Note: This is a guest post from Breanne, who blogs at Metalsmithing Poodle. You will love her story of how she embraced the simple lifestyle through pursuing her art and moving into a parkour gym.
My minimalist journey started about a month and half ago, but in reality I have been infatuated with the minimalist lifestyle for years but had other obligations (excuses haha) over the years and have never fully committed to the idea. My interest was first peaked about 7 years ago when I had moved out of the apartment I shared with my significant other at the time and did not feel ready to see him so I didn’t move any of my things into my new place. I lived happily and simply with a sleeping bag and my clothing for about a month. I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom in doing this.
Recently after graduating with my BFA in jewelry design and metalsmithing and all the unfulfilled expectations settling in I started searching for something more. Life was not what I had expected; I went to school for art….I chose happiness over money and ended up with neither. Sadly our society values art but not artists, even the people within the art community don’t seem to place much value on the artist. I had also never really considered there were actually jobs in America that did not pay enough to survive on.
I was rudely awakened from this misconception after the financial aid came to a halt. For nearly a year I fretted about what I was going to do and how I could possibly make it in this world. In tandem with this I was doing everything I could in order to “make it” as an artist. I feel somewhat like I was chewed up and spit out by the art world. I was on the right track, my work was in galleries and I was even a board member for the Colorado Metalsmithing Association, but everything felt forced and it was no longer bringing me happiness. It also was not bringing in enough money to even sustain the art-making much less anything else.
The only solution seemed to be minimizing my bills and living off of less since I have no reasonable way to make income above minimum wage. Also the only thing I wanted to do on my free time was parkour. I took the only two things that made sense my life and mixed a little romance in there and the outcome was starting a new life and leaving the old one by the wayside.
Parkour was something that changed my life almost instantly. I used to be gymnast and was so in love with this sport is was literally the only thing that mattered to me during the 4 years I participated in the sport, not to mention the many years I spend admiring it and trying to teach myself on the front lawn.
When I turned 18 I could no longer practice the sport and was devastated, heartbroken even. Ever since I have always felt like there was something missing, like a big chunk of myself was somehow severed from my existence. Once I discovered parkour at the age of 25; it was love at first sight. With parkour I finally felt like a whole person again, I once again had an outlet for the physical expression of my existence.
After high school I did a lot of partying and strayed down a bad path. I constantly at odds with myself because I wanted to be healthy but was unhappy and the only thing I really looked forward to was drinking with friends at the end of the night. Currently I can think of nothing I would rather do with my day then parkour, it is what I day dream about, it is my passion and my love. It is literally the funnest thing I have ever done and I just can’t get enough of it. Since this is the one thing in my life I feel the strongest about I decided totally immersing myself in this world was a good way to figure out a profession within this field and it is happening much quicker than I had expected! I am currently apprenticing to be a parkour coach and co-taught my first class last week!
About 2 months ago I found another kindred spirit who was also dedicated to living an alternative minimalist life dedicated to what we love the most; parkour. We hardly knew each other but decided our connection was strong enough that we needed to figure out where it would lead. We had met in Colorado and only hung on two occasions but had meaningful conversation, similar life views and goals not to mention our shared passion over parkour.
These conversations continued over instant messenger after he left to Arizona and one month later we left both our lives behind to live one truly dedicated to minimalism. Neither one of us could fathom the idea of working a typical 9-5 job for the sole purpose of maintaining an apartment or a house and all of the shiny objects within it.
We have left our old lives behind in order to purse one that is truly free, not just working until hopefully one day we would have enough time to do the things we want once our bodies are wasted and worn. We started a new life with the pursuit of minimalism, the simple dedication to our interests and desires, a life filled with passion, adventure, love in the pursuit of true freedom. We are currently residing in a parkour gym and plan to eventually buy a van and live in that while traveling across the country practicing parkour in various cities.
Are you working toward a simpler lifestyle? Then I would love to share your story! Please submit your original (not published anywhere else) story about how you are simplifying your life. You don’t have to be an extreme minimalist–I would love to share stories of people who are just starting out of their journey. If your story is selected to be featured, you will receive 50% off the the Simple Living Basics E-Course, after any other discounts. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org .
New to Simple Living? Then check out our Simple Living Basics e-course. There are plenty of discounts available, and it will be an investment in a lower-stress more focused lifestyle!
Breanne blogs at Metalsmithing Poodle, where she shares her art and her adventures living her alternative, minimalist lifestyle.