I don't usually write down my thoughts on films, or documentaries (because it would mainly be AWWWWWWWH CUTE PENGUINS) but this one came at the right time for me to sit down and just type out my feelings.
This holiday season just gone was a weird one for me. It gave me time to actually sit down and think things through, and I came to an important realisation.
I am not happy.
There, I said it.
On paper, my life is perfect - I have a pretty well respected corporate job with one of the most prestigious companies out there, I've just gained Charted status, I'm getting married this year to the most amazing man I could ever hope to me, I'm 23 and have the rest of my life ahead of me, and my little Etsy is just taking off.
Pretty good eh?
Well yes. But I'm crippled with anxiety that something will go wrong or something will happen to James, and my job is so demanding that I barely have time to think. I'm away from home 75% of the time so I don't actually get to see my perfect fiance that much, and when I do, I spend most of it tidying our little rented flat. We're saving for a house, a wedding and everything else.
I want to travel. I want to see the world. I want to have experiences. I want to make new friends. I want something as simple as being able to join a weekly club, like yoga or something, but the reality is, I just can't.
So what do I do to try and make me happy? I buy stuff. Stuff I don't need. Clothes, jewellery, books, take away coffees, DVDs, you name it.
Guess what? It work for about 10 mins, then I'm sad again, I'm sad that I've spent the money, sad that I'm not a clothes size smaller, sad that we don't own a home, sad that I'm always away, sad that I can't commit to anything, sad that I haven't seen most of my friends in 3 years.
The reality is, I'm in a dark cloud, and I have been for a while. I'm 95% sure I've got depression, despite being sure my entire life I'd manage to avoid it. I just need to see a doctor to confirm it, but guess what? I just don't have the time.
The few weeks over Christmas gave me the time to sit down and decide what to do. Well, I didn't decide as such, I made a vague future plan. A vague plan not to buy as much crap, a vague plan to see my friends and do more as opposed to buying more. A vague plan to enact once we've finally got a house sorted.
Then I watched this documentary. It's good. Let me say this first - I did really enjoy it as a documentary. It had some amazing features - like the focus on the tiny house movement (so cute) and the chats from all the different writers.
The thing I felt though was that it didn't answer the question I was hoping for. Naively I sat down with a cup of tea, hoping that I would learn the secret to happiness in the next hour and a half.
Spoiler: I didn't.
What I did find what an hour an a half of people peddling their books, and talking about how their life had changed, and they'd written it in this book and how popular the book had been. I also found the main two guys' version of minimalism a bit unobtainable. Like yeah, they got rid of all their stuff and quit their jobs to travel, but they were both on six figure salaries before that so probably had a fair amount of money saved up for food and stuff. They're also making loads from their book and this documentary, and their blog, so I don't really see how this can translate to the rest of the world....
Anyway, it is a good documentary. I'd recommend you watch it.
It also inspired me to have a bit of a spring clean and go through all my stuff to see if I really needed it - I didn't for the most part, and now I'm committed to keeping my life clutter free, and not filling the space with stuff, just experiences.
If I do end up finding the secret to happiness, I'll let you know. All I know is, in the long term, it isn't stuff.