Like most people on this planet, I am not a single guy in my twenties, though I am white…and a guy. I’m married with two kids, and I’m almost exactly half the age that David Bowie and Alan Rickman were when they died. Does that make me middle aged? I hope not. I am, however, a minimalist.
The Minimalists just posted a piece, called Minimalist Family, about how you don’t have to be a single white guy in your twenties to be a minimalist, contrary to popular belief. The deal is that Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus were both single, white guys in their twenties when they became minimalists. But they aren’t now. If you’re not a single white guy in your twenties, and you’re interested in minimalism, you may also be interested in reading on.
While we still aren’t living quite as minimally as we’d like, we are much closer than we were a year ago. For me the journey is as great as the destination. My brother recently referred to me as a “Lifestyle Experimenter.” I think that’s a pretty neat way of saying that I haven’t figured it out yet, so I keep trying new things. Give me a “Woohoo!” if you’re just trying to figure it out, too.
I will say this though: when I was in high school, all I really wanted was to get married and have some kids. A family. After high school, I discovered that there’s a lot of stuff out there to explore, so I explored, and I realized that there was more to life than getting married and having kids. That realization helped me mature into the guy who was ready to get married and have some kids. So now here we are: a family. Thanks for coming along with me on that brief personal history of the last fifteen years. The point is that I have realized my childhood dream (I guess it wasn’t as difficult as some people’s dreams; I didn’t want to go to the moon or make a million dollars) and now I’m content living this life. But I’m not complacent.
What’s next? That’s what Sunny and I have been asking ourselves since before we got married almost ten years ago. Everything we’ve experimented with has been educational and fun. We moved to Minnesota, then we moved back; we went vegan, then slowly shifted back to vegetarianism; we bought a house, fixed it up, and then we sold it; we lived in Spain, then we moved back; we had a baby; then we had another. Parts of all of these lifestyle choices have stuck with us even after we stopped the experimental phase. Now we’re onto minimalism.
I imagine minimalism in my twenties would have been much different. I’m not sure it would have been easier. My motivation comes from the idea that spending less on things means spending more time with family. So for me, minimalism as a single white twentysomething guy wouldn’t work. But working toward minimalism as a husband and father has been great so far. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used “father” to describe myself. It feels a little weird.