I’m not a minimalist. I think it’s good to be intentional about what you own and how you take up space in the world, but I have no desire to move to a 300 square foot apartment and religiously track the number of socks that I own.
I’m not a lifestyle designer. As far as I can tell, I’ve been designing my lifestyle since 1978—that’s part of never having a real job, pursuing the goals I’ve been working on for ten years, and non-conformity in general.
Technically I’m location independent, but I have a home in Portland, Oregon. I could live entirely out of my carry-on bag if I wanted to, but I don’t want to… so I don’t.
Having It Both Ways
Labels are used to put people in ideological boxes and restrict their choices. According to label theory, if you are an x, surely you’d never do y, because y is a violation of the code. Isn’t that funny—something that starts out as a freeing concept becomes a restrictive one as more and more people take on the label.
That’s why I like having it both ways. Take what works from these movements and apply them to your life. Focus on what is relevant for you and ignore the rest. Some would say it’s impossible to have it both ways. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, or so the saying goes—but what else do you do with cake? Personally, I like to eat it. I’m pro-cake.
Once in a while I read a blog post that includes me in a feature about one of these (or other) labels. I’m listed as a new leader in minimalism, one of the biggest names in lifestyle design, or something new I’ve never heard of. Thanks for the links, everyone! But I hate to break it to you… I’m not really in anyone’s club. Sorry.
I don’t think that any of these ideological constructs are bad—in fact, they’ve clearly done good things for the world and helped a lot of people live more intentionally. But I do think it’s a mistake to group yourself into someone else’s idea of identity. If you want to label yourself, why not make your own label?
Start the new social movement of You. By joining today, you’ll increase membership by 100%! Or better yet, avoid labels altogether, and just be yourself. Everyone else is already taken, right?