Owning Nothing

I was born a minimalist.

Or rather, we all are.

Everyone starts off in life with absolutely nothing. No possessions, no responsibilities, no relationships, no commitments, no good or bad habits. Newborn babies are the ultimate minimalists- screw owning less than one hundred items, they have zero.

Almost immediately, though, these things begin to be heaped upon us. It begins with cute dungarees and toys, then tricycles and lace-up shoes, then textbooks and school uniforms, then laptops and iPhones and so on until the average household contains 300,000 items.

Minimalism is not about returning to a state of owning nothing. That would be impossible; undeniably, we all need a certain amount of stuff. I'm currently traveling for a month with just a small bag and it's wonderful though I would tire of it if that was always the case. My goal is to work out where the line between too little and too much is. I have certainly learned that I do not want or need a lot, but just how many of my possessions are essential? Almost every day I discard or donate at least one thing and I know I still have a little too much. I am getting incrementally closer though. I doubt I will ever be completely finished with this process and discover that, say, 177 items is the perfect amount. That would be pretty cool, just unlikely.

Life constantly changes. Things break, wear out, new needs develop and purchases are made.

It's all set to become far more complicated in September when I move out and it becomes necessary to own different items, such as kitchenware. I will have to learn what's crucial within categories which are not currently of much relevance. More items will be added to my starting point of zero. I'll keep subtracting and adding very carefully, keeping in mind that I began with nothing.

I need more than nothing although I don't need everything. I need enough, and I need that to be enough.

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