Monday, September 10, 2012

Only you can make you happy

As I was reading an article about location on Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus's blog I stumbled across a very interesting sentence: Only you can make you happy.

That is so true and yet so difficult to attain.

I was always fascinated with minimalism, I probably already talked about that to an extent when I said that for me, minimalism represents freedom. As a child I was already struck by how freeing those magazine photos look. If my life was like that, I thought, I could pick up and go whenever I feel like it.

Maybe I already wanted to travel back then.

One thing is for sure, after living in four different countries, and moving even more times, I had to schlep around a massive amount of stuff. Of course, my mom gave me back everything I owned, so I can't simply live the fabulous travel lifestyle and pretend that I am a minimalist just because 90% of my possessions are at my mom's place.

They are not!

I have here with me everything that I want to keep. The rest has been donated or thrown away. Some books have been returned to my mom as they belong to the family, but really if she doesn't want them anymore, she may dispose of them as she pleases.

So why minimalism again? Because I just can't stand schlepping around stuff. I broke my back (almost literally) carrying everything up three flights of stairs and then from room to room in the rental I was living in, and in the end, over 5 boxes of stuff ended up in the trash. And when I say stuff, I mean sentimental stuff. The hardcore-stuff-you-can-never-throw-away-because-you-had-it-when-you-were-a-baby-and-want-to-give-it-to-your-first-child-type-of-stuff!

Of course, I kept some things, like my favorite plushies; they are in a box and I am keeping them for now. But the rest, omg, I took pictures and reminisced and cried so much. The worst part was that the trash didn't get picked up till the week after so everyday I passed by it I could still see my stuff. It was pretty sad.

Then I put more stuff in storage, moved around the world, and when I came back I was happy to find my old childhood bed and take it out of storage. (I found an unfurnished apartment, and was sooo happy to have that bed!)

Now, nearly two years on, I don't regret getting rid of it all. If I had to do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat, because in the end, seeing those things wasn't making me happy: it was making me sad by reminding me of the past I was no longer living, and was preventing me from moving on with my life, by holding me down.

When I was living in England, I used to stare out the window, just like I did at home, wondering how I could "get out of here and go do something nice". I wasn't happy, even though it was supposed to be a fantastic experience.

So what was wrong? I wasn't focusing on the right things.
Now I have a much more fulfilling life. Looking back, I feel like I wasted so much time wanting it instead of living it!

Stuff weighed me down, and I wasn't focusing on what matters the most.

Now I am mostly free of stuff (well... I do own a lot more than 100 things, but still!) and I am happier, focusing on the small things.

It is all working out because only me can lake me haopy by adopting a positive attitude. It has been yielding results in the most unexpected ways, and I am thrilled and ever so thankful that I get to experience those positive feelings now.

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