There’s a line from the movie 500 Days of Summer that often plays in my head. The clip is here:

but for those not wanting to watch a 20 second video, it involves a narrator telling us a little bit about the personality of a woman named Summer, in which he describes:

“Since the disintegration of her parents marriage, she’d only loved two things: the first was her long, dark hair; and the second was how easily she could cut it off and feel nothing.”

As a child, I was incredibly sentimental. Any time I was given a gift by someone, or any time I felt that something I owned was of unique importance, it was nearly impossible for me to get rid of it. It felt like a betrayal of trust, or a denial of love.

This is something I’ve decidedly grown out of since then. Now, I find that with only the rarest of exceptions, I can mercilessly whittle down my personal collection of things without any hesitation.

Within recent memory, I moved homes three time within a single year. Each time, fewer things made the trip. After the third move, it became an obsession of mine to remove as much as possible.

Then, this past year, that drive kicked in harder and more forcefully than ever before. Starting home dialysis meant that I was suddenly inundated with hundreds of boxes of things that I needed to survive. I suppose the drive to remove all other non-essentials was a result of all that being foisted upon me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to get rid of everything I own, and there are still some things that mean a great deal to me. But by and large, I have trimmed all of my excess possessions, and am enjoying a leaner lifestyle with the handful of things I choose to keep.

All of this is to say, I’ve been a minimalist for a while, and that feeling has only grown over the past half decade. Much like Summer, I’m proud of how much I can cut things out, and feel nothing.