To start out, I want to say that I apologize for the late post. The month of September was a very busy, yet an exciting month for me! I started a great new job only to resign from that job because I was offered a dream position at Texas A&M Galveston as an Admissions Counselor, and I celebrated my 30th Birthday! But all that matters is that I keep up with my posts and that’s exactly what I’m doing!
When I first started minimalism I wasn’t for certain it was a lifestyle I could keep up with for the rest of my life. In order to be a minimalist, you have to be able to let go of items that don’t bring value to your life and the same goes for items that you’ve kept for almost 30 years. As a child, I played with Power Rangers, TMNT action figures, Batman, Pokémon, and Star Wars toys that brought my imagination to life and took me on many epic adventures, but at some point, I knew I was going to let those items go. I put those off for last because as weird as it sounds I was still attached to my past.
The past can be a dangerous place to visit, even if you have a nice past to think about. In life we move forward, not backward, so why is it that some decide to live in the past and ignore the present? My answer is pretty simple, and I think it’s pretty obvious that the past is for certain and the present/future is uncertain. Some people can’t handle knowing that their future is uncertain, but when you have happy memories from the past it’s much easier to live there. But living in the past can hold you back from the now and keep you from growing as a person and that’s why I let go of my oldest possessions. The items mentioned were literally sitting in a shed for nearly 15 years not being touched by human hands, so why on earth would I keep something that isn’t being used? Those items were my childhood and keeping items was a way to remember my childhood, but I honestly don’t need a physical item to remember my childhood anymore.
Excuses I’ve used in the past to keep things:
- It’ll be worth money some day
- My children (if I have children) can play with them
- It’s my past, I just can’t get rid of my past
- It’s easier to keep things than throw away
- Lots of money was spent on these things and I don’t want to be wasteful
Too many people think they shouldn’t throw out stuff because hard earned money was spent; I don’t see it that way at all. In the past, I’ve purchased plenty of crap, but I will not let the money factor keep me from living a happy and clutter-free life. It’s just money, folks. Yes, money gets us nice things, but you shouldn’t let it dictate your life and keep you from dreams and happiness. If you bought something 10-15 years ago and you haven’t used it, why do you hold onto it? I’m happy to say that I donated all my old toys to my local Goodwill and I’m happy knowing those toys will be in the hands of a child that will make new and epic memories! I don’t care if some of those toys were worth money because I don’t care about money that way. I’m not out to make a buck and I think I gain more by donating those toys so someone else can enjoy them. Even if a collector picks them up they now have a positive they can enjoy! Physical items will not follow in death and there’s no reason to hold onto something that doesn’t bring real value to your life.
Minimalism isn’t just about letting go of personal possessions, but I’m sure you’ve caught on that the past isn’t something we should cling to daily. Moving forward and being in the present is how I also practice minimalism and it makes perfect sense to me. There’s nothing wrong with a nostalgic moment, but if you’re constantly living in a nostalgic universe how can you grow? I had an amazing childhood, high school experience, and college experience, but I choose not to live in that world to this day. Those can be considered the good old days, but the memories I’m making now are also the good old days and I’m doing my best to enjoy the present!
-Minimalist of Galveston Island