Stop Calling Me a Minimalist

I just finished reading Everett’s latest blog post “F*** Minimalism“. He’s come to some realizations that minimalism isn’t the end all. It’s a good reminder to those of us who’ve claimed the hip tag of “minimalist”. I specifically chose Live [Simply] Free because my life isn’t just about minimalism. That was just one part of living free through simplistic means.

Unfortunately, something about the reckless abandonment of minimalism attracts the most attention. Well, minimalism is part of who I am, but I’m done minimizing. I can’t go any further. I’d like to think there’s a lot more to my life than just getting rid of stuff. That reputation needs to change.

My blog’s name is Live [Simply] Free. If we’re to be known as anything, let it be this.

Live. I’m a Christian and therefore am compelled to live by a different set of standards found in the Bible.

Simply. To keep my eyes on the cross, it takes getting rid of distractions (material and mental)

Free. True freedom is found in Christ. And freedom equals happiness. And when living for Christ, life’s adventures are limitless, and the mundane becomes extraordinary.

True Underdog Story

As most of you know, I went to Kenya a couple months ago. On my return flight I briefly met a young guy in his mid 20s, I don’t even know his name, but for sake of this post we’ll call him Phil. Let me help paint the picture of Phil. He’s tall and lanky. Not homely but not dashingly handsome. He doesn’t really have a sense of fashion, he’s the type to throw on whatever’s practical and comfortable. He’s very friendly and likes to talk but he’s no smooth talker with the ladies. Getting the picture?

Well, we got into a conversation after getting off our flight about what he had been doing in Africa. He told me that he was there because for the past couple years he’s been watching Man vs Wild and thought what Bear Grylls does on that show is so cool. Now, most guys would agree that Man vs Wild is a cool show and as men, most would want to experience a “manly” adventure like that. Unlike most guys, though, Phil actually acted on that impulse and decided to take his own trip across the world and have the adventure of a lifetime.

As he was telling me his stories, I couldn’t help but smile. Here’s a guy who probably wasn’t the coolest guy growing up and he doesn’t have a prestigious job or much of a career. However, he just went and travelled throughout a number of countries in Africa and did some amazing things like going to remote tribes, scuba diving, and visiting ancient ruins. I can only imagine how fulfilling this made Phil feel having grown up with his background.

I don’t care how uncool or dorky people think Phil might be, he has some of my highest respect. This guy has grown up being the underdog, and like all underdogs, Phil had a dream. But unlike most people, underdogs and non-underdogs alike, Phil made his dream a reality. To me, that’s cooler than the best dressed, best looking, and smoothest talking guy on the block.

Phil broke free of his inhibitions. I hope his story challenges you to do the same.

On Spontaneity and Having Fun

Living simple is suppose to create happiness and freedom but sometimes that’s not enough. In my case I’m living more simple than ever before and yet I’ve noticed a significant diminish in my “cheeriness” level. If you asked me what’s wrong, I couldn’t tell you. Everything had actually been going in my favor. Yet something was missing in my simplistic lifestyle.

Even though I’ve set up my life to where everything I do is something I enjoy doing, it still can become an enjoyable routine. Every once in awhile there’s a need for spontanaity. Notice I said spontanaity and not just having fun. Because in my life everything I do is fun but there’s a certain level of normalcy about it and it’s all penciled into my schedule. I had a New Year’s Eve party at my house which was fun but it was still run of the mill because I had to plan it.

New Year’s Eve differs from last night when I just went out to eat with some friends, kicked back, and shot the breeze. Then after that a group of us got wind of place with a local band and went there for awhile. It was so relaxing and I felt that it being short notice made it more special than something being planned and thought over.

So what am I trying to say? Just don’t get caught in the tracks of your life. Every once in awhile leave space in your schedule not to be a couch potato at home but to text some friends and see who wants go to do something. What’s fun for you is probably different than what’s fun for me, but the point isn’t what you do but that you take the initiative to do something. After all, isn’t that part of why we’re trying to be simplistic so that it frees us up to live more of life? What good are those efforts if we don’t take advantage of those new found freedoms?

New Year “Resolutions” 2011

I wrote in my Christmas greetings how last year was all about getting established, and this year is going to be about building on that foundation in a number of ways. New Year resolutions are overrated, I’m more about New Year principals. I have a number that I pulled and made my own from Jonathan Edward’s resolutions.

Here’s my main goals I’d like to see happen in my life this year.

  1. Redefine Christianity for my life. (If you want to know what that means, keep reading my blog this year)
  2. Come to an end on my minimalist (not simplicity) journey (I’m well aware that my journey will restart if a variable changes in my life such as getting married, moving, etc)
  3. Find my own apartment
  4. Graduate Paramedic school

Here’s a link to a list of what I call my “Life Rules“.