The word minimalism originally came from the art world as a slur against a certain style art. Its main dictionary definition to this day being:
A style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.
But minimalism, like so many things, has evolved beyond the original confines of the definition to include a type of lifestyle. The minimalist lifestyle. One that has seen a recent surge is magazine coverage both praising and looking down it.
I love seeing other people’s minimalism stories. That said, I would like to talk about minimalism in the context of being a Goth.
My Goth Story
Like everyone else, I came to Goth in a way both unique to me and fairly common. As a little kid, I had been interested in some pretty odd things such as Horror movies and Anne Rice’s vampire novels. I can remember reading Vittorio The Vampire at nine-years-old and asking for another scary movie after my aunt forced me to watch Bride of Chucky when I was eight.
But I didn’t really get into Goth until I was twelve-years-old. One of my grandmothers was dying of cancer, so I started to dive deeper into the darker side of things as a way of making me feel better. I read Horror stories and Edgar Allan Poe and watched a lot of The Addams Family. Tupac Shakur, Jazz, and Blues were joined by the Punk band Good Charlotte and much more obviously gothy H.I.M.
Death and its reality at that age, where things are already in a constant state of change, can feel like it is gnawing at you from the inside out. As if your emotions and your body are trying to slit your throat when you sleep. Or at least, that is what I felt at thirteen-years-old when my Nana passed.
After she passed, darkness and Goth became like a sanctuary for me. It made me feel better and cope, as much as a kid that age can cope with death, better. And when the freshness of the grief was gone, I found that my childhood’s dark inclinations had solidified into something which is still a part of me today. Though, I do admit that many other Goths seem to find it strange that I still love Jazz, Blues, and other types of music not typically viewed as Goth in addition to much more obviously gothy music like Nightwish. I simply see it as part of my being a fully realized human being. I like what I like and happen to be more drawn to the darker side of things in terms of music, art, literature etc. so I’m Goth.
My Minimalism Story
I have to admit that I never pictured myself as being a minimalist until I discovered it nearly a year ago. But I do know when it started. Somewhere during late June of last year.
On that hot summer’s day between watering the chickens and spending time with a couple of my nieces and nephews, it hit me. I wanted to spend more time enjoying life, both in the context of my life as a fully realized person and in the context of being able to enjoy living in a multi-generational home.
So I started researching minimalism and found out that it wasn’t about how many possessions you started with, I didn’t and don’t have even a quarter of what others start with after getting rid of a lot during an intense move, but about being able to enjoy life and making room for enjoying life instead of worrying about stuff. I may not have come to minimalism with a number of possessions others had, but it became clear pretty quickly that it was exactly what I needed.
Combining Goth and Minimalism
So I had the Goth and I had the minimalist, next came finding out how to combine the two in a way that was aesthetically pleasing and appropriate for my life. I’m still on that part of the journey.
I invite everyone reading to follow me and see how the journey goes. Maybe it will inspire you to try minimalism for yourself, maybe it won’t. Either way, it is sure to be fun.
Join me on Wednesday for the first in a series of posts about researching fiction. First up, Historical Fiction. And don’t forget to join me on Friday for my normal Bullet Journal post. This week I’m, once again, continuing with Bullet Journal Basics by talking about the Future Log.