When I was packing for university, I found it extremely difficult to let go of some of the things I owned. I knew I couldn’t take everything with me, but I kept asking myself ‘how could I possibly throw this away?’. What if I need it one day? What about all of the memories?
Now that I’ve moved, and left that stuff behind, I don’t even miss it. Whether or not I got rid of it, it barely makes a bit of difference to me now.
I’ve learned that over time people forget, or their need for a particular object eventually diminishes. Either they store it away or they get rid of it.
You might think nostalgically about the toys you cared about when you were a child, but what is making you smile now is not the thing itself but the memory of it. I’ve heard it a hundred times, “you don’t need things to make you happy”. It takes something life changing like moving across the country to realise how true this is.
Speaking of which, for a lot of people, minimalism is about being able to move. It’s about being able to go almost anywhere at any time because you don’t have many possessions to carry. When you keep things you don’t need they become a burden that tie you to a place. Moving to university was a good time to let go of a lot of stuff. And when I visit for the holidays, I’ll probably get rid of even more, to lighten the burden.
Of course, there are exceptions. There are some things that are irreplaceable, very rare or expensive or we simply love and cherish for some reason or another, we are human after all. But after we keep those, how much is left that we don’t really need?
Hence, minimalism. And why does minimalism bring happiness? This was a bit of a roundabout way of saying that it’s because what really makes me happy is freedom. And the key to freedom is minimalism because minimalism reduces our attachment to things.
Attachment to too many objects create clutter and can severely hinder our freedom to do whatever we want, whereas minimalism helps us start new projects, move, travel, learn new things, meditate, work, expand, be debt free, be healthy – really living life to our full potential.
I left the nest to fly onwards and upwards, I can’t do it with old things weighing me down. And that is why I have adopted minimalism with open arms.