5 REASONS WHY I'M NOT A MINIMALIST
First of all, a big shout out to Jenny Mustard for inspiring me to talk about this ever since watching her video last year, which you can watch here!
Within minimalism there can be a lot of pressure to conform to a certain stereotype of what a minimalist should be. That you should own next to nothing, only have white furniture in your home, or be living as a digital nomad travelling the world with only a backpack of things. But this stereotype needs to be ditched, because there is no one size fits all. Plus this narrowminded idea of a minimalist is hardly relatable for the majority of the population.
We should all be using minimalism as a tool to get rid of useless stuff and simplify our lives. To reduce consumption and increase growth. While for many this results in the aforementioned traits, many people use minimalism in their own way to improve their life, all the while (shock horror) living in colourful homes and owning more than just a backpack of clothing.
I often get comments saying something along the lines of "I want to be a minimalist but I can't get rid of..." And the thing is, that doesn't therefore mean you're not a minimalist. All it means is you're you, and you're using minimalism in a way that works for you! And who needs the label anyway? Why are we categorising what is or isn't minimalist, who is or isn't a minimalist? You can sit anywhere on the spectrum you want to. Minimalism isn't about owning the least amount of stuff, but about simplifying your life and enriching it with what makes you happy.
So I decided I would list some of the ways in which I don't fit into the stereotypical definition of what it is to be a "minimalist" (emphasis on the quotation marks).
So I own a lot of electronics and gadgets. My job is online, filming videos, taking photos and creating a lot of content. My home is filled with wires, gadgets and cameras everywhere! This does drive me a little bit nuts because I work from home with my partner, and we have a small space to work in (office/living room/dining room). But I need these items to facilitate what I do. These electronics improve the quality of my videos, photos, editing and therefore improve my business.
Again, food is a huge part of my job (and my life). I am constantly creating recipes and therefore need a stocked pantry and fridge. Not to mention how much joy food and cooking brings me. Whipping up something in the kitchen leaves me feeling relaxed and inspired at the same time. I therefore absolutely love having a stocked pantry full of different things that I can create recipes with for my job, and for myself.
I listen to Spotify all day long, love a good Netflix binge, try and read most days, spend hours on YouTube and one of my all-time favourite things to do is to visit the cinema. I am therefore constantly absorbing lots of media (eh hem social media is my job), and I love it! I use these different forms of media to learn, educate myself, have fun and understand new ideas. Of course I have to be careful not to waste time by overindulging on certain media (I'm looking at you Instagram stories), but when I find the right balance, I'm certainly no minimalist.
While I have quit my shopaholic ways, I have kept somewhat of an interest in fashion and beauty. I'm an arty person who likes to express myself in makeup and clothing on the odd occasion. My wardrobe and makeup bag aren't that of an extreme minimalist, nor that of a shopaholic beauty guru. But I have found a balance that keeps me happy and makes sense in my life. Ditching the addiction to clothes and makeup has been powerful for me. But also realising I'm never going to be that minimalist who never wears makeup and only has a backpack of clothes has been an important learning experience during my minimalism journey.
5. not living out of a backpack
I have done the backpack lifestyle, traveling around the world as a digital nomad with just a backpack. But what it taught me, is that the backpack life was not the life for me. I learnt so much, had incredible experiences and gained many memories, but I realised I could never do it longterm. I love having my own home, my own space and things. This security brings me so much happiness, it grounds me, the routine keeps me motivated, the familiarity keeps me sane. I want to continue travelling to new places, learning new things and gathering experiences, while returning to the comfort of my own home.
Hopefully opening up about this will help those of you are using minimalism in your life to feel more included in this lifestyle. Its important for us all to understand that to minimise on stuff and maximise on life, but not give ourselves a hard time if we don't do it to the extreme. Let me know in the comments why you aren't a minimalist!