I’ve been giving a lot of consideration about what I value in life. Is it a house or a car? Is it the glass cabinet full of statues or the flat screen television hanging on the wall? Is it the painting I had imported from Spain by a favorite artist? While all of these things give my life convenience or provide a superficial pleasure, none of them matter at the end of the day.
In my eyes these things are slowly changing shape. Instead of the television creating an escape, it has become an anchor. My piles of clothing that once seemed appropriate now seem more than any reasonable person would need. All of these things that once seemed to me to be important are now simply not. My values haved shifted.
I no longer desire to live my life in pursuit of material possessions. Quite the contrary. I’ve found that the fewer possessions, the closer to my ideal lifestyle I become. I find my joy not in having something tangible, but rather in experiences and relationships.
I value time more than a dime. I would rather have the freedom to pursue my desires, my dreams, my goals, my abitions than to be oppressed by an object. Having so much stuff in our lives is like building our own prison cell. Each new addition is another brick in the wall. We are losing our freedom as we accumulate more and more.
It is my dream to be able to spend some time of my life on a journey around the country with nothing more than a tent and a backpack tossed in the backseat of my car. There are so many places I want to see and so much more that I want to do.
The whole idea of minimalist living is a bit utopian. While I wish for nothing more than the time and freedom to travel the world I know that I must be a part of the “real world.” In order to find acceptance a person must conform to the standards which have been dictated by a society. While I don’t dream of becoming a transient, I would like to spend a portion of my life in a state of freedom which could only be found in this sort of condition.
I found a beautiful quote by Jack Kerouac which fits my frame of mind perfectly:
“The hobo has two watches you can’t buy in Tiffany’s, on one wrist the sun, on the other wrist the moon, both bands are made of sky.”
While many people look at the destitute as being of want, maybe they have something we will never have; freedom to enjoy the world surrounding them. Our days are filled with responsibilities; work, school, kids, laundry, dishes, in-laws, bills, American Idol. As these forces continue to push inward the prison walls built of our possessions are pushed ever closer.
This is our life.
Editor’s Note: Three months after writing this article I was laid-off from my job. This opened the door of opportunity which I so desperately needed in order to take the time to travel around the country with nothing more than a backpack & a tent. I spent a month cruising the highways of the United States and Canada. This opportunity made me realize how important it is that I live my life, to stop dreaming about living & just get out there, to stop making excuses, to not accept mediocrity, to strive for my own personal best and stop living my life in fear of the “consequences” of my actions.