Am I a Minimalist?

I imagine your home doesn’t look like the pictures on the internet.  You probably don’t live in a tiny house. The objects you use daily might not be trendy, but you’ve had them for years.  You see this trend growing and you wonder, “am I a minimalist?” Probably not. But wait, don’t go! You surpass the growing trend of minimalism! Hear me out.

Consider a few questions for me.  Are you paying down your debt or debt free? Does going to the mall or Walmart make you uncomfortable?  Have you cancelled cable?  Do you drive an old car?  Do you use your public library?  Do you have savings? Do you have hobbies other than shopping?  Do you have free time? Do you buy second hand? Can you find things when you are looking for them?  Have you ever borrowed something instead of buying it?  Does clutter and mess drive you crazy?  Do you schedule time for rest? Do you prefer eating at home over going out?  If you answered yes to m/any of these, you are more than a minimalist.    You’ve contentedly been living simple for years before it was fashionable.    

Do you wonder what these questions even have to do with minimalism?  I didn’t ask if you live in an esthetically pleasing pinterest worthy home.  I didn’t ask if everything is white and trendy. I didn’t ask if you own less than 100 thing.  I didn’t ask how many items are in your clothes closet. That’s the minimalism you see on the internet, but there is a different kind of minimalism. There is a kind of living that probably inspired the growing movement.  

Mr OnFire and myself have been influenced by such people.  Wise individuals and couples that use self control, hard work, and determination.  They don’t stand out to many people. Some might be mistaken for not being wealthy or anything special.  They drive an old vehicle or bike. They often bake, garden, and preserve. They invite you over for a home cooked meal instead of going out for an expensive meal.  Their home is peaceful and you enjoy being there with them. They often are not the center of attention for a new big purchase or vacation. They live quiet lives.

If this is you, you existed before minimalism.  Whether it was modelled for you or you did it out of financial necessity.  Whether you did it because of your strong values or your more introverted personality type.  You stood on your own foundation and didn’t let the sweeping tide of consumerism trip you up.  You have self discipline and don’t need new gadgets to give you self worth. You are inspiring.  You quietly live your values and people are finally waking up from the nightmare they have been living.  

You aren’t a new thing called a minimalist, you are a revolutionary!  To quote Gandolf from Lord of the Rings, “some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.” A way of life that was sustainable was lost in the push for production and the race to be first and the best.  What used to be the normal way of life became a revolutionary way of life. Although a revolution usually involves a dramatic change, you didn’t change.  While the world rapidly lost her way, you did not. Thank you for not forgetting ancient truths. Thank you for being brave and living a sustainable, life even when society lost her way.  I am in your debt.

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