I'm today's guest writer, Pallabi, a happy-go-lucky girl from eastern India. I'd love to share my experiences and challenges in practicing minimalism as an only child in small-town India.
I lived a typical life as a single child in an Indian home. I was pampered a lot and got anything I wanted. I was too young to realize the value of money that my parents worked hard to earn. But even though I received everything I wanted, I was not raised to be materialistic. Growing up, I hated shopping. I don't want to buy clothes, not even for any occasion, poojas, festivals or birthdays. Back then I used to think that shopping was such a big waste for time and money.
As I got into my teenage years, I began shopping occasionally and even enjoyed buying new things. In college this enjoyment turned into borderline addiction and I start shopping compulsively, almost every month. At that time I never realized how much money I spent on them every month. Shopping gave me a high and I thought shopping made me happy. I couldn't find anything else that gave much such joy and couldn't imagine a day without shopping.
In early 2018, I started a habit of calculating my yearly shopping expenses and the total amount was beyond shocking. I never thought even for a moment that a few things here and there added up to so much money! When did things get so out of control? How did I not recognize the signs of overspending and the damage my addictive behavior had on my bank balance and emotional peace?My shopaholic nature which once gave me joy, had now begun causing me immense stress. I knew I had to find my way out of this shopping spiral.
By January 2019, I was educating myself with the growing movement of minimalism and intentional living. I enjoyed reading articles written by mnmlgrl and began communicating with her about the challenges I face as a minimalist in India. Talking to her and hearing her advice provided the relief and support I needed to stay on my minimalism journey. I found simplifying and getting rid of a few things very challenging and mnmlgrl would provide suggestions through her instagram posts, stories and messages that were helpful and practical.
Now, I feel empowered to declutter everything that is unnecessary and does not serve me. I started donating a few things and wow, that felt good! I even gifted a few things that were brand new and I thought I would miss, but seeing the expressions on the face of my friend, I forgot if I missed the item or not lol! donate somethings ,I gift some items that are new. I'm not perfect but as long as I keep making progress, I'm satisfied. I am continuing to refuse, reuse, recycle and reduce. It's not always easy, but its exciting and I'm much more in tune with what makes me feel fulfilled. Now, I'm far more deliberate - I only buy things that I genuinely need and bring joy, otherwise I don't waste my money on any junk. I've learnt that I can be happy with less if they are the right things. I have few things and also far less stress. I hope to continue simplifying my life and find a happy balance of minimalism for me.
Thanks for hearing my story and do let me know how you practice minimalism in your daily lives.
-Pallabi (West Bengal, India)
This article was edited by mnmlgrl.
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