This month’s simple living interview is Brittany from Tiny Ambitions. The monthly interviews are designed to give you a glimpse into people’s lives who call themselves minimalists, or are pursuing a simple lifestyle or living slow.
Each month the bloggers are asked the same questions in order to see the similarities and differences in their experiences. It’s a wonderful way to be encouraged in simplifying our own lives! You can read the other interviews HERE.
Can you introduce yourself to my readers?
Hello Setting My Intention readers! I’m Brittany – a yoga loving, cross-eyed cat owning blogger who lives in southwestern Ontario, Canada. I started my blog in Tiny Ambitions in January 2017 to share my love of tiny houses, minimalism and simple living with the masses! I am currently saving up for my own tiny house, and I’m using minimalism and simple living to help get me there.
I use Tiny Ambitions like a virtual diary in the sense that, I blog about my life. I don’t believe there is anything particularly unique about my story, so I’d like to think readers can relate to the struggles and challenges I’ve written about in terms of simplifying my life.
What initially attracted you to simply living?
In 2014, right before I finished my Master’s Degree, I became seriously discontented with the ‘school-work-retire-die’ mentality that we are taught growing up. I really could not understand the point of working 60hr weeks for 30+ years for the purpose of retirement and adventure at age 65. That just was not appealing to me (or really a reality for most people given the state of the global economy).
Around the same time, I developed some serious anxiety that was partially linked to the overwhelming amount of ‘stuff’ I had in my life. In fact, I used to be a serious shopaholic. However, one day, something clicked for me. I saw people around me buying big houses, fancy cars, and designer clothes and it made me nauseous thinking about the kind of money people are willing to spend to buy their lifestyle. Everyone is totally free to do what they want with their money (and there is nothing wrong with having nice things), but I suddenly knew that kind of life wasn’t for me anymore.
Minimalism and simple living provided the antidote to the life we are ‘supposed’ to live. I guess you could say minimalism and simple living came into my life at exactly the right moment.
What are the benefits that you have found in simple living?
I think the biggest benefit of simple living is that it gives you space – space to see what is really important in your life as well as the physical space created when you intentionally choose to minimize or simplify.
For myself, it was only when I started decluttering my life that I was able to recommit to something I’ve wanted for many, many years – a tiny house! Had it not been for simple living, I wouldn’t have the more secure financial situation I have now, that has allowed me to start saving for my dream.
It might sound totally cliche, but I do truly believe that simple living has given me back control of my life. It is easy to get swept up in your day-to-day life, not really realizing that you’re drifting away from your priorities and life goals. Once you start the process of editing your life down to the essentials (including stuff, relationships, finances), you start to take back control of the trajectory of your life. It’s incredibly empowering!
If someone wanted to start living simply, what advice would you give them?
Trust yourself. If you are feeling the urge to simplify your life, trust your instincts to show you what that should look like for your own life. Maybe that means you scale back on social invitations, or maybe it means you sell or donate most of your physical possessions. There is no ‘right’ way to live a simple life, just the way that feels right to you.