My Minimalist Story

I spent my 2nd year of college studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The only means of communication I had apart from my laptop was a bulky Nokia cellphone rental from my satellite campus - nothing even close to a smartphone. I only used that thing to get a taxi, and had to pay for my minutes at a local pharmacy. It was a time of constant crazy adventures, good and bad. For 8 months, I didn't have the societal & cultural pressure of timelines, expectations, accomplishments. I just lived each day with the intention of taking full advantage of my time in South America. I didn't stress as much, because I knew that even the inconveniences and crazy situations I got myself into would make for amazing storytelling later on.

Those 8 months in Buenos Aires definitely made me Porteña in spirit; I learned to live a little slower, drench myself in the moment, & to celebrate each day with the people I cared about. I realized it wasn't worth the agony of trying to have the most money, the perfect career, or all the luxury things I could ever want if it meant forsaking my happiness, passions, and relationships in order to attain those things.

FAST FORWARD 4 YEARS - Graduated, married, and living in one of the most expensive housing markets in the US (Santa Barbara). As a young 20something, I felt totally lost with what I wanted to do with my life, but I still didn't want to work in some job that I wasn't passionate about just for the sake of financial stability. I had never allowed myself to pursue a creative path because of my crippling fear of failure, but with healing and my hubby's encouragement, I decided to go for it. I thought, better now than later, when I'll have more financial responsibilities and less energy to completely invest myself.

In my pursuit to live a more meaningful life, I started learning about minimalism. 

Minimalism is all about cutting OUT the excess from your life, whether that may be getting rid of material things you don't need, ending harmful relationships, or greatly decreasing your monthly expenditure. It's all about simplifying your life so that you have more mental space and clarity to focus on the important things, which are completely up to you. Now don't get me wrong; I obviously love fashion, and with that comes the issue of materialism, but just because you're a minimalist doesn't mean you have to live like a monk with only the bare necessities. You just need to keep asking yourself the questions: Do I really need this? What value does it add to my life?

With that, I laid out all my goals and priorities. One of them was to have my own office so that I could have a space to sew, design, and study to gain more professional skills. One Saturday, I committed myself to cleaning out our huge walk-in closet, and managed to get rid of enough stuff to set up two desks, a sewing machine, and store all my books. I started walking away from my longing for a bigger house, and slowly fell in love with my cozy apartment. All my doubts and fears started dissipating, and I became more confident and determined to run after those dreams. In the process, I've become more focused, happier, and gained greater mental clarity. And I very much believe that in this whole spiritual, mental, and physical transformation, my personal style followed suit and reflected that. Plus who doesn't love Scandinavian interiors and minimalist fashion? It just communicates sophistication and strong style with such effortlessness, which I naturally gravitate to because I hate looks that appear busy and overworked.

Do you want a more meaningful life with more time for the things you love to do? You really don't have to do anything crazy; it just takes a few small steps to begin to see its impact. I challenge you to sit down and figure out what small changes you can make to get a step closer to your goals, and share it below! I'd love to hear where you're all at and to share in that journey with you.

- erin