Hello!! My name is Janey Walquist, and I am a Junior Elementary Education major. I got the privilege of traveling to Portland, OR this last week. There are still many things about the trip that I am processing. It was a trip full of conversations and activities that helped to create deep meaning in relationships and in life. We got to meet many people, and I really got to know the people that I traveled with. I miss being with them already. We had many laughs, and such wonderful conversations about anything. I gained friendships at a deeper level, and I appreciate that I could be vulnerable and real with all of the people on the trip. I also felt that way about many of the people that I met in the cities that we visited. They were all real people that wanted to share their lives and listen to ours. One particular person I met said something that struck something in me.
MINIMALISM IS ABOUT BEING INTENTIONAL.
Many people may think that minimalism means living out of your car with one shirt and no other things. For some people, that is what it is, but not for everyone. We met people that lived simply out of their cars, and we met people that owned larger homes and still had things they kept in their homes. The woman that said this to me owned a home and talked about the things that she still couldn’t get rid of in her life. She kept things that meant something to her. There were things in her life that she admitted she would probably never get rid of, but to her that was ok. That was a different way for me to see it. She said “if you have 100 things and I have 105, that does not mean that you are better at minimalism than I am”. This really struck me. Why had I always thought that I could only own a few things to be minimalist. Most people think that, because that is what is portrayed in the media about minimalism. Its all of these crazy, dirty hippies that don’t have homes or belongings, but that isn’t the root of what it is. She explained it as being intentional about what you have and what you do in your life. Don’t think that you can’t be minimalist if you have more than just a few things. You have to think about the things that make you happy. What do you love to do, and what objects help you to do what you love? This is not going so far as to say that consumerism is ok. Objects can not inherently make you happy, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t own any things. Think before you buy or do things in your life. Ask yourself if it is something that makes you happy. If not, what is the point in doing it. We should live our lives happy. Yes, we will run into situations that are unpleasant, but we can handle those better if our lives are lived in such a way that we are happy with who we are and what we do.
I apologize that this is somewhat of a scattered rant of things, but I just hoped to show you that you can be a minimalist without purging everything in your life. Live your life with intention. I will end with some cool pics from the trip, so you can see all of the wonderful nature and people that I got to see and spend time with this past week.