When I have started this new journey my family and some friends did not understand minimalism and they thought I was losing my mind. Taking out so many things meant wasted money to my family. I can still remember what a close friend said when I told her about this new “project” of mine. She said “You will never be able to be a minimalist”. It hurt me, it hurt not to have her encouragement.
I felt alone and I was constantly trying to hide o part of the belongings that were being tossed away so that the impact would be a bit smaller for them. Still, even the amount I allowed to be seen was too much, too much for my family to support me.
But I kept going; I kept looking forward to the next category to simplify. I did not stop; they did not stop my dream. Some of my things were donated and some were sold. It felt so good to see the progress as days passed. More joy came into my life, joy that slowly replaced loneliness.
After a while I tried talking more and more with my grandmother to convince her to let go of some of her unused things. I actually managed one day to sit with her and we took care of the clothes. I couldn’t say she felt more relieved or that she is now happier with a simpler wardrobe but to me it meant a lot that she was open to some of my suggestions. I wanted to do more around the house and she agreed to a few areas. I succeeded in making some changes in the bathroom and in the kitchen. This felt amazing! I may not have changed everything how I wished but I made a small difference in her life. She still couldn’t understand minimalism but it didn’t matter to me anymore.
When my father heard about this he was very intrigued and interested. What a delightful surprise that was! He actually asked me to help him with his clothes. I was so happy and excited. My mom wasn’t pleased at all seeing us tossing things but together we did it anyway. We were like a team!
I must say that my mother was always very stubborn. She didn’t want to throw anything. And by anything… I literally mean anything. Not even an empty bottle of a shampoo that was just sitting in a drawer, having no purpose. I tried and tried and finally she tossed one bag of clothes and one bag of shoes that were donated to an orphanage. It was an incredible progress, especially coming from her. Today I can see that she is more satisfied with her wardrobe and that her style is more defined.
My boyfriend joined me at a certain point in this journey. I taught him many things and he was open to a lot of my suggestions. I can literally say that our relationship was getting better each day and that our minds were on the same page, aligned on every paragraph. We stopped fighting like we used to and we started looking towards the future together.
The friend that I mentioned at the beginning could not believe how much I have accomplished and she felt very proud of me. On several occasions she asked me to help minimize her stuff. Today we are closer than we’ve ever been!
My intentions weren’t to impose my beliefs on my family or friends but to make them see a bit different the world. I felt the need to show them a glimpse of freedom, freedom from the materialistic world and to open a small window for the loved ones. I wanted to teach them to be more conscious and not to cherish objects anymore.
I was sad, lonely and angry… angry that I allowed myself to become the way I was. If I would have kept going in that direction I would have become a true hoarder. All those bad memories I was holding onto and all those money I have spent taught me to learn from my mistakes and to focus on the good. The struggle was extremely hard but I never gave up.
So the message is to keep going and don’t ever give up. If you truly believe in your goal don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Fight for your dream and be prepared to work hard.
Nothing comes easy in life and the road will have a lot of bumps. Keep your mind focused on what matters the most to you!
“If you go deeper and deeper into your own heart, you’ll be living in a world with less fear, isolation and loneliness.” – Sharon Salzberg