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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

From Consumerism to Practical Minimalism

I'm free!!!  Well, sort of...  
The exterior of the townhouse in Denver

So, the house is officially sold.  This brings me one step closer to taking this pipe dream of a journey.  I'll definitely miss the townhouse though.  I/we lived here for almost 5 1/2 years.  It was our first home purchase and we bought it new in April of 2008.  It was home, it met all of our wants and needs, and was tucked in a fantastic location near City Park in downtown Denver, CO.  There were tons of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, parks, and gyms all in walking distance.  

I used my buddy Christopher Fett as realtor to sell the property and he did a fantastic job.  I would highly recommend him if you are looking to buy or sell.  I haven't run it by him that I'll be plugging him on this site, so if you want his information hit me up and I'll send it over.  

What was my living room for the past 5 1/2 years
Although a bit sad, selling the house was a HUGE sense of relief.  Not only does it bring me/us one step closer to divorce closure, but it really gives me a sense of freedom.  I feel like I'm starting to escape the shackles of the typical American view of success and happiness (i.e. seemingly happy marriage, nice house, new car, obedient dog, 2.3 children, expensive blender, brand name yoga mat, fancy shoes, massive TV, shiny iPad, even shinier iPad case, etc, etc, etc....).  Don't get me wrong, there are great things that come along with home ownership, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't make money from the sale, but that's not always the case for everyone, so the decision to buy can't be taken lightly.  In addition, on the flip side and to play devil's advocate, I guess the grass is always greener and I'm sure at some point I will yearn to have a stable home of sorts to rest my head.  For now though, I feel quite free.  

I'll definitely miss this kitchen and dining area
What the hell does 'free' mean anyway?  It could mean a number of things.  In this case, the name of this blog post 'From Consumerism to Practical Minimalism' was taken from an interesting blog that I recently discovered called Rethinking the Dream.  Here is a brief overview of their project, which sums it up nicely I feel...  "We are a family that has decided the American Dream of Home Ownership isn't living up to the hype. The normal American Dream is a set path towards home ownership and filled with buying stuff. We're sick and tired of that and we want to rethink that dream. We want to spend less on stuff and more on activities and events that can enrich our lives and our life experience. Please join us on our journey."  While these guys are certainly creative and unique, they aren't alone.  There is a current movement to shun the traditional American consumerist lifestyle for a more minimalistic one filled with experiences rather than 'stuff', and I'm jumping on board!

The never-ending vacuum to obtain more 'stuff'
I also feel that consumerism has an adverse effect on happiness in society.  Happiness by definition is 'the state of being happy'.  Well that's simple right?  Just be happy and you'll find true happiness.  Therein lies the dilemma, what provides or factors into happiness?  Well, it isn't 'stuff' as referenced above.  In fact, studies show that beyond a minimum threshold of poverty, money doesn't buy happiness.  Possessions may seem like a solution to your problems, but often they simply replace the ones they solve.  As paychecks increase, lifestyles usually match those increases.  This results in the same financial concerns, just with more stuff.  To read more on this, there is a fantastic article here, with great comments.  

My life has drastically changed over the past couple of months.  I've sold and given away a ton of 'stuff'.  I've moved the remainder of my 'life' into a 10x10 storage unit.  I've acquired a P.O. Box, which will serve as my primary mailing address during my travels.  In addition, this past weekend I moved in with my father and stepmother temporarily until I leave on my
A man and his truck...  A truck I'll miss!!!  
journey in about a month (I know, what's hotter than a recently single guy living with his parents!?!?).  The only two things remaining on my Denver to-do list are to sell my truck (2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road) and leave my job.  Both of which are also MAJOR changes of course.  

As covered in the 'Why' section of this site, this moto-journey is much more than just a simple trip for me.  It is a chance for me to clear my head with all that has happened over the past several years along with all that is currently happening.  I'm hoping that through the cultures that I interact with, the places that I'll visit, and the experiences that I'll have, I'll be able to gain a modicum of insight into what might provide true happiness for me.  Will it be a geographic move?  Will it be a drastic career shift?  Will it include meeting the true love of my life?  Will it be all of these things?  None of them?  Hell if I know, but I'm traveling to see if I can track it down as I certainly haven't been able to discover it here thus far.   

Now here is a sad thought...  What if this trip is just another 'thing' that I'm using to fill the hole in the self?  What if I am done and am no happier than when I started.  Arghhhhhhhh!!!  Well, that's a chance I'm willing to take. :)  

~ D


  1. Good on ya Mobley. Enjoy the exploration!

  2. Ah yes, the ever present hole in the will always be there and we should still always pursue life's great three games. Fair thee well and blog often :)