at becoming minimalist, we frequently share stories of everyday people who have decided to begin living a minimalist life. they encourage us. and probably encourage you.
recently, stephanie shared her story with us through our share your story page.
I am 17 years old, and have started to become a minimalist about a week ago. Yes, not very long. But my life has been transformed in many different ways.
It all started with a quote I found from one of my favorite authors, Chuck Palahniuk, “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate, so we can buy sh*t we don’t need.” I thought about this quote for a while. I realized how much of an avid consumer I was – constantly buying clothes and makeup, always eating out (not to mention unhealthy), and just giving in to the mentality that having more will make you happier.
After this thought, I began to read up about minimalism on the internet, and I was completely inspired. I have always been fascinated by this concept, and always wanted to try it, but I never had the integrity to do it. Right after browsing through blogs (like this one!) and other helpful sites, I sought after a new minimalist lifestyle.
I began to empty my closet of the countless clothing articles that I never wore and yet refused to part with before. I emptied out maybe 1/3 of my closet. I’ve still got a long way to go, but for me, this was a good first step. I started to eliminate the little clutter on my desk, and in my cabinets. I already feel a bit more free.
This start in minimalism has made me realize how different ‘simplicity’ and ‘minimalism’ are. I would always tell my friends and family that I wanted to live a simple life. I tried to do this by always keeping my room very simple and organized, as well as buying items that were versatile (plain black bag). But what I really needed was a lifestyle change, not just making things appear to look clean cut.
I am not a pack rat to begin with actually – I am one of the most organized people you will probably meet. But I consumed far more than I needed. Part of it is being a teenager is today’s society. I hate to admit it, but the media has a huge influence on me, as much as I wish it didn’t. It is a big reason why I bought so many CDs, magazines, books, etc.
I even work at a job I dislike. I would put in many hours just to splurge on a new dress, or buy fast food with my friends.
I am at the start of my life. I’m heading to university next year, and the real world soon enough. I’m very happy with my decision to become a minimalist, it is probably the best one I’ve made thus far. I want to go into my adult life as a minimalist. I want to travel, and have more time for my family and the things I love, such as creating art.
I realize that this probably won’t be easy. Especially for me, a teenage girl that loves to shop. The biggest challenge will be adjusting my eating and spending habits. But I am willing to do it, in hope of a more balanced and happy life.
I just want to live life the way I want, not the way that society has made me want to live.
All the blogs I’ve read so far have been incredibly inspiring, so I just wanted to say thank you.
stephanie, may you find incredible joy in living life the way you want…
I love this story, and I really enjoy Chuck’s books! Thanks for sharing!