Living simply can mean a variety of different things, and each of those things can be seen as valid. The whole statement of “living simply” is entirely based on one’s own interpretation and application of how you measure the level of “simple,” from comfort to adventure.
As 2015 kicked off just a few short weeks ago, I realized many things; one of them was that I had way too many clothes, mismatched shoes, snacks and decisions. There are too many options in life, and with these options we become far more complicated than God ever intended for us to be. What color really represents the mood I’m in right now? Will people see my socks? Is it raining? If so, I need to wear bright yellow socks.
I promise I’m getting to a point. As the new year began, I realized the abundance of things I have purchased and yet rarely use, and I started to wonder how I thought accumulating more and more stuff would make me happier. I dropped off four overflowing trash bags of clothes at Goodwill over break, and after the process of getting rid of the excess, I made it a goal to live and love simply.
People are more afraid of simplicity because simple living forces us to be more real, more ourselves and more free, which ironically is our generation’s desire. So why do we have so much stuff? The older I get and the closer I come to graduating and transitioning out of this community and into the world, I realize the clutter we accumulate everyday. Before you know it, clutter takes form as black dust on a ceiling fan that you find yourself buying a duster for. Who knew you had to dust ceiling fans?
The beginning of this semester has been a reflective one, mainly because our HUG spring 2013 group just celebrated our two-year “HUG-iversary.” We reflected on the day we boarded a plane with strangers who became our family. We reflected on a time in our lives spent waking up to a new adventure, a new exploration of cultures different from our own and food far from normal. While we gathered together to reminisce about these special times of a journey that could never be replaced, I couldn’t help but see how simply we lived when we were overseas. My time in Greece was simple yet a profound experience in my life.
There was a time when I wore a total of six outfits over the course of three months. Now that I’m back with an overabundance of clothes, I think to myself, “how in the world did I ever survive with one pair of pants for 10 days?” But I did.
I think we tend to forget how treasured the art of being simple can be. There is beauty in applying the simple as well as the complicated to everyday life. The more I come back to the simple life we were made for, the more I find beautiful adventures.
So put that phone down, wear bright socks on a cloudy day, clean out your closest and live simply.