I'm turning 29 soon, and the fact that this will be my last year of my twenties has me doing some serious reflection. I feel like there are probably things I can improve about myself — things that will make my life and maybe even the lives of others better ones to live.
This is Offbeat Home's archive of Philosophy posts.
Not everything on Offbeat Home centers around the physical. Sometimes being an Offbeat Homie is all about the mindset.
My husband and I live in the parsonage of the church where we work part-time. What this means is really amazing, financially speaking — we get to live in a giant, lovingly-maintained, FREE house. All of this is obviously wonderful, but we moved into this house from a tiny student apartment. And we didn't have enough furniture to fill THAT place. Basically, our discretionary income doesn't rise to the occasion of this grand home. And I learned that you don't realize how much Wanting Stuff and Acquiring Stuff weighs you down until you just stop doing it.
Living abroad is great for so many reasons. Meeting new people, experiencing new adventures, and learning about new cultures are just a few of the perks of moving every few years. However there are difficulties with everything being new again and again. And one of those difficulties is the feeling of having a "home."
In the last few weeks, I have been thinking about stuff. Or more specifically, thinking about minimalism, the absence of stuff. I have lived that lifestyle before — minimalism is easy to do when you're broke. Now that we have two full-time incomes, and plenty of empty space to fill, minimalism is harder to achieve. In 2008, I owned only five pairs of shoes (and I will admit, I let myself feel a bit smug about that). Now, in 2013, I own five pairs of Melissa shoes alone. Gone are my smug days of shoe-minimalism. Did I need to buy two new pairs of sparkly Melissa flats last year? Not at all. But they are pretty, and I love them. Pretty things aside, I do feel like there is a difficult balance to achieve between minimalism and self-sufficiency.
It was a small revelation when I started reading about those studies that show that looking at Facebook makes you more depressed. Of course, what we see on a lot of those sites is what I would call a good-parts summary. People want to showcase the best of themselves, and so do I. I'm guilty of it too when I brag about my accomplishments but not my mistakes in my statuses, or untag the most unflattering pictures my friends have posted of me. I remember the moment I realized that everyone can feel like they don't measure up…
I looked at my list of life goals and realized that most of my dreams were still just dreams. I was crestfallen and, quite frankly, furious with the world for doing this to me. I spent a few years becoming more and more frustrated with the world. One day I realized something, it wasn't the world; it was me. It was actually all my fault. I knew from the start that it wasn't going to be easy, but I had the talent, the passion, and I had those damn dreams. I also had something else though: fear.
One of the fantastic commenters of Offbeat Home recently referenced "Imposter Syndrome" in a comment that Ariel then picked up on. I felt the need to share. This is a concept that has recently become a big part of life — because of these two little words, I feel I've come to understand how I was relating to my work a million times better, and this understanding has genuinely changed my behaviour.
Attention young Offbeat Homies: At some point, you will cease to live with your parents or in a dorm room, and will very likely live in a cheap apartment, quite possibly with roommates. I hit this particular milestone my Junior year of college, and here's what it taught me…