“Don't get lost. Give it a try. Go find the place that you're wishing for.”
— Natsuki Takaya
One thing I have discovered with the journey toward simplicity, is that removing clutter uncovers the essential. It was sometimes long buried and forgotten below layers of convention, musts and social pressure.
Have you ever asked yourself whether your life choices are actually, deeply yours? Is this really what you personally want, or have you been steered into some direction by the influence of your environment, may it be society, family, education, social pressure? Is it even possible for a life choice to be entirely ours, when the environment we’ve grown in has shaped us?
Simplicity isn’t only about removing physical clutter. It is also about removing mental disturbances. Ever since I started this journey, I have slowly veered away from time consuming material pursuits, mindless Internet browsing and I have almost completely stopped watching television.
Time is precious, it turns out, perhaps more than money, and these years of simplification have had a serious impact of how I spend mine. I’m playing music again, writing fiction, spending more time with friends and consume carefully chosen information.
However, an unexpected side effect of removing all this mental clutter and focusing on what matters to me is that I have found myself. After remembering the hobbies I used to like, I have started remembering what I wanted to do with my life. Teaching, for example. And I have started remembering what I didn’t want to do with my life. Selling my time and skills to a big company for no other purpose than salary, for example.
Is this the infamous “thirty year old crisis”, that I’ve been questioning my career path lately? It is certainly a consequence of life simplification. Simplicity helps me finding myself, remembering my hopes and dreams. My own priorities, not those dictated by others. I’m not sure where I wanted to go with this post, perhaps I want to tell you that finding yourself is one of the most important goals to have in one’s life.
Because we only have one life, because lost time can never be reclaimed. We all have constraints and needs, but we also have choices, and I’ve come to believe that the single most important thing in life is to live it by your own rules, be true to yourself. But that’s only possible when you find yourself first, isn’t it?