cure for girls in a 20s something quarter-life crisis
My fellow Americans, <-- (this means nothing if you don't sing it charismatically like Obama)
Traditionally speaking, addiction programs have twelve-steps. Uh oh, I had you at Obama now I lost you. The chair in the empty auditorium of your head squeaks under your weight. There isn’t a table of coffee or donuts in the back. This situation is starting to look bleak and you start to push up against the boredom of your self-inflicted punishment. “Addiction?” you scoff, “you must have the wrong person. I just like to be surrounded by the things I love.” Right. Got it.
Then truth smacks you upside the head as you remember the endless tupperware containers filled with magazine clippings and broken plastic toys (let's say from childhood, though no one's judging adult toys here). No, that crumpled up valentine from your 3rd grade crush doesn’t spell out love. Get a grip. And your newest kitchen appliance that you had to have doesn’t love you either. Why? Well, no heartbeat would start off my list. Consider this your post-consumerism wake-up call. It is time for a diet. And seeing as how I was where you are now, left my world for another one (still first world, I wasn't that adventurous) and have returned singing the true praises of minimalism, reduction, and living passionately now, not later, I feel as though this grants me a certain air of authority on the matter. Cough.
And the best news? I cut this program down to six simple minimal steps, because let's be clear, you'd rather save your Adderall pills for something more prestigious, as attention deficit doesn't cure itself. Yet. Clue: choose texting, twatting on twitter, OR snap chatting, no need for all three at once. #justsayin
Step One: Admitting you have a problem and that your life has become a vacuum of needless consumerism (and yes, that big word means shopping)
Seriously, who drives the decisions in your life, you or your things? Are you strapped down with payment after payment for those rent the runway dresses, kitchen trinkets, furniture, etc. that you had to have immediately with an easy swipe of your credit card? I guess entertaining the idea of a third part-time job to pay for a couch you never have time to sit on definitely seems worth the potential heart attack you will inevitably have before you are 40 years old. Maybe you can be buried with it. That will cost you two plots for sure.
Step Two: Realize that a minimalist approach to life is not just for granola hippies or the Swedish
I am not asking you to sublet your apartment, move into a grass tent with a hitchhiker named “Pond Shadow” while musing about bygone eras before you discover the healing properties of moonlight. Get up from your squeaky chair, walk past the donut-free table, and look out into your closet. Two-year-olds keep cleaner rooms.
Also- shoulder pads will never be that “in style” again.
Ditch them. Donate them. Burn them.
Only have five favorite items left? Well, at least it will be easy to get dressed in the morning.
Step Three: Kick Out Your Clutter
Yes, I know, everything in your home has sentimental value. See that angel over there- it was the topper to… um… one of your childhood birthday cakes… you just can’t remember which one.
You live your life like a sentimental sitcom and at the end of your biggest adventure, you're wondering why not leave your grandchildren with items to remember you by? I am sure their memories won’t be clouded by the mountains of crap you left behind for them to sort through and sell. Unless your legacy for them is the Hoarders tv show.
I have an idea, sell it now and go on a vacation.
A real one.
Step Four: Unplug
If you have successfully reached step four without blowing out a knee from all that heavy lifting then maybe it is time for a pat on the back. Maybe you posted pictures of your fantastic endeavor all over Facebook and Twatter and Pinbeast so that others can marvel at your desire to stop living in your own filth. You might have even gotten some real-time encouragement from friends on your favorite aforementioned social media outlets.
But did you do this for the “likes” or could your real reason reside somewhere in your desire to start living your life to the fullest? Yes, your life is lighter now but technology can start to strangle you faster than a needy ex. Ask yourself these simple questions:
- Am I still in high school and thus need some sort of encouragement or endorsement for every little thing I do? I'll wait while you ponder on this and take a selfie of your super sexy thinking cap face.
- Do I check the Internet before I get out of bed to pee in the morning?
- Does food taste worse if I don’t take a picture of it and send it to my friends?
Get off the Internet/your phone/your butt and do something with your newly found freedom. You might even catch that stranger smiling at your from across the hall this time. Missed connection.
Step Five: Enjoy Your New Freedom.
Holy crap! The sky is actually blue. You didn’t even have to put a filter on it before posting it on your wall. You can sit on your futon, find your favorite sweater, and move around your house without tripping over some memento from your childhood, or relationship, or indoor flea market. Awesome. Now be cheap and go enjoy the free things in life. Smiles? Free! Compliments? Free! Hugs? Free! Free! Free! It’s easy to count your blessings when you aren’t considering a bulldozer rental so that you can clear a path to the bedroom.
Step Six: Repeat steps one through five as necessary.
Step Six: Repeat steps one through five as necessary.
Followed a passion yet, cleared the clutter, traveled somewhere new, stopped comparing yourself for good? Tell me in the comments!