Things are simple. People are not.

At the age of 25, everything I owned could fit in my Nissan XTERA. Don’t get me wrong, we (Huck and I) were packed to the brim, and not even a mouse could maneuver through my impeccable packing stills. Nevertheless, all my belongings were strategically squeezed into my vehicle, and I was free to go. Anywhere. This sense of independence gave me limitless opportunities. Fluidity. Freedom from fear. Travel. In the past few months, I have found joy in selling many of my belongings, in hope to becoming that much closer to my 25-year old self. Limitless.

I recently canceled my cable and internet, and those friends who know me well are stumped in imagining how I will navigate this new endeavor. I have also slacked quite a bit on new posts and activity on my blog. But such is life, right? When you start to limit your technology, some things have to take a back seat. In this case, it was my blog and the Real Housewives of [insert any city here]. My binge-purging started at the beginning of the summer when I attempted to clean out my office. It was at this time when I realized I still had agendas and even scrap paper from as far back as 2010. Mid-clean, I would ask one of my students, “should I get rid of-,” and before I could even finish, she would shout, “trash it!” This partnership boded well, and I paused multiple times to ask myself, have I become a hoarder of random and unnecessary saving? Regardless of the answer (which, let’s hope, is a, “no,”), I felt professionally lighter and significantly more free from bulk…if either of these things make sense. I would argue, however, we have all become a hoarder of random and unnecessary technology. It’s everywhere. Limitless.

In lieu of the television soul-suck, I started reading again, working out every day, and challenging myself to dig deeper and push harder. This has also inspired me to think deeper and harder, and I am finding myself more and more okay with any opportunity to ditch the cell phone. As a new month commences, a turning point has arrived for many, and my challenge is to revisit this idea of, “getting rid of things,” rings truer than ever. I have a friend right now who has a plan of wearing everything in his closet before repeating an outfit. If he won’t or can’t wear something, he’ll throw it in the Goodwill pile (or as I suggest, a local thrift shop, to be more charitable). This is brilliant. I have two closets full of clothes, many of which are sitting, “to be worn when I _____” (whatever that, “_____,” might be). This purge has also inspired me to be outside more – the less belongings I possess in my apartment, the more I want to be among people and outdoors. I recently came across a Humans of New York post, which quoted a New York local, saying, “If you force yourself to go outside, something wonderful always happens.” Limitless.

So today, go outside. Be with people. Read a book. Commit to living more simple. A sign which reads, “Live Simply,” sits above my desk, just behind me as I conduct 1:1 meetings each day. In some weird hope, this billboard exists as my dream for students to see, have an ‘ah-ha,’ and leave my office changed for good. But the reality of simplicity is that’s it’s actually not all that simple. Take on this challenge. Live simply. Go. Do. Be.

Limitless,

Michael

3 thoughts on “Things are simple. People are not.

  1. Pingback: Mass Consumption | Valerie Heruska

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