It sounds like an oxymoron but I am starting to feel like I am a Consumerist Minimalist.
I am still trying to figure it out, but I think I’ve hit on exactly what minimalism means to me.
There are other Minimalists out there who are pure in the sense that they REALLY don’t give in to their wants and desires.
They’re really trying to live without anything at all and while I admire that, I think “what’s the point of my working for all of this money if I cannot enjoy it a little”?
I am not saying I should go into debt, or buy things I don’t want, need or use, but I do want to enjoy my money and my life with the comforts of things.
We all desire things, be it a book, a DVD, a pair of shoes or a new car.
I really don’t believe that things don’t make us happy and you can be deliriously happy without anything at all.
Maybe it’s true for some people, but they’ve ascended to a level of nirvana that I can’t quite grasp yet.
To be clear, even a table is considered a thing, to me. And if you decide to live without a kitchen table, kudos.
But for me, it’s a necessity.
Where I find the balance is that I figure out my priorities and stick to them.
There was a big point in my life when I wanted too much and I couldn’t figure out what made me happy or not.
This was also when I had a television, so I’m going to draw a vague correlation to advertising pressure to my wanting more and more.
But ever since I gave up my television (and all the commercials that come with cable TV subscriptions), I have seen a drastic drop in my desire for things.
I don’t see the newest gadget out there dancing its way across the screen, and I don’t want it. When I read or hear about it, I find it interesting, but I’ve since learned other strategies to cope with discerning whether or not I really want it.
I have been unplugged from my TV, I don’t miss it and I definitely don’t miss paying $60 for cable every month.
That isn’t to say I don’t watch television shows any longer. I do — just online & without commercials.
Eventually, I found minimalism. A name to something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
I wanted to live with less, but with the best.
But I had a real problem with the way everyone kept preaching how minimalism is living with less, less, less.
Or nothing at all.
That wasn’t what I wanted. I don’t like extremes and I don’t do well with them.
One of the problems was that I loved fashion & style, and I couldn’t imagine having such a small wardrobe as a so-called minimalist.
Then I realized that I could find my own balance in minimalism — I could still have a rich, colourful and varied wardrobe and call myself a minimalist, because that was where my priorities in wanting stuff lies.
For example, I don’t really care about having beautiful decorations for the home, or fancy kitchen utensils even if I love to cook.
Or extra makeup and toiletries that I don’t really use or want.
Or a fancy new car.
I now look at my needs versus my wants, and but even if it’s still a want I don’t immediately say “No”.
I just put myself under heavy scrutiny first to ask if I really want it.
And if my budget allows, and it makes sense, I buy it, love it, and am done with it.
So do I need another necklace or a pair of shoes?
Of course not.
But I cannot deny that having things makes me happy, and that’s where I think the paradox of being a Consumerist Minimalist lies.
I am able to use minimalism as a way to filter out my true needs and wants, rather than being lost and confused in a world of desirable things, or feeling angry that I cannot live with less.