest with myself because those things aren’t me, yet I cling to them.

5) More Saving – I’ll admit it: I might have a slight spending problem. I buy things that I might use for some hypothetical situation sometime in the future. Ridiculous, I know. And don’t even get me started on coffee. I have been known to buy coffee and snacks from Starbucks up to two or three times a day at school. Hopefully by going minimalist I’ll train myself to buy less and value what I have right now.

What do you think of the minimalist lifestyle? Do you find it ridiculous or practical? Are you minimalist? If so, give me your wisdom! I need all the help I can get.

My Last Day as a Teenager

Today is my last day as a teenager. Tomorrow is my twentieth birthday.

Weird.

I’ve been a teenager for seven years, and if you divide that out, that’s approximately 40% of my life so far. Over half of my memories are from my teenage years since I have horrible memory and don’t remember back past maybe five-years-old.

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13-year-old Lindy. Boy am I glad that those awkward years are over.

 

So much has happened when I was a teenager. I had my first boyfriend when I was 13. (It was a dismal failure, but that’s beside the point.) When I was 14, I went on a six week camping trip with my family, my biggest adventure ever besides college. When I was 15, I went on a week-long vacation without my family, a pretty massive accomplishment if you grew up in a family as close as mine. I also got my very first job that summer. I worked my first summer at camp when I was 16. I started college when I was 17. (I was the youngest in all of my classes.) I got my first pocket knife when I was 18. (It was green and really cool.) And I had my first kiss when I was 19.

 

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14-year-old Lindy. Yes, I am flying. Because I’m that cool.

On top of that there were so many great memories of weekend retreats with my youth group, of vacations with my family, and of crazy shenanigans with my friends. I learned to drive and (finally) got my licence. I’ve seen friends fall in love and get married.

 

I’ve learned what it means to be a hard worker and to be passionate about writing. I’ve learned what it means to be a good friend. I’ve made new friends and have grown distant from old ones. I’ve grown to love my family like no one could believe. I’ve learned to spend time with the people who truly care about me and let those who don’t fade into the background but am always open for a rekindled friendship.

And now those seven years are coming to a close.

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My sister (left) and I at my 16th birthday party. We had a great barn party and line dance.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am super stoked to finally be a twenty-something. I’ve identified with the age group for quite a while now. But actually being one is hitting me with a purse-load of bricks. (Plus, I tend to get melodramatic and emotional as I approach milestones.)

Here’s a nod to the past two decades. Here’s a shout to the next two.

-Lindy

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17-ish-year-old Lindy. Don’t hate the hat!