Minimalist - Minimalita

Hi, my name is Havilah Smith. I grew up in Portland, OR (a fact I MUST mention as I’m incredibly proud of the Pacific Northwest), but I currently live in Oakland, CA. Oakland is an amazing city – I’ve fallen in love with the diversity, the art, the culture, the weather, and the FOOD. My passions: Travel – be it local or international, food, family, animal welfare, and nursing. Though I’m sure it’s uncommon, my work (not work in and of itself, but what I do at work) is something I’m passionate about. Working as a nurse is never boring, always challenging, and incredibly soul fulfilling.

I graduated with my nursing degree in 2005. Along with my diploma, I was handed my tab – the subtotal of all the student loans I had taken out over the course of four years. The figures were staggering. Fortunately, nurses in the Bay Area are some of the highest paid in the country. I’ve been pulling in a six figure salary since I was 22 years old (2006). Over the years I’ve gone through the ebb and flow of paying down huge portions of debt, then taking expensive vacations and buying completely unnecessary (and exorbitantly priced) clothing and accessories. I’ve been canceling out my good habits with bad. Like many people, I spent more just because I made more.

What I’ve come to realize (again and again), is that the more stuff I acquire – the less space I have, the more I worry about losing it, and the longer it takes me to find it. My shelves, drawers, cabinets, pantry, and shed – all stuffed to the brim. In actuality, I probably use 20% of what I own. What a waste. My debt is still hanging around after all these years (though much less) because I’ve been too busy collecting stuff I don’t need.

The thought of purging nearly every material possession in my life has always excited me. My barrier has largely been the lack of a de-bulking blue print, some direction to stay the course. I’ll readily admit there are internal barriers as well. It’s hard to think about letting go of things I’ve spent a lot of money on, things I think I’ll need later, and things that I have emotional attachments to. But, I’m thrilled to announce that I found my inspiration! While flipping through TV channels after work last week, I caught the end of an interview on minimalism. After the interview was over, I Googled “minimalism”. What I found was literally life changing.

Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (founders of theminimalists.com) have mastered the minimalist lifestyle. They have a fantastic blog and have published several highly rated books (that I plan to read as soon as Amazon ships them to my door). Come to find out, there is a growing community of minimalists out there – proactively pairing down their material possessions in order to re-focus their energy, time, and money on the things that actually matter in life (time with family, time with self, intellectual growth, spiritual growth, health, travel, eliminating debt, and contributing to the community).

I’m a huge fan of documentation (especially documentation with lots of pictures) – so I’ve decided to blog about my journey into minimalism. I’ll also be digitally curating some of the resources I find truly inspiring and applicable to people like me who are trying to simplify their lives in this way.

Minimalita – Transitioning to minimalism.