Take all minimalism advice with a grain of salt. 

I’m a subscriber of just about every minimalism blog out there. Some are pretty hilarious. I love the ones that are like, “You have to sell your car and travel and live out of a carry-on in order to find your true self!” Their pushy fanaticism morphs into anger and indignation at your unwillingness to cave in to their every demand. How dare you drive a car?

I like to think that I’ve “found my true self” or whatever stupid label you want to put on it. I’m very comfortable with who I am. I consider myself a pretty extreme minimalist and yet—horror of horrors—I still own a car. I love my car. I love being able to just take off on road trips or drive up into the mountains when I feel like it. Without that flexibility and freedom, I’d go crazy. But that’s just me.

I do not do yoga. I am not a barefoot runner. Those “traditional” minimalist hobbies do not interest me. I’ve tried yoga and I’ve run a marathon, but there’s nothing in the minimalism rulebook that says I have to like those things. They’re not required merit badges on the way to a minimalism Eagle Scout award.

I love rock climbing and mountaineering. I’ve been doing these for 15 years and they’re pretty equipment-intensive as far as hobbies go. All of my climbing, hiking, camping, and mountaineering stuff is under my bed in 2 big plastic bins and 1 suitcase. Yes, it’s a lot of stuff and yes, it takes up space.

But all that equipment enables me to do things that I derive extreme satisfaction and joy from, and it’s so, so worth it.

I live a rich, full, exciting life and I do have more things than can fit into a carry-on. It IS possible. And guess what. People are happy with TONS of crap, too. Just keep that in mind whenever you read about minimalism. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for anything in life. You can be happy with whatever you have, because at the end of the day, it’s not your crap or lack thereof that makes you happy.

Your mileage on the minimalism highway will vary. I hope it does and that you write about it, because it makes opening up the minimalism folder in my RSS reader every morning that much more interesting.

And just so you know, I’m definitely going to make fun of you when you run past me with your finger-glove shoes on your way to the yoga studio.