Owning My Life

As the world was celebrating a new year, I was cursing where I was. On New Year's Eve of 2014, I spent most of the night texting my future girlfriend. We talked about new years resolutions and about what we want in the future. While laying on my bed my eyes wandered around the room. From the messy bookshelf of books I never even opened to a dresser with clothes hanging out and pointless trophies on top. I moved over to my desk and shoved a bunch of papers and random junk over so I could set down my laptop. I became angry with myself, as I was discussing who I wanted to be, I was sitting in a spot of a young man owned by his things. I went upstairs and grabbed a roll of garbage bags and started tossing things. By 5 a.m., I had tossed or donated or stored 90% of what I owned. I went from 1000+ items being in my small room and closets to less than a 100+ items I wanted to keep. I even stored my queen size bed in one closet to sleep in my hammock instead.

During the next three weeks, I enjoyed the minimal cleaning of my room. I enjoyed the space that seemed to be added. I began to look at something that seemed to mirror what I was doing in that three weeks. It was a lifestyle called minimalism. Many of the books I read and websites I visited seemed to have a portrayal of this lifestyle that meant sacrificing everything. They held Gandhi or the Peace Pilgrim as the holy figures of this lifestyle. While these things intrigued me and I entertained the idea of a "Forest Gump" run, this thing called minimalism didn't fit me. I gave up on this lifestyle and just enjoyed a clean room with a packed closet.

One morning I woke up and hoped in the shower, I noticed the water pressure was awful but I didn't really think much of it. When I went back to my room to get dressed I heard water gushing in the background. I finally opened up the closet I packed everything in and saw what seemed to be the worst thing ever. In six inches of water sat my queen bed and several boxes of stuff. During that 24 hours, I had to throw out everything I tried to hang on to. That busted pipe was the best thing that could happen to me.

For the next 6 months, I focused on being intentional in everything I did. I tried to buy very little. I learned from dozens of other Minimalist. I searched and tried to figure out how to own my life and not let things own me. I understood the joy of being able to pack everything into 4 totes and put it in my car and go. This was my quite crazy beginning but I understand our best life adventures have the roughest beginnings.