Creating a minimalist lifestyle has meant so much more to me than just decluttering. I continue to declutter weekly and am actually enjoying the process, or at least the results. I have learned a lot about my personal consumer habits and instead of spending money on things, I’ve began investing in my dance training. I do buy a new item every now and then but nothing even close to my compulsive shopping of the past. I’m now at a place where I will be completely debt free in two months. That alone is one of my biggest accomplishments that I’ve made during this journey.
December 2009 when I decided to get on the minimalist bandwagon, I had about $15,000 in credit card debt including my car note.
I felt so out of control. I looked to other minimalist blogs for inspiration and perspective to take my life back. I became more conscious of the decisions that I had made in the past that created these circumstances and began making new choices. I had to forgive myself first for putting myself in this situation, and decide what new choices would truly benefit me in the long run.
Unlike many female minimalists I have read about, none are in the Hollywood entertainment industry as myself. The importance of having flawless skin, fabulous hair, and the perfect fashionable wardrobe aren’t on the minds of most minimalists that I’ve come across. Living the life of always having to be “camera ready” is an unnecessary pressure that the average female doesn’t deal with.
For yesterday’s dance audition for a TV show we were told to look like beauty pageant contestants, but of course wear something we could dance in. When I looked at all of the other dancers in the room it was a bit surreal. Everyone was glammed up in four inch stilettos, sleek dresses, hair styled to perfection, with makeup done as if they had sat with an artist from a MAC counter before their arrival, including myself. Yesterday was also a wake up call for me to continue with my ballet and contemporary training and stop going out for jobs based on cash alone, and really continue focusing on jobs that were more artistic. That topic alone in itself is an entire article.
Minimalism and Hollywood do not match up, yet I have began creating a happy medium.
Although I’m not as minimalist as I’d like to be, I’m getting closer and closer everyday. Being debt free is one form of minimalism that I am so happy to achieve. The freedom of not owing anyone and my earnings to no longer be completely delegated before they arrive is a dream come true. Also not seeking materialism first and having stuff to prove my worth is also a freedom. I’m no longer concerned about having the job that makes me popular in my industry or the amount of gigs I book to prove my talent or value.
I did another audition this past Tuesday where it had nothing to do with my ability. I was too “petite.” For one job they would prefer for you to be slender and another you need to be thick. What was amazing about that audition experience was that I had such a good time, and it was such a pleasure receiving sincere compliments about my dancing from a director and other dancers on a dance style so opposite from ballet or contemporary dance.
One of the greatest gifts that minimalism has given me truly has been peace of mind.
I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I’ve ever been. I’m taking risks to prepare myself for creating my deepest desires. Even though I’m a part of an industry obssessed with youth, beauty, materialism, and talent, I have created separation from how all of it affects me and how much I will partake in.
I can’t say I own 100 things yet, or that I’ve traveled the world on my own and not for work, or that my apartment is a blank canvas with nothing but the everyday necessities, but I am extremely pleased with how far I’ve come. Mainly it’s the new perspective that I’ve gained. Minimalism is a rewarding lifestyle for anyone who participates. How minimalist you choose to go is a personal choice. You can always modify your journey as you go along. It is all up to you. I do suggest traveling this life as lightly as possible.
The freedom gained and the flexibility that it gives you is a beautiful thing!
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)