Minimalism can be scary. It’s a way of life that is not only very opposite to the modern world’s status quo, but also encourages you to dig deep into yourself — to discover who you truly are and, thus, what you truly value — and you can’t always be too sure what you’ll find there. Like maybe some things you don’t like about yourself.
But I truly believe that practicing a more minimalistic lifestyle has benefits that outweigh any of the frightening cons. Although, some are scarier than others.
Going against the grain. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, you might say. I didn’t rebel for the sake of it. I just did things my way because that’s how I liked it. Stubborn, I guess you could call it. I didn’t so much believe that the way other people did things was the best way for me. For example, I’ve been described as “quirky“. So this one doesn’t bother me so much. But there is always that awkward moment when someone realizes you’re doing your own thing and it’s — gasp! — different from theirs. Which brings me to…
What other people will think of me. This is more personal than going against the grain, which can be hard because stores don’t stock the fair trade items produced in wind-powered factories I want or whatever. When it comes to explaining my minimalist way of life to other people, I just kind of… don’t. (Unless they ask, of course.) I’m afraid that they won’t be receptive to it and I will spend the whole time defending myself. I’m afraid that this will make me seem weirder than I already do and push me over some weird-limit that they have (people have those, right?) and then they can’t be friends with me anymore or something. And I’m afraid that they’ll think I don’t like them and what they do because I think another way is better for me. Which kind of goes along with…
Hurting other people’s feelings. I have a hard time with this. I can do me all day long until someone comes along with good intentions. Maybe it’s just that I don’t like confrontation. (There was one Christmas that contained an argument about Santa Claus that was particularly traumatizing.) I just don’t know how to say “no” to some things, especially unwanted gifts. It’s something I need to work on.
Finding out that my wants and habits don’t align with my core values. This isn’t scary because it’s something I can’t control; it’s scary because it’s completely within my control and totally my responsibility. If it so happens, it could take a lot of effort and time and deep self-reflection to correct. Don’t get me wrong, I do want my habits to support my values, but realizing I’ve been doing something all along that I myself don’t agree with just isn’t something I would relish.
Since minimalism is a relatively new thing for me, there are a lot of unknowns.
So, yeah, it can be scary. Is it worth it? I think so. I’ll find out more for sure as I go on.