It almost seems like such a weird thing to say, but pursuing minimalism helped me find myself.
What does that even mean, am I right? Shouldn't I already know who I am? Unfortunately, as many of us know, finding ourselves is a lot trickier than it should be.
Over the years, I had acquired so many things. Things that society told me I should have. Clothes that other people told me I should own. I even listed to music and watched tv shows that other people told me I should like.
Really, I never got rid of anything. My whole life was a hodgepodge of junk that other people told me I should have.
Everything I had was the result of me doing as I was told or trying hard to fit in. I liked and owned things because that's what I was supposed to do.
But I still didn't fit in. And I didn't feel like myself, either.
Even though I had a closet full of clothes and a house full of stuff, I had no real sense of fashion, no sense of style when it came to decorating my space, and no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
I didn't know who I was.
My friends and the media told me who I was supposed to be, and so I tried to live according to that standard. I lived my life for other people and not for me. It was exhausting.
I was lost.
It wasn't until I started purging all the stuff and clearing out space in my home and mind that things started becoming more clear. From the big things right down to the superficial. From what I wore to the way I thought.
When I downsized my possessions to just the few things I actually loved (me, and not other people), I started to see what was important to me, what things I was passionate about.
I started to see more clearly who I really am, and not what other people thought I should be. And better yet, I started to be comfortable with who I am.
My wardrobe and home are a reflection of who I am
When I cleaned out my closet to only a few basic pieces, my personal style started showing itself.
Which, honestly, was a shock. I didn't know I had a personal style other than "hopelessly unfashionable."
So often through my early 20s, I'd go shopping with a friend, have them pick out all of the clothes, and I'd just try things on and then buy what they told me looked good. The result was that I knew how to wear a few outfits, but never really felt like myself.
I'd never quite had a good sense of style. Fashion has always been a mystery to me. And it still is. My minimalist wardrobe is a blessing, because you can't really go wrong when everything you own is black.
My wardrobe is now a reflection of who I am, not who I think I should be. I am comfortable in my clothes, which gives me the confidence to behave more like myself.
The same thing started happening with my home. When I cleared out each room, I was left with only the things I really loved. Just like with my closet, color schemes and decor themes started to make themselves apparent.
And it's beautiful. Everything just feels so much more like home now, so much more like me.
But not only is my home cleaner and a better representation of my personality, getting rid of the clutter gave me room to actually live my life. I finally have room to do the things I love.
Which is great and all, but at the time, I didn't actually know what I loved to do.
I know that sounds wild. Who doesn't know what they like to do?! The problem was, I liked to do so many things, but I didn't know what I loved.
Purging my craft room helped so much with figuring out what I wanted to be doing with my life. I only wanted to spend my time on one or two things. I was beginning to realize that having so many hobbies was confusing and hopeless.
Narrowing it down to just a few hobbies really helped give me a defined focus of what I want my life to be about.
I now have a clear vision of what I want out of life
The further I got into minimalism, the more I started to declutter my thoughts and goals. Just like with my hobbies, I knew I needed to have one or two life goals that I really an after full speed. I needed to take inventory of where my life is going and what things are the most important in my life.
And I was really surprised at the outcome.
Because none of my goals involved coffee or cats.
My entire view of my life changed. Instead of focusing on living this moment in the here and now, I became focused on living in this moment but in perspective of the bigger picture.
I do things for myself not because it feels good right now, but because it's going to be beneficial for me in the long run.
Being able to intertwine living for now and planning for the future has been a valuable gift. I eat well, I take care of myself. When I feel I need to relax, I relax. I take in every detail of every moment.
Because this moment is important.
But these things also push me forward to my future goals. I eat well now so that I can continue to be healthy in the future. My evenings are spent relaxing so that I can be refreshed the next day. I take advantage of living in the moment because I know it will be a memory I'll cherish down the road.
I take chances now to benefit me in the future.
Where minimalism has led me
And all of these changes have led me here. To this blog, sipping my coffee and telling you all about my life.
Minimalism helped me figure out what is important in my life, and it's given me the opportunity for a better, more relaxed life. And, more importantly, ignited a passion to help others find those same things.
I have never had a more clear and defined view of who I am and where I'm going.
I made space in my life. And I found myself in it. I have a sense of purpose that I didn't have before. And that purpose is to share this incredible journey with all of you. To actively find ways to make a difference in the world I live in.
And if I have to drink 100 cups of coffee to make that happen, then that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
Pursing minimalism has given me time and space to pursue this purpose. And it continues to be an incredible blessing in my life.
I hope, if you are also where I was, lost and searching for who you are or who you're meant to be, that you'll look more into minimalism. I hope you'll be intentional about creating a space for you to discover yourself. It won't happen overnight. But it will happen.
Beautiful things happen when you create space in your life.