I don’t know if I like being known as a minimalist anymore. It seems like a competition amongst so-called “minimalists” to see how few things we can own. While I understand the general logic behind it, it still seems a little illogical. After all regardless of whether I own 37 things or 100 things, it’s arbitrary. What if one of those things was an elephant? Would that still make me a minimalist? Furthermore, I don’t want to be a miser. Being a minimalist for me is to live uncluttered, not to live without. I want to wear nice things and look good and have toys but I just get anxious when I own too much, so it’s really a matter of finding a balance.
Personally, I try to keep to a 100 pound limit simply for practical reasons; I need to fly with everything I own and it needs to fit into 2 suitcases and 1 carry-on bag. In reality, 100 pounds is quite a lot of stuff. In addition to personal clothes and other stuff, I have a suit, uniforms for work, a Macbook, Kindle, Wacom tablet, iPad and iPod Touch. 100 pounds is still probably too much stuff so it feels disingenuous to call myself a minimalist.
Over last summer, I stashed my suitcases at a mates place in London and spent the summer traveling with only my carry-on bag. It was fine except for minor incidents, like being caught with two bags of white powder and wearing out my socks and underwear from frequent washing.
It actually got to the point where I had worn out most of my clothes that I had started looking homeless. You can have only so many rips and holes in your jeans before people start asking questions. I tried to convince people that the big rip in the back of my jeans, exposing my left butt cheek was a new trend. They didn’t buy it.
I realized that it was time to purchase more stuff. This is always a big undertaking for me because it feels like such a big commitment and it makes me anxious. I own relatively few things so generally whatever I buy, I use frequently. So anyway, I went shopping and bought stuff. Now I definitely feel like I own too much because I seem to have bought more than needed replacing. But I guess I can deal with that, when I leave the ship.
I have to say, it’s definitely nice to wear brand-new underwear. There’s something about wearing new undies which makes you feel like you have a fresh start and anything is possible. It’s sort of like celebrating New Years. My new underwear resolution is to run everyday.
In order to help that goal, I purchased some Adidas Adipure Trainer Shoes to replace my old gym shoes. They are similar in concept to Vibrams FiveFingers. I bought them simply because they take up less room. But since using them, I find that their actually better than regular sports shoes. It like running barefoot except that your feet are impervious. It makes me feel like a superhero. My friends say it makes me look like Aquaman. Not exactly my first choice in superheroes but I’m not quite ready to wear a cape and mask to the gym.
Anyway right now, I think I have everything I need. I guess I need to buy a pair of sunglasses to replace the ones I lost last cruise. And I really should splash out on an iPad case because carrying it around in a blank envelope lined with bubble-wrap doesn’t sound too secure. Besides, I keep thinking I have a letter to post.