Finding Freedom in Unminimalism

One of the reasons I decided to call it quits on calling myself a minimalist was the harsh judgment towards the "minimalist community" online.

On the one hand, I came to see some minimalists as preachy and unforgiving, but I also saw the granular criticism towards any decision a minimalist decided to make. Buying a book? How unminimalist of you. Moving into a larger space? That doesn't seem like a minimalist move.

For the record, I saw it the other way, too: you don't have a hair dryer? Well, okay we can't all be minimalists like you. Don't see the need to upgrade our 16-year old car? Oh, I forgot you don't even like stuff like I do.

In the end, I stopped calling myself a minimalist because it stopped feeling free to me. I was sick of others feeling like they had to justify their life choices to me, and I was sick of justifying myself to them.

The unminimalist

So now, I'm doing the things that I've seen other people call "unminimalist" (and four years ago, I would probably have said the same).

I'm purchasing makeup, saving up for a "someday" wardrobe overhaul, searching through Pinterest for how to spruce up our bedroom (and yes, that means adding stuff).

I'm not the ascetic minimalist that everyone thought I was, and I'm not going to try to be that way anymore. Minimalism doesn't fit with my values in this season of my life, so I'm not going to force it. Which, if I may dare to say it, is a fairly minimalist approach.

Minimalism isn't the only path to freedom

Minimalism is certainly a path to freedom: financial freedom, travelling freedom, creative freedom. But you don't have to reject everything at all times in order to find freedom. 

What you do need to do is evaluate what freedom means to you and work backwards from there. What if freedom means wearing whatever clothes or makeup you wish, and that being something that makes you genuinely happy? What if a fast car is your definition of freedom?

The Twitterfolk would most certainly call those things "unminimalist".

Nowadays, I'm allowing myself more unminimalist leeway so that I can discover where I feel truly free. I'm giving myself the space (and yes, the stuff) to dig into my values and what intentions I want to have to guiding my life.

Unminimalism as an un-label

The idea behind my claim to "unminimalism" is that I'm rejecting the label of being a minimalist. I'm no longer welcoming that critique or drama into my life (a small, but irksome amount).

And guess what? If you identify as a minimalist, I say go you! Don't let others tell you what to say or do, and definitely don't let anyone tell you that you can't change your mind.

For me, I will no longer let what others define as minimalism guide my life (or even remotely interfere with it). In saying that I am an unminimalist, I say goodbye to the poorly-fitting label that was holding me back from truly finding freedom here and now in my life.

What labels are holding you back? How can you unlabel yourself?