Minimalism has become so en vogue lately that it's difficult to get on the world wide web without some mention of decluttering or Konmari-ing. From capsule wardrobes to the tiny house movement, everyone and their brother has presumably found some value in letting go, paring down and pushing back the materialistic culture. Why wouldn't we want to participate in something that has a 4.5 star review on Amazon after more than 7,600 people have weighed in? Surely having less stuff and thinking about having less stuff is admirable--desirable, even.
So we run through the process one more time. We get rid of what isn't working. We reassess, reorganize and take out the trash. We keep only what has value or value to us, anyway. And we build.
Building feels like the hardest part. It requires a look at the land, an assessment of the structure and new...well, new somethings. That part depends on what you're building. In the past few years, we've built a house. Built a small group. We built relationships and a family. We built our finances and pieces of furniture. Then there was our credit, and my understanding of healthy eating. We built groups on Facebook and I built a lot of information about washing machines, detergents and cloth diapers.
Because that's what we do.
But when the process is disrupted--when it slows or stops, or even worse, goes in reverse--I lose sight of myself. Who am I, after all, if I'm not building?
That's what I'm aiming to discover. Perhaps there will be a lot of writing. Maybe very little. Maybe after this particular discussion I'll find I have nothing else to add to the conversation. But maybe there's something to our endless need to build and maybe that says something about who we are or who we became somewhere along the line.
Or maybe it just says a lot about me.