Living Minimally

Being a minimalist doesn't mean you like monochrome colors and tons of negative space. Being a minimalist means to live life with the essentials. It's not a fad or a religion, but a lifestyle.
Similar to that of a hipster, minus the Priuses and resistance to shave, the minimalist lifestyle is clean. Elevated.

In transforming my lifestyle, it's taught me more about freedom as opposed to restricting me to a cult culture.

Growing up, I've always never liked being told what to do. Even up until now, I craved creative immunity.
I suppose this is why I love hip hop so much versus my roots in jazz. There's so much room for creative freedom and jazz is comprised of practicing techniques repeatedly. I felt like I didn't get to immerse myself completely in dance by doing leg lifts for a million eight counts.
But to live minimally, I went back to square one and highlighted the essentials in my life. Starting with basics such as proper sleep and food.
For example, I make sure to get 6-8 hours of rest and to regulate my eating habits. You don't realize how important it is to maintain these habits until it's too late.
But of course, eating and sleeping is a given but what about wardrobe? I swapped out my over-the-top, vibrant statement pieces with a monochromatic palette. It made my closet so much more versatile, giving me freedom to mix and match endlessly. Investing in intense pieces that followed trends was more counterproductive and harder on my wallet versus trying to build a timeless wardrobe.
Even more so, I decided to give away or donate pieces in exchange for getting new ones. My clothing rack isn't going to get any bigger and I already have clothes popping out of the drawers. I have no space for more yet I keep gaining an influx of clothing. 
I'm surprised they haven't given me my own episode of Hoarders.
This lifestyle reflects value and purpose and being greedy isn't either of them.
At the end of the day, all you have is yourself and this is the ultimate baseline for living simply. Having dates and investing in the time you have with yourself is a debt that will always be repaid. You learn more about yourself, you face your demons and you gain a better sense of self.
I used to be terrified of being alone and it made it hard for me to even go out to buy food. I was so reliant on the company of others that it actually said a lot about how much I loved myself.
Sometimes self-love is a solution in itself for all your other problems. 
Living minimally can be translated and interpreted in several ways but that's the beauty of it. To live a minimal life style is to live with simplicity. It's purpose is to allow you to find freedom not just in life, but with yourself.
Minimalism teaches you to really filter your life, whether that is diluting your friendships, pursuing your passions, ridding ourselves of the excess, and growing yourself as an individual.
Through minimalism, I've left a lot of things behind, including parts of my past self. 
In the end, I'm never at a loss. I'm gaining something out of those experiences and will always be left with what I really need in life.
"Less is always more."

Photography by Justin Quebral