In my various minimalist readings, I came across a post by Miss Minimalist about drifting like clouds and flowing like water. And I think I might have to disagree with her on her theme for the post. Here’s an excerpt:
I want to live my “real life” the same way. Sometimes I think there’s much too emphasis on setting goals and planning futures and reaching milestones. Why not simply enjoy life, instead of creating additional stress? I’m not against having aspirations; but to be honest, I don’t want to schedule my life on my iPod, download productivity apps, or attend virtual workshops on how to be successful at x, y, or z. And I certainly don’t want to create a five-year plan and mark my progress each step along the way.
Instead, I’d like to approach life the same way I approach travel—simply taking each day as it comes. I want to be surprised and delighted by what transpires, rather than ticking off a series of planned events. Mostly, however, I want the freedom to “wander” without the burden of possessions and responsibilities. That’s primarily my motivation for living a minimalist lifestyle; by keeping my “baggage” and “itinerary” as light as possible, I hope “to drift like clouds and flow like water” each day of my life.
Now, I may be barking up the wrong tree, but one of my goals for minimizing the clutter in both my home and my brain is to make way for the bigger goals and desires that aren’t currently being addressed in my life. I once read an article* (sorry, can’t find the link now, I’ll look more for it tomorrow) about a woman who, as a junior in high school, visited an apartment in a Manhattan neighborhood and fell in love. With a style of apartment. Everything she did, from that moment on, was to get her closer to living at that address. From the colleges she applied to, the friends she made, and the jobs she took after college, every decision she made was weighed with the exclusive scale of “will this get me closer to that apartment.” (Whether basing your life around an apartment is a good plan is a different argument all together, as the author goes to to explore) And right now, the place where I’m currently at, the thing I’m looking for, is that drive. That’s what all this is about: giving myself the time and permission to peel back the layers to discover exactly what I want. To figure out my purpose in life. And create a plan to get there. To devote myself entirely and selfishly (if necessary) to attain it.
Just one small thing: I don’t know how to do it.
But I’ll get there. I’ll figure it out. Maybe the two paths that I’m on aren’t even connected. Maybe cleaning out my house is a method of procrastination on my part, and not a way of getting closer to my true self. It probably is come to think of it. But, it’s the path I’m on at the moment, and hey, my house is looking a lot neater these days, so I’ll just keep on keeping on.
Oh, and Miss Minimalist, I’m very sorry the first time I mentioned your blog I was questioning your post. I’m totally in love with your blog. You are a talented writer. I’m slowly working my way through your archives and particular like this post, as well as this one and this one. And many more.
*I found the article. It’s by Meghan Daum, is titled “My Misspent Youth”, and can be found here.
Update: Since posting this I have thought a lot about what Miss Minimalist said and have done additional reading on the topic. If you’re interested in my evolving thoughts, please see this post.