I am not a minimalist.
I have too much. I do not know what it is like to live with very little. I have more than i need, and yet I still want more. I am the kind of person who will always leave a store with less money in my pocket than i had when i entered the store. I believe that money, if left in any one location for an extended period of time, will self-destruct. So I spend the money I have to prevent this from happening. I am not, however, a "big-spender". I am not rich, and I do not ever buy expensive or luxurious things. I guess you could say that I am a "small-spender". If I have five dollars in my pocket, and I am out running errands, I will somehow convince myself to stop and buy a drink or a pack of gum at a gas station. Its not that I am thirsty or that i have bad breath, its that I, for some reason, feel the need to purchase something. Money eats a hole in my pocket. You should probably know though, before you decide that I am a spoiled brat and the most selfish person on the planet, that I am not proud of being this way. I hate it. If it were practical, I would sell or give away all the junk I have. I like the thought of a simple life, where you don't have thousands of things and clothes to clutter your living space. I underpack on trips because it makes me feel like I am living on very little. Sure, I have a house and a bedroom back home full of junk that is mine, but at the time, I have only a backpack or a suitcase, and that is all. I like knowing that. I like to watch peoples faces when they see that I only have a backpack of my things and they have 2 suitcases. Its stupid, I know, but I'm just being honest. Now, don't get me wrong, I am glad to be blessed in the way that I am, but I get a guilty feeling when I look around my house and see all the stuff I have, knowing that some people out there have nothing.
One of these days, I'm gonna go on a road trip. Me and a friend are going to pack everything we want to take in a backpack and set out across the country. I just finished reading "Through Painted Deserts" by Don Miller. Its the story of how he and a friend did just that: set out across the country in a volswagen van. Everything they had was in that van. They lived in it for months. They would drive all day and into the night and then, when they got tired, they would pull over into a rest-stop or onto the side of the road and sleep. Sometimes they even slept outside. They were minimalists. I want to be like that. I want to do that. I believe that less is more. Don Miller, after taking that trip, believes it too. At the end of his book, he writes, "A month ago i would have told you life was about doing, about jumping through religious hoops, about impressing other people, and my actions would have told you this is done by buying possessions or keeping a good image or going to church. I don't believe that anymore. I think we are supposed to stand in deserts and marvel at how the sun rises. I think we are supposed to sleep in meadows and watch stars dart across space and time. I think we are supposed to love our friends, and introduce people to the story, to the peaceful, calming why of life. I think life is spirtuality."
I want to discover these truths for myself. I want to sleep in an open field and look at the stars. I want to watch the sun rise atop a mountain. I want to do all this without all my stuff. Without the junk that clutters my life and consumes my thoughts. I want to find that I can be complete and happy without excess posessions. I want to find contentment in the beauty of this world God has made for me to enjoy.
And one of these days, I hope to do all these things. But until then, I am not a minimalist. Not yet, anyway..