RxPayne: You know my thing is personal, emotional, and emotional health; how has minimalism changed you?
AM: Emotionally is a big one. I don’t typically show emotion outwardly because I’m pretty much a walking definition of an introvert in many ways, but my mind is always spinning whether it is creatively or emotionally. Having less things almost makes me feel like I have less to worry about. Less dishes to wash. Less clothes to fold. Less files to sort through on my computer. Even less people to worry about. Minimizing isn’t about decluttering “things”. It is about minimizing anything in life that keeps you from being fully happy. Including people.
I go shopping maybe twice or three times a year for clothes and it’s usually because the seasons have changed or I ripped a pair of jeans. Financially, it helped me save on frivolous spending. $200 for a new hairdo or a new pair of shoes gets me two round trip tickets from Frankfurt, Germany to Venice, Italy. When I put things in perspective like that, it makes it easy.
RxPayne: When I think minimalist, I think of someone who is a free spirit, and may not exactly have a 9-5; what does the career aspect of your life look like?
AM: I wouldn’t say a minimalist has to be a free spirit with a non-corporate job. The two guys who started The Minimalist blog were both in corporate America with 6-figure paying jobs. They started their journey after experiencing loss. It was about figuring out what makes them happy. And they realized it wasn’t something they could buy that would make them happy. So they did the opposite. They started giving away everything that didn’t make them happy or they didn’t need. Eventually it led them to quitting their jobs.
Each person finds their happiness in their own way. But it’s easier to find your happiness without being distracted. Your distraction can be a million dollar home or a $60,000 BMW. Some distractions can be buying the latest clothing every month because of fashion trends. The point is to cut all of those distractions and find out what truly is meaningful in this life.
If you like to audit banks, continue to be an auditor. That doesn’t stop someone from being a minimalist. It’s about finding out what you LOVE to do. After two years of minimizing materialistic and tangible things, I came into the swing of reevaluating my own career. I don’t want to give out much now, but in January of 2017 – I will be beginning a whole new line of work.
RxPayne: I love everything I’m hearing, but sometimes people must give into their guilty pleasures, even if it’s just one; what is yours?
AM: Purchasing minimal modern products. I will only do it when I know I need to replace something or buy something that I need. Something as small as buying my water filter. It’s so dingy and I bought it from Walmart like two years ago. I ran acrossSoma and fell in love with it. I have this new obsession for Scandinavian design because it’s everything minimal and modern. So I bought it and threw my old one out. When I have my cheat spending moments, I make sure not to buy something without giving something else away. Keeps things in balance.
RxPayne: Okay Aylin, (*Hands her a prescription pad*) What remedies can you give anyone who seeks to successfully achieve a minimalist lifestyle?
AM: Start small and start in one area. Pick the area you want to focus on. Relationships, clothes, living room, kitchen. And count how many items you have in that one area. Write down the things you NEED. Make a second list of things you don’t need but MATTER. And a third list for anything else that didn’t really fit. Wipe the third list clean and throw it out! Start the process over the next month. Give yourself a timeline. It’s a process so it won’t happen overnight.
“It’s easy to get what you want when you want less.”- The Minimalists (Aylin Marie)