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When I graduated high school I bought a fully restored 1969 pearl white Ford pick-up truck. I had been working since I was fourteen and even had a couple jobs at points during my last few years of school. The work afforded me this truck and when I bought it I was stoked to have it. But a strange thing occurred after about a week behind the wheel. I felt a burden. Something I hadn’t felt before.
The day after our graduation party I told my parents I’d be moving out on my own. I decided that anything that didn’t fit in the back of my truck on a single trip wouldn’t be coming with me. This was mostly because of my laziness but also because of this nagging burden that was growing in me. I arrived at my new place in the city and as I was moving boxes and small furniture pieces into the house I felt that the things I was carrying into my new sanctuary felt twice as heavy as earlier. In fact the closer I got to the house the heavier they got.
I lived at this new house for about a month before I got rid of everything I deemed extraneous. Some boxes were never unpacked. Most items went: books, furniture, clothes, and… The Truck. This was the first time I had done this, I didn’t need to ask permission nor advice and to this day I feel it was my first true adult decision. I immediately felt the burden release its pressure. I looked around my white room with bare walls and felt like I could breathe in deep.
I don’t know why I feel this way. I have tried to rationalize it over the years and I’d like to think I can give some compelling intellectual arguments to the benefits of the minimalist lifestyle, but for me… it just felt right. I have had times living with other people when I have bent my ideals to have more creature comforts and been fine with it. Even enjoyed certain aspects of it. But then… as soon as I am on my own again, it all goes.
As a final grandiose statement on the subject I will say that I think the value of something increases proportionately with its scarcity. All things are affected by this principle in one way or another – life, love, food, money etc.
My 2 cents.
If you are interested in reading further on the subject here are two blogs that I feel are great resources: