Packing your thoughts into a tiny, tiny box


You simplify and you minimize your life. From your morning routines to your weekly habits, to your hobbies, to your goals, to your dreams.

Hidden in the corner of my room, its small, pale-colored, box was overwhelmed by big books and dolls that tower over it. I never gave much thought and care to it. But the moment I didn’t want my mom or my brother to hold it or even to glance at it, the moment I realize that this little thing matters to me.

A minimalist lifestyle, in the easiest sense, means purchasing what you really need.  For me, it would mean: one plate, one bowl, one mug. Black, grey, white, or khaki-colored clothes. Christmas lights to instantly color my room. Plenty of notebooks with each one serves specific purpose depending on the weight of the paper and the size of the book. It means functions and purpose.

But after all the physical stuffs are minimized and reduced, what about the stuffs in our head.

In the age of distractions that come in the mask of options or entertainment, choosing what’s right for you is like finding that right outfit that suits your mood for the day—all options are alright and available, but only one gives you the satisfaction.

What I’ve come to realize as an early 20s with a good job living in a good city, you regain your childhood spirits. You’re playful. You’re curious. You want to try bunch of stuffs. From coffee tasting to acro yoga to joining SEO workshops to meditation. It’s overwhelming and exciting. It’s enlightening and you feel good about your adventurous self.

But then, I realize that I didn’t want to be good at many things. I want to be really good at few things. The abundant choices bugged my identity. And at that point I felt the need to choose. Especially as you grow older and your life demands more out of you—and you have responsibilities and relationships and your tummy and your face and your laundry to take care of. You know time is ticking.

If you’ve never seen the sun sets down to the horizon, how it disappears in just a blink of the eye, then perhaps you won’t realize how lightning fast time moves.

Eventually you have to choose what you need to do. You simplify and you minimize your life. From your morning routines to your weekly habits, to your hobbies, to your goals, to your dreams.

I took down all my stuffs from the shelves, lay them out on the bed, and look at them objectively. What’s relevant in the past, but serves no purpose until now, I put them in the box to go to secondhand store. What I’ve purchased out of compulsivity, I set them aside, for further ‘review’. What’s always surprisingly useful and needed, I put them altogether in one shelve and I remember exactly where they are.

What I used to love, but love briefly, I set them aside in my head: tap dancing, drumming, photography. What stays consistent throughout my life, I move them to the center: playing music and writing. What feels the healthiest to me, I prioritize them: journaling and nice morning rituals.

A minimalst lifestyle comes with a set of chosen priorities first. And then you progress to developing a set of simple consistencies that you do daily and that works for you.

Simple morning rituals. Journaling. Two to three hobbies you do often and you do religiously. And a good sleep.

I still do stuffs, but I know where to put them.

So at least when my life caught on fire, I know exactly what to bring with me and I won’t feel sorry for what I’ve left behind.