I asked my cousin to review my blog the other day and the delightful little thing told me things I already knew but wasn’t really ready to hear from other people yet. I’ll make you think i’m thirsty for praise but I’ll also hate you a little when you compliment me. I think I was hoping that if no one said the bad stuff then maybe no one would know and one of the things she said that made me laugh and cry at the same time was that blogs are over. haha . Yeah she was really honest about a lot of it. I guess I know that blogs are over. Vlogs are in but what can I say I am old fashioned. Also I don’t have collaborators for a vlog because I don’t have good friends…or friends really. If you would prefer sleeping and eating or eating with other people… to helping me work on projects that are bound to fail but will be fun to do anyways, you are not my friend….(sigh) you won’t read this anyways.
But more importantly I prefer to write. I like to write and even though it’s a difficult medium where you wouldn’t understand my tone of speech unless you’ve heard me talk and even though getting sarcasm across is difficult here, I prefer it for now.
My obsession with making stuff has magnified with having the temporal and emotional vacancy to think about things more. i.e I don’t have trivial things like Reaction Engineering and Lunch on my mind anymore. I do have work but a day is 24 hours long so with the help of a little caffeine and some heavy metal, there is still some time to sit upside down and procrastinate on things one really wants to or should do. I guess this was what I hoped for when I drop-kicked my life away by dropping out. More time.
There’s an entry I’d been working on last week about minimalism but I could never get it to sound real and applicable because it was actually a summary on a little social experiment a couple of friends and I were doing.
What happened is, one of my friends has been watching too many motivational videos to a point where hanging out with him started to feel like living in a lecture series about how to be more focused in life and be more happy and successful. I and a few others had vowed to punch him the next time he uttered a word about minimalism. But I guess he knew he’d eventually wear us down so he kept on talking and we, instead of staying true to our word and collectively kicking his ass, started to actually listen to him. I challenged him with questions too so I was sent home packing a documentary and several podcasts on minimalism.
I didn’t intend to watch or listen to any of it but that night I couldn’t fall asleep so I hit play. The next day I met up with a couple of the guys for coffee because dammit I never learn, and we ended up talking about minimalism and how it can be applicable to people like us, the average Ethiopian. We decided to make it a sort of experiment. This happened when I was in Mekelle for about a week. Upon my return home, my wardrobe, my dresser, my vanity, my shelves and basically everything I own suffered an attack.
The Minimalists are a couple of Americans who travel places making speeches about how falling for new age advertisement is a affecting us because we have become prisoners to material possessions. They make a point of living on as little as possible for a long period of time which when it comes to our current reality can be assumed as poverty or carelessness.
The way I see it, we always assume that he who has more things is just generally better in everything but look in your bag or look around your room, look at the things you own and if you’re like me, you’re bound to find things you’ve kept for no apparent reason or because you might need it someday when really that thing adds absolutely no value to the type of person you want to be. The brand market has created that ‘I have to have it’ mentality so we spend money that we do not have, money we can not spare on things that we don’t really need or things that don’t really make us feel as great as we thought they would. It becomes like a whole, ለዚ ነው በሬዬን ያረድኩት situation. It’s a self scolding situation I often find myself in where I have all this stuff I don’t need but am cash poor.
It’s the same when it comes to spending too much time on things that we spend our time doing but not really come out of better. I can’t tell you not to scroll through Facebook or Instagram for hours only to feel shitty about your life at the end of the day…that would make me a hypocrite.
Our experiment only partially failed because none of us could freaking stop spending money but otherwise removing things and people that did not add value to our lives or served as distraction have worked perfectly well. I now have more closet space (nothing to wear most of the time), more time to spend tearing out my hair for being so lazy and even less number of friends who’d be likely to collaborate with me to do anything. This isn’t so bad though because now I have more time to work on becoming better. (in theory)
I hate motivational videos because they make everything sound so easy and I find myself thinking, where the hell does this person come off telling me how my life works? But this time, it worked for me I guess and for my weirdo of a friend who can’t stop talking about how he stocked his playlist with Les Brown speeches and listened to nothing but that for an entire semester where he ended up getting an excellent GPA because he felt more empowered.
“It’s about letting go of things you don’t need.” That was me explaining what we were doing to someone else.
“But how will you know that you need something until you need it?” she asked.
Valid point. That’s why I shouldn’t be writing advice pieces. I’m too fucking young.
P.S. Please excuse the corny pictures in this post. Eyula, I used them for you. Thanks Buddy.
P.P.S I’m not really good at following my own advice so no, I am not a minimalist, but I can argue that they make a valid point even though their point only works more in theory. Human beings are difficult.