Miss Minimalist

Ladies and gentlemen,

This is a bit of a late announcement, but Upgrading Your Life With Less got featured on Miss Minimalist!

Click here for the original post

So here’s what I wrote:

Minimalism… Until about a year ago I never even heard of it. I mean, I knew about minimalistic art and design and found it to be utterly boring. I like colors, bold prints, wonderful fabrics! So, how did I fall in love with minimalism then? It’s a funny story really. Or, well, not really. But it has a very bright silver lining to it though! So stick with me.

About 2 years ago, I collapsed at work. Just dropped on the floor, totally blacked out for a moment. Turned out I was overworked. And not just overworked in the way that I needed a few days off to sleep a bit, regain some strength. Overworked as in the way of not being able to sleep at night, because all I could think about was my job and what would happen if I failed at it, overworked as in the way of not seeing my friends and family anymore, because all I did was work and after that I was too tired to do anything else. Overworked as in the way of yelling and screaming at my beloved boyfriend and my sweet feline friends about every little thing, because I was so tired and stressed out all of the time. Overworked as in not eating well anymore, because I had no time and energy to prepare meals. Overworked as in feeling like the only way I could make myself feel worthy and not like a total failure was by buying stuff, lots and lots of stuff…

So, that’s what I did, I bought stuff, and some more stuff, and some more. Shopping was like a drug to me. I would feel good for just a moment, but after that I would feel even worse than before. I’m pretty sure I was addicted to it. Until one day. It was about a year after I collapsed. I left my job after that horrible day, stayed home for a whole year, just to get a grip on reality again, to regain some energy, spirit and strength. After that year I felt ready. I didn’t knew for what, but I was ready for whatever would come my way. As I was browsing the Internet, I came across a weblog, called the Zen Habits. I started reading and a light went on. This was what I needed! To regain clarity of mind I needed to clear out my life!

So, I started right away. Not only did I deleted all phone numbers of people who were toxic to me, I also dropped all beauty products I needed to value myself. After that I went to my closet. Armed with a dozen trash bags I tackled all the clothing that I had that made me feel uncomfortable and/or didn’t fit my body or my personality. I felt so relieved, so… light! So my journey continued. I was reading every blog I could find about minimalism, including the wonderful Miss Minimalist, and I became more and more enthusiastic.

It has been a year now, and I feel better than ever. I don’t have to worry about stuff anymore and I regained my self-worth by realizing that I am not my stuff. I still feel like I’m on a journey when it comes to minimizing my lifestyle and belongings, but isn’t the journey part of the fun? I think it is!

Looking back at before I made the chance that might have saved my life, I felt like the wheel was turning, but the hamster was long dead. I think I knew all along that my way of living wouldn’t make me happy, and I’m so thankful for discovering minimalism. It gave me back my life.

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2 thoughts on “Miss Minimalist

  1. Lovely, and worthy of recognition.
    Reading this connected some dots I hadn’t yet. I was laid off from my full AND part time jobs one month apart in 2009/2010.
    I’d recently split from my husband, who is and always will be the love of my life. We’d done nothing but fight for a long time, and it was because I felt overworked. I loved both jobs, but the total hours was approaching, and sometimes surpassing, 80 hours a week.
    Insanity!
    Two years of job hunt, volunteer work and lots of time to recover (and go through treatments for an early stage cancer), and I was more balanced than ever in my life.
    I wish I could give this woman to my ex. And to my son, who got crazy mom.

    From that simplification, I branched into material simplification.
    I’m still on the initial journey, and discovering what my limits are.

    Today, I’m just as broke, just as in love with my work (in a new field), but I’m calmer, have a better long view, and can focus with some clarity.

    Thanks for the post.
    “Mountainwave”

    • Dear Robyn,

      Thank you for your kind and openhearted reply. I hope you’re doing well regarding you cancer.

      I’m really sorry to hear you are no longer together with your husband and that you had to go through all these rough times! I’m happy for you you’re calmer now and have a clearer and more focused view on things.

      I really hope the future will bring both you and those around you great happiness and that you’ll be able to continue your journey along the path of minimalism and the many joys it can bring.

      With warm regards,

      Manon

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