Being a minimalist is hard. It’s hard because I am teaching myself new things and basically overhauling what I have grown accustomed to all my life. I have started this journey more than a year ago but looking at where I am now, it doesn’t seem that I have gone far.
I honestly thought it would be easy. It would be easy decluttering and paring down. I didn’t put into consideration my inborn tendencies, especially the ones where I would feel guilty whenever I’d want to dispose of material possessions that were given to me by my parents, for example.
It’s hard being a minimalist or try to turn into one. I’ve run into a lot of obstacles but I’ve tried my best to compromise just so I can reach my goal.
Here are some of the things that proved to be a problem so far.
1. I live with my mom which makes it hard to be a minimalist when most of the things I have were given to me by either my mom or dad. I really found it difficult to throw away things especially when my mom would see it in the trash. She would often come to me and ask why did I throw it and then say that she (or my dad) gave it to me. I did tell her that I want to be a minimalist and live a life that would not be defined by material things but I honestly feel like she doesn’t understand this concept.
One of the first things I wanted to throw out (since last year) were perfumes/colognes that I didn’t like at all! I couldn’t throw it out or find ways to finish the bottles (like using it as a bathroom spray) because they were all given to me by my mom. She would have this face that would make me feel guilty. As a result, I have to use it all up even if the scent made my head hurt. It’s the only compromise I found but slow as the progress might be (I still have three perfumes to finish), it’s still progress and I’m glad I’m not offending my mom.
2. I have been saving up for a lot of things since I was in college. My clothes, shoes, bags, books, makeup, and skincare came from mostly my savings. Thinking of the amount of sacrifice I had to go through just so I can buy what I want and deciding to let it go hurts me a little inside.
What really helped me get through it and just let things go is reminding that myself that 1) I’ll be moving to a condo and I won’t have space for a lot of things 2) most of the things I am deciding to let go are things that I’ve used and abused already and 3) if they are things I haven’t used for years, chances are I won’t be using it anytime soon, so might as well dispose it.
These three reminders really helped me a lot in the letting go stage. Sometimes I’d see books I saved up for but haven’t really read and a part of me wants to keep it but then I’d remind myself that I haven’t read it in years, what’s the chance of me reading it now. Constant reminders to myself help a lot.
3. Where will all my things go? This is the biggest problem for me! I’m not that kind of girl that would be comfortable with just throwing things in the trash. At the end of the day, money was used to buy things and seeing still usable things in the trash really irks me in a way. Somebody somewhere out there can use it!
To solve this, I found the BEST solution ever and it’s through Caritas Manila! All you have to do is call them and they’ll go to your house and pick up your donations. You can donate clothes, books, shoes, or basically anything that can still be used.
All of my clothes and bags are now in the hands of Caritas Manila and I hope they find new homes for them. 🙂
4. I am in love with skincare. If you have been reading my blog, you’d probably have seen my beauty posts. I am in love with Korean skincare. This has proven to be the biggest problem so far because I always want to try new products. Some of the products do cost a lot and it doesn’t seem right to waste any of it.
I haven’t found the balance for this yet but I am practicing discipline (a large amount of it) just so I don’t end up with tons of beauty products. As a general rule, I must finish a certain product first before trying out a new one. I broke this rule last Christmas with all of the sales going around. T_T But I am proud to say that five months after, I haven’t really bought anything new and I have almost finished everything and only have my essentials!
5. Finding the inspiration to continue with the path less taken. Let’s admit it, today’s world is powered by consumerism. There will always be people telling you, you need this, you want this. That’s scary but you have to find it within you to focus on your goal and stay motivated all the time. There will always be times when you would want to stop, don’t be scared, just take a step back and re-assess everything. That really helps especially when the fear of failing is near.
Case and point the last few months of 2016 were bad for me and I needed to forget and de-stress. I almost fell into the dark abyss and started to accumulate new things but I just took a step back and realized that my happiness wasn’t really dependent on it. There was more to life and I just had to find it.
As an extra tip, don’t stay too long on social media. Pick only the people you want to follow and definitely choose the influencers who you want to influence your life. Be wary of the influencers that are only doing it for money and those that are basically just aesthetics. Find someone who has a purpose and can influence you to have a better life.
I still have a long way to go to become a minimalist. But I have no worries, and I will just enjoy the ride getting there. 🙂