I was overwhelmed by the response to my blog yesterday on what to do about people who insist on buying you gifts you don’t want, and incredibly grateful for all the fantastic ideas for gift alternatives.
The responses also highlighted a personal question for me: why haven’t I told anyone I’m a minimalist (or at least trying to be one)?
Our friends know we have sold a lot of our stuff and decluttered our home but they definitely don’t know to what extent and they don’t know it’s because we want to live a different life than one that consumerism sets out for us.
One friend who is reading the fantastic book ‘Stuffocation’ also knows I went to see The Minimalists talk in London earlier this year. Again, they don’t know about the extent of our lifestyle change.
Certainly no one knows about this blog.
And after a bit of time pondering the question, I don’t have one specific answer as to why we haven’t told them. I can think of a few reasons.
1. We don’t want to be seen as oddballs. We live a world where buying and borrowing money is just what you do and jumping off that merry-go-round is an affront to social norms. In a way we’re opting out of ‘normal’ life and even though we think it’s a good thing, others may think it a little strange.
2. We feel that we’ve found a better, more rewarding way of life but if you start telling people that, it’s inadvertently saying that their life isn’t as good. I don’t want to come across as preachy to my loved ones by extolling the virtues of our new found freedom from clutter.
3. Maybe I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’m a minimalist because it shows my old life in such a bad light. I was such a consumer before that people are already shocked that I’ve sold so much and by admitting I want to be a minimalist, I have to admit that everything I did was, sort of, wrong before.
4. The final reason for not telling anyone is because I’m worried they’ll think we’re doing this to be mean with money. We’re not, although there are financial benefits are apparent. We’re already known for liking a bargain and I’m sure they’ll be people who believe this is just another way for us to keep our cash in our pocket.
As this journey continues I’m sure I’ll feel more confident about talking to people about it, and I’m also sure they’ll be supportive – after all these people love us and just want us to be happy in whatever way we choose.
I just need to get over my own feelings about it first. I’ll find my support among all you lovely online people while my confidence grows.
And as for the blog, for now it’s a secret!