I have less. I need less. I want less.
Living a simple life is liberating. You realize that all the things you once placed so much meaning on become meaningless and almost a burden. Life can be lived with so little, but it is shoved down our throats that we need more and more material goods to be happy.
I want more experiences and adventures and memories of places I love with people I love. I have endless space in my head and heart for memories and experiences and good people, but I only have a limited amount of space (and money) for material goods.
We should be loving people and the earth, not things.
I absolutely fed into this materialistic mentality in the states; it is nearly impossible to avoid. But each time I’ve gotten out and traveled, this way of thinking completely evaporates and simplicity takes over.
Although I am campaigning a simple lifestyle, I know this is not for everyone. This is my personal experience and discovery of life and the way I want to live it. I don’t judge. Everyone lives differently and we all have a way in which we have chosen. But since I once lived materialistically, I am hoping my insight and experience with the transition to a simpler life will inspire others to think twice about the difference between want and need.
Through simplicity you find balance, through balance you find peace, through peace you cultivate happiness.
I think it would be safe to say that I had a mild shopping addiction in the states. The pressure to keep up with trends and fashion (especially while I was working in the fashion industry and traveling amongst some of the most fashionable people alive) and always look perfect took over my natural instinct of not giving a shit. Now, I live out of what fit in my backpack when I moved, everyday is a #nomakeupselfie, and I haven’t blow-dried my hair in over 3 months. Saying this aloud (yes, I talk to myself…you do too don’t deny it) and seeing it on the screen is a frightening realization of why I’m single hahaha!! Oh man, I make myself laugh.
I have not let myself go, however. If anything, I’m in better physical shape than before because I walk everywhere. I have simply let myself be. Be me. Be natural. Be whatever comes out. Not from neglect but from acceptance. Acceptance of who I am and what I look like. Of course, I do some grooming and general maintenance here and there. I’m not trying to repel men, I’m just not actively trying to attracting them, haha!
My entire life in Spain is simpler. As I came with a backpack (the same one I took to Europe and Central America) for an undetermined amount of time, there was only so much that could come with me. I also had to pack smart for multiple seasons. It was terrifying at first as I was packing up my room at Dallas’ apartment and setting aside what I wanted to take. The pile kept growing; looming in the corner of the room with all the “necessities” for this journey/chapter. As the room emptied and just about everything was boxed up, the time came to go through the pile and make my final selections. I became very anxious that I would pack the wrong clothes or forget something essential. But most of all I feared being lost without all the things that I’d come to define myself with. Once I separated everything that would be staying behind and coming with me, I felt an overwhelming weightlessness and peace within; just my backpack and me. Simplicity.
I am in LOVE with my backpack. Maybe it’s because it has spent countless hours on my back and on my lap, served as a pillow, a footrest, a backrest, a shield from the rain, and seen some of the most spectacular sites with me. It’s been almost everywhere I have and we have become quite close. It symbolizes adventure and escape. It means something really cool is about to happen. It is freedom.
The photo above is 85% of what I own in Spain. Not shown are 3 jackets, shoes, 2 skirts, 3 pairs of shorts, some socks, and of course panties. (I didn’t think the world needed to see my panties, but I did wash them hahaha!!) Also contributing to my simpler lifestyle is that fact that there are no driers in Spain. Everything is hung to dry outside by the wind and the sun – weather permitting.
In this particular transition in my life I have cut back on everything that does not serve me. It is surprisingly liberating to not wear make-up or worry about my hair but still feel just as confident as if I were ready for the prom. I think now that I am worried less about my outer appearance and placing more focus on my interior that I will, in turn, make my exterior naturally sparkle from the pure happiness and peace radiating from within.
When I starting writing this “post” (I put post in quotations because I never really start out writing with the idea of putting it on the world wide web. I just write and if it ends up being appropriate for the public eye it goes up) it was based on the idea of living simply without many materials goods. But as I got to writing and thinking about what it meant for me to live simply and what my life has evolved into since being in Spain, I realized it is not just about stuff, it is an entire lifestyle and mentality to live simply.
Be happy with what you have, find joy in the little things, and “cut the fat.”
If you have less, you need less, you want less.
“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes well you just might find you get what you need.” –The Rolling Stones