The Minimalist Experiment

I like stuff. Show me a soft, snarky tee or luxe stationery, and I’m swooning all the way to that boutique register—singing the praises of supporting local business.

I also read Thoreau’s Walden and books about Buddhism revering the ways of non-attachment. And those words—the idea of impermanence, that things shouldn’t define us—speak to me profoundly.

Bring in my affinity with a “damn the man” mentality (an adolescent phase that has blossomed into a lifestyle of sorts), and my relationship with belongings, marketing, and consumerism becomes complicated.

While I’m learning to embrace Whitman’s comfort with contradictions and containing multitudes, the first Monday of a new year has me hungry to explore stuff and things and this so-called trend toward minimalism.

In the coming months, I’m looking to wax philosophical (quality vs. quantity, cultivating beauty, the power of symbolism, and identity curation), while also waning in the details (tackling the miscellaneous drawer, finding a laundry system that works, figuring out the wily ways of the illustrious capsule wardrobe, and donation etiquette). I’ve been wanting to write more outside of work, and framing the minimalist-in-training adventure as an experiment feels like a good fit. I can’t promise any answers, but I can share what I learn from wading through what’s online, and found in various philosophies, about the art of living more with less.

I’m also looking to function with fewer piles. This one was my breaking point.

So, here’s to finding balance (and saving to buy a home in a ridiculously expensive city). My focus for 2017 will be figuring out privilege, priorities, and paring down. In the words of dear Thoreau, “simplify, simplify.”

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