Manifest Simplicity

Six years ago, I started a blog about simplifying my life. I wrote exactly two posts and never returned, until now.

The first post was about scanning old tax forms while having a dance party, and also about donating old sheets to the local animal hospital. The second post was about burning old tax forms while camping in Acadia National Park and using the fire to boil tea. Both posts are now deleted, mostly because I now find them kind of embarrassing.

Let me recap what’s happened since then:

At this time in my life, Summer 2010, I was a single gal living in Jamaica Plain (Boston), MA in a duplex with two lovely roommates. I’d lived in that apartment since 2006, and stuff had started to build up. I’d been interested in simple living since 2002-2003, my year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (more about that later, hopefully, in future posts). Yet my amount of “stuff,” physical and emotional, had fluctuated wildly since then. In 2010, I was starting to feel the need to offload.

Little did I know that this need for space and less baggage was the beginning of a major life journey. By 2013, I was ready to leave Boston with only a couple of carloads full of possessions. The plan was to attend graduate school in Vermont and then teach abroad somewhere. With much support from family and friends, I manifested the Vermont grad school dream into a reality. I was even able to spend two transformative months in Costa Rica on a teaching internship.

Something happened, though, that changed my plans a bit. I met someone. My relationship with him brought me back to Boston–to visit, and then to live. Now we live in a North Shore suburb, in a small apartment, and will be married in less than two months. I may not have pursued my career abroad, but I’ve ended up pursuing something even better, for me at least.

So why return to Manifest Simplicity now? Well for one thing, simple living seems to be all the rage these days. It’s going more mainstream, and I think I might have some ideas to add to the conversation. “Publishing” my thoughts, regardless of whether anyone actually reads them, helps me keep myself accountable and recognize my own progress. Finally, as I enter a new phase of life, it seems like an especially good time to take stock–and for me, taking stock always involves sorting through the clutter and figuring out what to prioritize and what to let go of.

I really hope that this time I make it past two posts, but we’ll see.




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