I’ve decided that I want to practice minimalism. Minimalism is getting rid of excess physical, emotional and mental baggage. The idea first arose when I visited my cousin in Dallas, TX. She was giving me a “when you’re in the real world you become a slave to work and bills” speech. I couldn’t understand why she was allowing herself to be overworked for an $1,000 plus apartment that she rarely sees and things she doesn’t use. I kept thinking that maybe if she cut down on those things she wouldn’t have to work as much and break those slave chains.
The idea also came up, because while I was living at home I was living out of a suitcase. With most of the things that I actually used being packed up in bins since I graduated, it’s allowed me to get a good look at how much stuff I have in my room that I don’t use. From the clothes I still have from grade school, to the cart of shoes when I only wear about 3 pairs and the huge bin of stuffed animals. I’ve learned that most of the things I have are invaluable, unwanted and unneeded.
I researched black minimalist. Minimalism spoke to me, but living with fewer things in black culture is considered being cheap and not a life changing awakening. Luckily, I found info on others black individuals who are fearlessly breaking stereotypes and enjoying their lives. Some people want to travel, so they opt out of having a home and just hop from hotel to hotel. Some people just aren’t materialistic. I want to be a minimalist, because my dream is to be an entrepreneur/writer so I want to work and invest my money into my projects. If I’m going to be working my butt off I figure it ought to be for things I value and not just to be spending and to impress others. I’ve also learned that it’s hard for me to focus and be at peace in a space full of clutter.
There isn’t one way to identify yourself as a minimalist. I will have a home and it won’t be barren. I’m starting out by selling, throwing away and giving away the things in my room now so that when it’s time to move my clutter won’t follow me. I also have things in mind that I get my own apartment.
- No cable – I only watch a few channels as in and while in college I didn’t have DIRECTV and I managed to survive without my faves. Instead of getting cable I’ll be more than happy with unlimited Wi-Fi.
- Buy things that you need and will wear – I’ve learned that I need to take inventory of the kind of clothes I need before shopping. I also need things that I can mix and match. You don’t always need a brand new outfit; maybe just new shirts to go with jeans you already have. I’ve learned to pay attention to the things that I like to wear so that I won’t just by trendy things that I honestly won’t like in a few weeks.
- Buy food you will eat – A majority of my money goes to food. I’ve gotten some apps on my phone to help me coupon and get money back from grocery shopping. I think it will also help to not shop while hungry and get stuff that I know I will eat pretty soon instead of letting it spoil.
I think not buying things I don’t really need paired with using discounts and couponing will allow me to live a life that I envisioned. A life where I can spend money on things I care about like my projects, hair care products, travel and going out. There is nothing cheap about allowing your spending habits to correlate with your desires. Living a smaller life in some area so you can live a bigger life and have freedom doesn’t mean you’re visionless. Make life work for you.