Well, here I am. I have done it. After about ten years I have reached the minimalist goals that I have been working towards…at least in terms of possessions and lifestyle. The selling of the jeep was the final major event. It was the last big possession that I wanted to rid myself of. It took two months but it finally happened this week. I didn’t get near what I had hoped for it but financial issues forced my hand and off it went.
Ten years ago I was at a peak in possessions and debt. I owned two properties, a car, motorcycle, and all the other crap that everyone said you needed to have a meaningful life. I had a good income but no job security and sure to form, that went away quickly. So I slowly and purposely began to downsize. I moved from the house to a motorhome dumping a tremendous amount of furniture and other crap in the process. From motorhome to a smaller rv and getting rid of more. Then from motorhome to sailboat. Finally here I am. Living where I want, without a single penny in debt. My 20 piece wardrobe will fit into my backpack. The only three electronic devices I have now are the iPad, a digital camera, and a $10 cell phone. My transportation now consists of a rusty bicycle and public transportation. I am no longer a slave to high gas prices, licenses, insurance, nor any of the other trappings of owning an automobile. Property taxes are are paid through my rent. I can control what I pay in utilities. If my current home burned down or blew away I can pack up and move on without any upheaval. I am just starting to realize what I have accomplished over the last ten years and I am liking what I see…a lot. The next step down from here would be a spear and a loin cloth. Two things nobody wants to see me with.
But it’s not all beer and skittles just yet. I still have some small loose ends to tie up. I have a few minor possessions that I need to decide what to do with. Some would assist me in certain situations but if I got rid of them now they could be replaced when I do need them. It may mean a few more runs on eBay. The biggest thing I need to work on now is getting some income.
The sale of the jeep gives me a bit of a cushion. I have a short window where I can fool around but I need to generate some money coming in quickly. My monthly expenses are at the lowest they have been since I can remember. $1000 a month would sustain me. I find that amazing. For years I wished I didn’t have that credit card payment, or car loan, or cheaper rent, and now, here I am. $1500 a month or better and I am saving money.
Now I can move on to the next phase. My lease expires at the end of Sept. here in Marathon. I will have the option to renew but I am looking hard at finding a place in Key West. It will be more expensive for rent but if there is one place in the Keys that is conducive to a minimalist lifestyle, it is Key West. All I need to do is find the right place and I am there.
I considered going back onto a sailboat and that option is still out there. In fact there are a couple boats in the area that caught my eye. But I just got rid of one vehicle and all the headaches it entails. Right now I am not ready to go onto a other vehicle, even one that floats. A boat means more licenses, insurance, maintenance, and all the other stuff you need to keep it afloat. My life just reached a whole new level of simplicity and it would be nice to keep it that way for awhile. I won’t rule out a boat completely at the moment but it is not a priority. Instead I will be happy with a simple little studio or efficiency on the last island where me and my two fuzz balls (my cats) can relax and start enjoying the lifestyle that took me so long to get to.
Call it what you will. Minimalist lifestyle. Poor. Borderline hobo. I don’t care. Nothing I have ever bought or owned in my life, not my first car, not my first harley, nothing compares with the euphoria I am only now starting to feel. To be unencumbered by possessions, property, or a job is amazing. I feel a sense of freedom that has to be experienced to believe.
Was the journey worth it? Fuck No! All those years of sleepless nights, the constant worry and despair, the borderline depression. The bitterness towards everyone and everything…just kidding.
Yes, it was worth it. If for nothing else it really makes me appreciate having nothing today. I have come to realize that life ain’t about possessions or money or property. It’s about living and it’s time I got started.
I already am making plans for the future. I will have the ability to travel. To seek out new lifeforms and civilizations. To boldly go….sorry, got carried away. But seriously, the future is looking pretty good at the moment. In a couple of years I will turn 60. 1/3 of my life will be over. As long as I can keep my health the sky is the limit. I can pretty much go and do whatever the hell I want without having to do much more than throw on a pack back and go.
If you are thinking of doing something similar, or in the midst of de-possessing yourself, (the neat thing about blogging is you can make up any word as you go along and make it sound real), and you are getting a bit frustrated or depressed or wondering if you will ever get to your minimalist goals, keep at it. It can happen. It did for me and it can for you.
So for now, thanks to all who follow this little blog. I see the traffic slowly growing. Spread the word. Invite your friends to follow the Fritter adventures. I will be blogging my continuing adventures. And if somehow I have inspired you to follow a similar lifestyle? I will deny it in a court of law under pain of death.
Less is More! Believe it.