In this world of clutter and materialism, emphasis of want over need, I am determined to change my overall lifestyle and mentality. For months I have been wanting to convert myself from an Amazon addict (in denial) to someone who only spends money on the things I NEED. Someone who is able to give up something I haven’t touched in years, even though it *might* come in handy some day. Someone who is able to put my foot down and say “no more” when I am handed material possessions that I will never actually use. Someone who will feel free and open, able to breathe.
Let me take you on the journey it took to get there, shall I?
The past four years of my life have been filled with overwhelming stress and the inability to just….be. I worked two jobs 7 days a week, only getting major holidays off. Which, let’s be honest, aren’t the best days to relax. I was also juggling a long distance relationship. Then, because I must be insane, I decided to go back to college for Massage Therapy.
So, if you’re keeping track that’s:
- Going to school full time for 15 months
- Working 2 jobs (server at a restaurant and a Social Support Worker for someone with special needs)
- Massage clinicals: 2- 48hr clinicals, 2- 72hr clinicals (240hrs in total)
- Doing homework for 5-6 hours every night.
When it comes down to it, I was working both jobs and attending school over 100 hours a week.
In that time I developed a deeper sense of anxiety and from that, an avalanche of side effects. I developed migraines, emotional/mental breakdowns at least once biweekly, stress like I’ve never felt before, and a closed off persona. However, I didn’t directly correlate these feelings to my overwhelming stress. In this time, my relationship ended as well. Mutually, at least!
I remember when I was driving to work from school (which was 40 minutes away) I suddenly got a migraine in the middle of driving on the interstate. I was squirming in my seat in immense pain, grabbing at my hair to release pressure in my cranium, tears streaming down my face. It’s a moment I cannot forget. It’s a moment where I felt so defeated, unsure of the cause. It wasn’t until much later that I realized stress was the culprit.
When I graduated as Valedictorian (humble brag), I then had to continue this pattern of insane hours because I had to study constantly for my MBLEX, which is the test to become a licensed massage therapist. Thankfully, I passed on the first try. Slowly my days began to settle and I was able to breathe. I quit my restaurant job, but then replaced it quickly with a massage therapy job. I was finally down to 6 days a week.
Life became calmer. I was given a black lab puppy and a love I could have never known existed erupted. Atlas is my lifeline, my happiness, my reminder to calm the hell down once in a while. We go on adventures in open spaces where I feel free and happy.
However, the side effects from those 4 years continue to this day. I’ve developed anxiety to the point where I went to the hospital, at age 26, because I legitimately thought I was having a heart attack. Crowded restaurants make me feel so nervous and anxious from my time as a server. You want to try to go in a restaurant close to closing time? Forget it. I’m out! (Even writing that summoned a flutter of panic in my chest)
Thankfully the migraines and breakdowns have went away.
I learned that a massive factor to causing me stress and anxiety is all of the stuff I have around me. I feel overwhelmed by mere material items. I feel overwhelmed by not having as much time to myself as I’d like. Overall I just feel overwhelmed as hell.
Then I began considering a life of minimalism.
Finally, I know. We made it. Thanks for sticking with me, if you still are!
A week after my 27th birthday, I decided to take advantage of my day off and watch the film, Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things, on Netflix.
It was then my inspiration to completely change my life took off.
It was then I began to look at how I live in a completely different way.
It was then my story began to change.
Stay tuned for the next chapter!