So I just finished reading Minimalism: Essential Essays, which was a great introduction to the modern idea of minimalism and some of the life choices that people calling themselves “minimalists” make. $3 for the kindle version (free if you have Amazon Prime) was definitely a fair price- the book had only about 100 pages of easily digestible essays on different topics, which makes it a great getting started guide for interested persons new to the topic.
Anyways, it covers just about everything from getting rid of stuff and not letting possessions rule your life (the main idea of minimalism, really), to managing your finances, to abandoning the culturally hard-wired idea of success for a more passion-driven life.
I want to embrace minimalism, because I read all of this and get that gut feeling that it’s right for me. I take small actions on the path to minimalism, and I know it’s in the right direction.
So I shall continue my reading and planning and action-taking. Here’s what I’m doing now:
- Continuing my “minimalist education” by kicking it old-school and reading Walden, the original minimalist manifesto!
- Digitalizing as many of my possessions as I can- CDs, tapes, vinyl, books.
- Getting rid of 90% of my CDs and tapes. (I’m keeping all my vinyl, most in storage and a few with me).
- Reading all the magazines and books I have and getting rid of those too.
- Preparing my financial life for a move to the income that will come mostly from my art.
- Continuing my “Pay it Forward” practices.
- Generally throwing out crap.
We’ll wait and see what other action items get added on as I finish the above and move farther and farther into my journey. I already see plans for down the road- cleaning and clearing social networks, clothing, etc. etc.
Now here’s the interesting conflict: as a musician, I have quite a few pieces of equipment that I use to create my art: a drumset, lots of mallets/sticks, small percussion instruments, ~4 keyboards, a sampler, a drum machine, a microphone, various cables, a talkbox, 2 turntables, and a cassette recorder. I don’t want to get rid of any of it (well, maybe 1 keyboard and the drum machine… MAYBE), because as if I were to get rid of it, I would be limiting my creative possibilities in a way. Now, I get it, sometimes my best works comes from when I impose limitations on the equipment I use, but I want that limitation to come from choice, not necessity.
So when it comes to getting rid of things, I guess I’ll just have to do in every area BUT musical equipment… Although, honestly, I can’t take ALL this to college with me anyways.
But I digress.
A few quick updates on Pay it Forward:
- I, of course, pledged my support to the new Ben Folds Five album
- Bought more bandcamp music, this time from the Sunshine Dreamers, great indie pop music.
- I also bought some music from Grant and Squid Pro Crow - ambient/lofi music on the subject of science! Very cool!
- Redditors brought me lots of free stuff too that they just wanted to get out there, so here are some links to the awesome free-ness that is Spills Music, and Leaves of Green.