Simplicity’s Excess


I felt it crash over me like a wave of sudsy bath water. Warm, refreshing, clean. This morning my mind drifted to my childhood. A place of love, comfort, and joy…but also a place of sheer nothingness. Twenty-something years ago, my family refrigerator sat empty–with the exception of the Arm&Hammer baking soda nestled in the corner–and the pantry carried a few government-issued goods, like pinto beans, rice, and a silver tin of peanut butter. There were days when we had nothing to eat and then, randomly, a neighbor dropped by a box of lemon yogurt and a loaf of bread. Days when we wished to eat at McDonald’s and dip fries in crimson ketchup, only to receive gift certificates from my father’s boss. Days when a $4 allowance for thrift store shopping yielded a brand new Stussy shirt…and a Spud Mackenzie watch to boot! Daily miracles that would later shape my view of life.

I fought back tears because I’ve come so far. My refrigerator is fuller, I can order a side of fries, and I can choose to shop at thrift stores. I tried fighting the urge to forget. The urge to turn my head from a past I sometimes want to forget because of the memories of being made fun of for wearing the same clothes every week. I was reminded today of the beauty of remembering for by doing so, I know the person I want to become.

A person who lives simply. Because in simplicity there is excess.

I’m writing this today so that when I read this post five years from now, I never forget who I am, from where I’ve come, and where I want to go. I’m truly happy with my simple life…with my oddly decorated living room…with my mismatched chairs…with my generic toothpaste…owning a pantry with slightly more than pinto beans and peanut butter. When I focus everything I have, I hardly notice the things I want. And I couldn’t think of a better way to appreciate my life and who I am.

A person who lives simply. Because in simplicity there is excess.