“Love people and use things because the opposite never works.”

The Minimalists

I used to move. A lot. Since college, I’ve schlepped my possessions from one place to another. The longest time I spent without moving was for 13 months, right before I (once again) moved… to Hong Kong. With a different address every few months (my Global Entry application was a nightmare), moving became almost second nature. As friends and family (God bless them, especially that time we moved with only bicycles) helped me pack and unpack my stuff, I realized how much I had but never used. When I left for college, I kept most of the things I owned at my parents’ home, and it became my storage unit. It might as well been called the dump because I never used those items again. That cheerleading/fencing/team t-shirt/sweatshirt from high school/college/church? Never wore it again. The [insert item] that I will someday use? Nah.

My goal in the last couple of years was to own 100 items; if not, plan B was to be able to fit ALL my possession into a sedan car. I began that process last year with my roommate. We tried Kondo’s magic of tidying up, which was a great first step. I got rid of some things that didn’t bring me joy, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. I wanted to let go of more; I wanted a purge. If you don’t know God, I’ll let you on a little secret; God’s got a great sense of humor, and this time was no exception. My purge came with one of the biggest changes of my life – moving to Hong Kong. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to leave behind much with my parents selling my childhood home and moving to a smaller place. This was the perfect opportunity to cut down on my possessions, and I did. I came to Hong Kong with everything I owned in 3 suitcases, knowing it will be cut down to less when I leave.

But it’s about more than cutting things out of my life; it’s about adding value to it. I may not own much, but what am I doing with my time? What about the things I cannot hold? I watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, and it made me think about how I use my time. Since arriving in Hong Kong, I’ve been in search of a social life, which, by the way, doesn’t exist. I wanted to fill my free time with things to do; I wanted to keep busy. Essentially, my time needed to be cluttered even if my closet is not.

I have a problem with being alone. As an extravert, it is extremely difficult for me to sit by myself for hours (don’t even mention days; I’ll have a heart attack). As I began to be uncomfortably comfortable living alone, eating alone, hiking alone, traveling alone, I realize this chapter of my life’s story is to learn how to love myself, to be okay with my own company. And it starts with finding joy in the things and people I’m surrounded by. This means to stop filling my life with meaningless crap (physically and metaphorically), to start being intentional, to pursue my passion, to live simply.. kind of like Jesus!

Now what? Let’s start doing! Inspired by the minimalist movement and my friend, Ivanna, I’ll continue this simple living journey by starting small – clothing. Using Project 333 as a method, I created a capsule wardrobe! For 3 months, I will wear 33 items. Good thing to start now since my birthday is in 3 months! JK.

Project 333A.JPG

33 items, 3 months: 13 tops, 2 button-downs, 2 sweatshirts, 5 pairs of pants; (not pictured) 1 jacket, 5 pairs of shoes, 3 bags and 2 bracelets

Who knows what will happen in 3 months? But I’m excited to see how God uses this experience to mold me in my journey. Lastly, I invite you to join me!