“Maybe a life without is better than a life with” — Unknown
Although this quote was said in regard to minimalism, maybe the purge I had in mind is very similar to the concept that is minimalism. No I don’t mean purge, as in, getting rid of people violently. I mean:
rid (someone or something) of an unwanted quality, condition, or feeling.
I have been contemplating this idea a lot lately. I was purged of my job as a paralegal for being bipolar, although he claimed it was for other reasons. Ever since that cold, January morning walking out of building 4040, I have been pondering what it means to get rid of the unwanted feelings and conditions in my own life; I wanted to create a minimalist lifestyle, beginning with a purge.
The first part was easy because my boss did the dirty work of firing me. It wasn’t on my terms or the way I wanted to finish out that job, but so be it. It is what it is. I decided I was going to purge my friends and things in my life that could not accept or help me in my bipolar disorder. I understood that not everyone can help my bipolar, but they had to accept my condition and accept me as I am.
With that being said, I applied to jobs. The second I disclosed to the potential employer that I was bipolar, the meeting would quickly wrap up and I would be sent out the door. Obviously not a place I was meant to work at anyways. But the rejection from society still hurt. I just wanted people to accept me as I am. Is that too hard to ask?
I aquired a boyfriend during this “purge” but two nights ago, I discovered he was never really going to understand what it means for me to be bipolar and what that means in terms of being in a relationship with me.
I’m not saying dating me is a walk in the park, but I need someone who actually believes that bipolar disorder is more than just an “excuse for poor behavior and actions”. I never said bipolar was an excuse, had he listened to me, he would know that. But he is very stuck in his ways and didn’t want to believe in the science that bipolar is in fact real and it affects every part of your mind and the rest of your body.
So tonight I minimalized. I no longer have a boyfriend. And that feels good; getting rid of those people and things that no longer serve you anymore. It is truly freeing.
Now that the purge is over; got rid of any friends, acquaintances, and relationships that were unhealthy. I can move on to the next step: minimalism.
There is a saying where if you pick something up, let’s say a pair of Nike’s, if it brings you joy, you’re supposed to keep it. If the shoes do not give you joy, you should get rid of them. You’re supposed to do that with all of your belongings and get rid of whatever material item that does not bring you joy. Another thing you can try is if you haven’t used something in the last 90 days or don’t intend on using that item in the next 90 days, get rid of it. If you have or will use it over the span of 6 months, then keep it.
I have yet to do this step, I’ll be honest. I mean, I finally got rid of all the toxic people in my life and it took three whole months to do that. But I think when it comes to cleaning my room, just got to suck it up and JUST DO IT. I have acquired so much junk over months and months that it serves me no real purpose. The point of minimalism in a lifestyle sense is to live with only what you need. Yeah my vintage non-working Canon camera is super cool, but I don’t need it. It’s just clutter to add to my collection of things I do need and when it’s time to find something I do need, it’s not easily accessible.
I have a feeling that this step is going to take much longer than the purge step. It is one thing to get rid of or eliminate what no longer serves you, your goals, or your purpose in life. Yet it is another matter to evolve your own person into someone who craves minimalism. We live in a first world society where everything is instantaneous, we have food, taxi’s, and relationships all by the click of a button. We consume entertainment, clothing, and belongings like they are going out of style, spending millions of dollars into an industry that will never cease to stop growing until we stop feeding into the idea that we need more stuff.
Although living minimally and purging what no longer plays a role in your life’s purpose is not a simple or easy task, it is one that is worthwhile. Like anything in life that is worthwhile doing, it is DIFFICULT. I realize not everyone who reads this has the luxury of picking and choosing any job that best suits their mental health needs, can get out of toxic relationships without emotional or financial setbacks, or can count on their hands and toes what they truly need and trash the rest. What you consume, whether it be love, what you buy, what you eat, what you believe in, is entirely up to you. You have the will power to say no to what you don’t want or need. Not that ending consumption is easy, but YOU have the power to say, “No, enough is ENOUGH!” Once you realize and internalize that, you are in a decent position to choose what you consume, purge what no longer serves you, and to minimize what you do possess.
Til Next Time,