I wanted everything. Everything! I’d want one thing, then after I bought it, I wanted the next thing, and then the next, and another one after that. I was never satisfied with the things I got. I was never happy. Then one day all my wants stopped. It was the day I discovered minimalism.
Being a teenager in Sydney, Australia is not easy. I was constantly competing with my peers and dealing with the insecurities of being a teenager. I was trying to find myself and learn my way around the world. At the same time, I always wanted to be the same as the crowd. I didn’t want to stand out or be different. I wanted to be accepted. Always. No one wants to be the ugly duckling and I thought that having the latest trends and owning the largest closet would help me get accepted by my friends, make me part of the in-crowd. The biggest issues in my life at the time, were my closet…I’m sure a lot of young people out there will relate! I knew I should’ve concentrated on school; I knew I needed to change, but I was unable to. I decided to change the way I looked at life & to prioritize what really mattered to my life right now and what would matter to me in the future.
I discovered minimalism by accident, while browsing Pinterest. Pinterest is where a lot of inspiration lies and, trust me, it can be very inspiring! I was scrolling through home décor when I discovered a bedroom decorated sparingly, which I later discovered was called ‘minimal décor’. This bedroom wasn’t bare, but it wasn’t full either. There were still objects on the shelves and on the bedside table, and the closet had clothes in it, but it looked very spacious, very calm and refreshing. I saved this photo and decided to try and replicate it to my own bedroom. Applying these minimal décor principles to my room was very easy to do and took no time at all as the décor was simple and elegant. However, after I was done redecorating my room minimally, I ended with a very large pile of objects that I no longer wanted or needed. I could not believe how many decorations I had in my room! After I got rid of a lot of my possessions, my room looked great, probably because of less stuff. I gave these possessions of mine away to friends and family. It was hard to let go of them at first, but once I did, I felt free. It was like a breath of fresh air! It felt truly amazing!
Now, I’m not saying that re-decorating my room suddenly turned me into a minimalist. The truth is, it didn’t. Because minimalism isn’t only about the aesthetic, it is more about the mindset. It took me a while to change my mindset and how I took on the challenges of teenage life differently. Being a minimalist teenager was not as easy as redecorating my room minimally. But, redoing my room helped me notice that more does not equal happy, on the contrary, and it inspired me to live minimally.
I am still learning to be a minimalist. I came across @mnmlgrlblog on Instagram where she speaks about minimalism and sustainability and began chatting with her. She suggested I share my experiences of being a minimalist teenager on the blog mnmlgrl.com. I must admit, it wasn’t until I began writing that I fully grasped all the improvements I experienced in my life after becoming a minimalist. I’m still learning that there are more perks to being a minimalist than just a pretty home. I still have plenty of possessions and no way would they all be able to fit into a suitcase, but I have much less than I started with.
Becoming a minimalist did not just mean obtaining less possessions, it meant letting go of the thoughts, opinions, issues and emotions that didn’t support my growth. I learnt to be more disciplined and taught myself to let go of my need to have the latest trends, my want to have the greatest closet, and the pressure of social media. Now, my life is primarily based around my growth and what helps me become the best version of myself. I cannot pin-point exactly when or how, but minimalism definitely helped prioritize my life. Now I give time and attention to what is important – friends, family and school, not the fleeting trends & tiny bits of drama & pressure that is unavoidable as a teenager. LOL!
Surprisingly, becoming a minimalist didn’t make me stand out in the crowd at school. To be honest, hardly anyone noticed. It was only my close friends and family who commented on my clean and neatly organized room and my improved grades. Yes, being minimalistic even improved my marks at school! I can hardly believe it too! It might be because having a clutter-free environment helped me focus and concentrate better. Moreover, not having too much stuff meant I wasn’t procrastinating by using my favourite excuse – “I’ll study right after I organize my room”, haha!
I love how being minimalistic has made me feel free. It’s like letting go of everything that didn’t matter to me helped me cut off what was bringing me down in my life. I highly recommend considering minimalism if you are any age, especially a young adult. It is so much easier to begin this journey when you are a teenager. Becoming a minimalist might save you some precious time and energy that you could use to get far, far ahead in your life and future.
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This article was edited by mnmlgrl.
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