I come from a long line of pack rats. My grandparents lived through the Great Depression. People just didn’t throw things away. You might need it. Everything got recycled. And so these behaviors were passed down to my parents and later taught to me.
When I was eight years old my parents began the process of going through a divorce and life changed. It was during this time in my life that I was first introduced to minimalism through circumstances that I won’t get into here. I had very little that I could call my own and if I managed to acquire something, it was more often than not, very quickly taken from me. As a young adult I moved several times and circumstances dictated that I start over repeatedly, sometimes with less than before.
In my late twenties and early thirties I began accumulating things partly because I could and had the means to do so and partly perhaps, because I was trying to fill a void. I had a house full of things. I was a collector of books, cds, movies, porcelain dolls, angel figurines, shoes, clothes and so on and so forth. I worked in a technical field and technology was a huge part of my life. I had all the latest gadgets and toys of the time, but I wasn’t happy. I felt crushed by the weight of responsibility that came with owning all of those material possessions. Materialism can not bring fulfillment and in fact, the more I owned the less happy I became.
One day I read the book, “Thirty Days to a Simpler Life” by Connie Cox. It resonated with me deeply and I began to consolidate and dispose of many of my things by donating and giving them away. I also began simplifying my life in other ways. I even later changed professions. People in my life did not understand this change that they were seeing in me, but the truth is that the change had been taking place on the inside for a long time and they were just seeing the culmination of an unseen process that had been happening internally.
The journey that has brought me from then to now has been a process of self growth and evolution. The person I was then is a fraction of the person that I am today. In the present I am a fraction of the person that I will be years from now. At least that is the goal.
Several years after my first epiphany, I read another book called, “Movin On” by Ron and Barb Hofmeister. It is about a couple who began living full time and traveling in their RV. All of a sudden I knew what I wanted to do and things started to make sense. The RV lifestyle fits perfectly with so may aspects of my personality and how I want to live my life which is to learn to live with less, be self contained, sustainable and live more intentionally. However, although I had some false starts initially, the dream didn’t fully begin to unfold for another decade from my initial realization to live this life due to circumstances, life events and getting sidetracked by the needs and desires of others in my life. It has only been recently that I had the greatest realization of all. Instead of saying someday I’m going to do this, someday I’m going to live my dream… Why not make someday Today?! And so this is how I came to be living in my RV.
The dream is not yet complete. It is a work in progress that evolves with time. That it is still a work in progress isn’t what is important though, it is that I am taking action towards my dream by living the life that I want to live as authentically as I can for me. It isn’t as much about the destination after all, but the journey. If you would like to share this journey with me please follow me here or on YouTube for more updates.
Until next time, Live Authentic. Live Intentional. Pursue your dream. Live with purpose.
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Also, please see my blog post, “My Back Story on Minimalism & Alternative Living, A More Defined Explanation.”