I had a mental breakdown today. And I really think we need to talk about these things. Minimalism is something that somehow is mostly portrayed as a result, a goal, an achievement of the perfect life, the stress-free effective life that is focused upon beauty, relaxation, richness, oneness.. Well, for me minimalism was a goal that in my mind looked like ‘getting rid of everything that I don’t use and go live the life you want for yourself, with as little as possible’. Right now I’m still in the decluttering process and no-where near the minimal lifestyle that I crave so much. It’s a long battlefield, a hard struggle within myself and with everyone around me. A while back I was even contemplating discarding my boyfriend, just because it seemed the easiest solution to everything. But it ain’t like that. Getting rid is not the same as overcoming. And I know now that I need to redefine my idea of minimalism. Maybe my goal of getting rid of 70% of my stuff by the end of this year is quite impossible to achieve in such a time-frame and I shouldn’t beat myself up to this. Maybe I should concentrate on my learned lessons, be grateful for who I’ve become instead of ‘measuring my success’ by how little I own now. Minimalism shouldn’t give you more headaches and stress. Yes it will be stressful at times and today was one of those days.. I found myself surrounded by so much stuff that I actually dreamed of setting everything on fire just to free myself from my responsibilities. There is no easy way out of decluttering, it is a real confrontation with everything you accumulated all those years, unknowingly, even due to the way you were raised. Because I still live at my mother’s place, she comes across my decluttering projects from time to time. And whenever she catches me giving away or selling something that to her seems sentimental, I get even more trouble from her and that isn’t helping either. Somehow people will notice your change and they will find it odd, it might even terrify them. That is at least how my mother sees me, as a cold bitch who gets rid of sentimental stuff that is related to family or my cherished youth. Trying to explain to others my minimalist journey isn’t working, people are busy with other stuff. And my mum is simply not aware of suffocation yet. Anyway, I don’t know where I was going with this all, maybe this is helpful to some of you. For me, writing about these things things is mostly a way to calm myself, let go of my expectations, be real with myself and forgive my imperfections.
photograph by Florent Tanet