14 Types Of Minimalists

14 Types Of Minimalists

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If you've been reading my other articles, you know I have recently stumbled upon the counter-culture of Minimalism and in doing so I feel I have found my people, my tribe. Many people outside of the Minimal world seem to categorize Minimalists into a nutshell when actually Minimalism is a very personal experience. Many outside the culture assume embracing Minimalism will leave them feeling empty, deprived and lonely, but ask a Minimalist and you will hear the opposite rings true. With the help of my Minimalist friends, I thought it would be fun to create a list of some of the "types" we would define ourselves as so as to further illustrate the vastness and fullness that is living a Minimalist life.

The Counter

The specific number of how many items they own matter to these Minimalists. Typically a more logic-inclined person overall, these Minimalists appreciate numbers, discipline and self-sacrifice. They enjoy extremes.

The Beginner

The Beginner sees the benefits of Minimalism- the beauty, the joy, the freedom the culture allows, but is still struggling to get the ball rolling on their personal journey.

The Joy Seeker

Typically the Joy Seeker is a Minimalist inspired by Marie Kondo's best seller, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up." The number of items these persons own is not important to them, but rather it is more important that they are carefully culturing and curating a home that surrounds them with only items that make them happy or that are purposeful. These Minimalists may prefer to be labeled as Intentionalists.

The Intentionalist

Intentionalists are people concerned with awareness of the details of their daily lives. These people typically do not want to be wasteful by making too much trash, wasteful with their time or to surround themselves with clutter that exists without purpose. They may find it easy to turn away from impulse buys in a store or easily say, "No," when they see their schedule becoming too hectic. Intentionalists appreciate ease and practicality.

The Big Picture

The Big Picture Minimalists are similar to environmentalists, animal lovers or activists, in a way. They are typically Minimalists by default rather than intent due to their creating and following a strict moral code in their daily lives. They usually identify as vegan, may drive a hybrid or fuel conserving vehicle, are conscious about wastefulness and recycling and will choose to purchase items at a higher cost to ensure it is a moral choice that results in the best for all involved in the transaction. They concern themselves with the workers, the animals that may be involved or the effect on the environment. They would rather own less and contribute more to the world with their time and through "voting" with their dollars by very intentionally choosing what to purchase.

Quality Over Quantity

Snooty? Maybe. But there is something to be said for a person who knows what they like and feels like they are deserving and worthy of the best. These individuals choose to own less items so that they can own better items. In a world where many items are created as cheaply and as quickly as possible, I like that concept. These people may also enjoy supporting local artisans and businesses.

Keep It Clean

These individuals probably do not enjoy the work that goes in to cleaning, but do appreciate residing in a neat and tidy space so they have evaluated their priorities. The best advice I read when I began my direction towards a Minimalistic life applies to this grouping. "Clear surfaces are so quick to swipe with a cloth!" There is no magic product one can buy to effectively organize too much stuff. It is bound to bog you down and get in your way. This group knows you MUST de-clutter to find peace.

The Nostalgic Minimalist

These people, be they young or more advanced in age, cling to the nostalgic notion that the world was a better, more satisfying place back when things were slower and a little quieter.

The Mental Health Motivated

I would definitely dare to say that all Minimalists are defined by this grouping in one way or another. Some realize it beforehand and use their mental needs as a motivation for a more Minimal lifestyle while others begin under different terms and only realize the health benefits after being submerged in Minimalism for a time. Either way, all agree that Minimalism provides much needed and appreciated mental clarity and rest for weary minds.

New Life

Maybe they've lost a lover, lost a close family member or suffered a similar life-changing event. In the same way a woman will usually drastically change her hairstyle in such a case, these people feel a need to start over and wipe the slate clean of the memories and the stress. These individuals are recreating themselves.

The Unchained Minimalist

These people appreciate being free to roam without burden of responsibility. Often these individuals find themselves living in a moving home such as a tiny house or camper and traveling about as they get the urge. These individuals may or may not actually want a Minimalist life, but are forced to live this way by their small living arrangements. Eventually, many in this category will find themselves returning to mainstream cultural practices once (if) they give up the gypsy lifestyle. Then again, a few may begin to mentally embrace their new lifestyle and keep pursuing Minimalism.

Bullshit-Free Zone

These people do not know anything about Minimalism when they begin. They only know that they are fed up, frustrated and ready to change. De-cluttering is easy for this group because they have passionate pissed off motivation, but maintaining their living quarters may not be as easy for them once the area is cleared and the motivation begins to die down. I would encourage anyone identifying with this type (ahem- the Moms) to seek out other like-minded people to build encouragement and inspire each other along the journey. De-cluttering your space may bring you joy for a season in life, but changing your habits and lifestyle can truly free you.

Inspired By A Hoarder

The name speaks for itself here. These individuals have either suffered through living with an individual experiencing a hoarding mental illness, or they have witnessed second-hand the effects of such a situation.

Aestethics

There is also simply an Aesthetic Minimalist. These individuals just like the look of Minimalist decor, furniture and living. They find it beautiful and while they may not embrace the mental, digital or relationship sides of Minimalism they do like the way the style looks to the eye.

So as you can see, there is no one size fits all to us Minimalists. Minimalists tend to be open-minded people who are willing to consider alternative viewpoints, willing to learn something new and willing to give up a little to gain a lot. And while we are all a little different, all of us can agree, that experiences>things. We are careful about what we own, but that may be where the similarities end. Get to know a Minimalist, or I encourage you to explore the topic for yourself. You may just discover a side to yourself you never knew existed.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Everyone Should Care About Latinx Issues, Regardless Of Their Own Identities

It's important no matter who you are or where you come from.

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Disclaimer: As someone who is white, I am speaking on a culture that is not my own and which I am not an authority on. Please remember this and do your own research. Reach out to those who do identify as Latinx but as always, respect that it is not the job of any minority population to field all questions and educate.

People often say that no matter how old you get or how much you think you know, you never stop learning. I've always found this to be true but recently I was reminded of just how true it really is. On March 27, Bowling Green State University held their 24th annual Latino/A/X issues conference. I had heard about the conference in passing much earlier in the month and it piqued my interest but admittedly slipped my mind pretty quickly after hearing about it. It wasn't until a friend of mine had informed me that she and another one of our friends were receiving awards at the conference that I finally put it on my calendar.

As I looked through the program at all of the different events scheduled for the day, the first to catch my eye was a theatrical performance called Spanish Ohio: Reflections on loss, gain acceptance and belonging moderated by a Bowling Green professor and friend, Emily Aguliar. I can confidently say that I have not, in a long time felt so confused and lost in a theatrical setting in a long time. The performance was presented in about 90% Spanish and 10% English and having little more than a basic understanding of Spanish from my high school days, I was able to understand a few key words or phrases here and there but more I just found myself intrigued by what I didn't understand...which was a lot. At the end of the performance, there was a sort of Q&A; where we as the audience could ask questions to the performers. During which time an audience member made a comment that really opened my mind.

She had said that it was important for people outside of the Latinx community to be lost in that moment. That the not understanding was what so many people whose first language isn't English feel all the time.

This statement really hit me hard and stuck with me. Even though I was at a performance at my college where I knew that I was safe, secure and taken care of, not knowing what was going on around me was overwhelming and a little unsettling. Not because I fear the existence of languages other than English, but because I felt as if I was expected to understand and take away things that I simply couldn't. And the fact that people move about in the world feeling like this every day in a society where they are not looked after or cared for was a painful but oh so necessary realization.

People are being forced to exist in a place that doesn't make it easy for them to do so. All too often the one piece of 'advice' given to those who speak any language other than English is simply to 'Just speak English' as if it is more important for the majority to feel comfortable and unthreatened by the existence of a language outside of our own than it is to respect the culture, language, and diversity of the Latinx community.

This conference really opened my eyes to the struggles of the Latinx community but at the same time, it highlighted and celebrated the achievements as well. I was lucky enough to be able to see two women who are very important to me receive awards for the work that they've done in and around the community. Both of these women are beyond deserving of the accolades they received. They are passionate, strong, opinionated women with knowledge and heart and I was thankful to be there to witness both of them receiving the recognition that they so deserve. It is SO important to recognize the contributions of people who have been pushed to the sort of outskirts of the conversation so to speak and I can say that it was very moving for me to see my friends as well as the others at the conference reveling in their identities and their cultures.

This is how it should be at all times, not just at a conference.

People should feel comfortable in their identities and people who are in positions of privilege should be using their voices to amplify the marginalized. I am so very thankful to have been able to attend this event and learn and grow in my understanding of culture, identity, and people. So, thank you to BGSU and LSU for putting in the work to make this possible for everyone, and to Emily and Camila-I'm proud of you both! Amplify the marginalized and underrepresented and never stop learning everything you can.

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