Wow. Harsh criticism for the “100 things” movement! Well I enjoy a good “you failed” as much as the next person, but before jumping on our high horses, let’s define a few things.
The “100 things” is an ideal. Like many dreams and ideals, it represent an over-simplified unrealistic goal. Simplicity. Minimalism. Order. Ideals applies to different things too… Peace. Freedom. Equality. While we may strive for these things, we can never assume 100% to be the only measure of success. 90% peace is good. 95% peace is better. 100% peace is impossible.
Although I speak radical terms, you should all know I’m level-headed enough not to be completely stupid. The reality of the matter is, graduating from college and coming into the “real world” has been a hard transition for me. How do I define myself now that I am not a student, how many responsibilities I want to take up at work, what I should do with my free time, what I want my future to be. There’s been some adjustments, some joy, some sadness, but mostly fear. This is it, the moment I’ve been waiting for, the beginning of the rest of my life, the life I’ve spent all these years of school preparing for. I look up to my father and see the respect attached to his name in his professional field. I look up to my mother and see the support she has given us as kids (and is still giving us). I read the news and see studies, research papers, discoveries. New planets, new cures, new scientific breakthroughs.
I need to make my contribution in this world.
While this may seem completely unrelated to the subject at hand, bare with me. I’m going somewhere with this, believe it or not. My point is this: self-discovery. I have spent the last few years living as a through and through DINK. You’ve heard the term, Dual Income No Kids. I had a disposable income, free time, and an eager need to learn. You could say I had the means, motive, and opportunity. And so I focused my energy and money on discovering new things. Reading. Camping. Geckos. Knitting. Dogs. Crafts. Saltwater aquarium. Going to the gym. Painting. Decorating. Blogging. Ballet. Writing. Music. Yoga. Some of these worked out for me and some did not. The inevitable byproduct of this is loads and loads of stuff that I will surely not ever re-use. Should I have never bought them? Maybe. Will trying my hand at these hobbies, all mostly worthless unless mastered and professionalized, help me understand how to make my contribution to this world? Probably not. But learning who I am as an adult, learning what I love and what my priorities are, that is a right of passage that I will take and assume responsibility of the consequences.
Right now, the consequences I face right now is 2 empty useless 20-gallon aquariums. A large collection of books I didn’t like. Knitting needles. Ballet shoes. Amongst other things.
Add to that the fact that I never like to throw old stuff away, we have junk. Yesterday, I went thru my underwear drawer and threw out 55 of them. I hadn’t thrown out a single one since age 15. Socks, same thing. All aged, used, gaped with holes, and/or stained. Chris and I did a big cleaning a few months ago, but I don’t think we’re quite done yet. I’m not done yet. We have 13 blankets, 6 bed pillows, 2 george foreman grills, 2 beaters. All useful things, yes, but overload none the less. Sure, I’ll openly admit that some stuff I bought and only wore once. But I’ll have you know I made a pledge in October to severly restrict my shopping habits seeing that we decided to buy a house in the near future, and I have done exactly that since then.
And so while I thin away the layers of failed experiments, I open myself to choices I have made. I like writing, I like music, I like painting. I like going on walks more than I like going to the gym. I don’t enjoy shopping as much as I used to. A little more every day I enjoy the benefits of upkeeping more than my die-hard procrastination. Yoga doesn’t hurt my hips the way ballet did. And while I’m still searching for my contribution to this world, I know these are directions I should take.