A note from Emma: Chase was briefly on my cross country team, strangely we never really talked in high school, but she was somebody I definitely should’ve been friends with. After she graduated, her Instagram burst with breath taking scenery photos and she took her rock climbing hobby full time. Graduation freed her, and I saw her change before my very eyes, post by post. She is somebody that I draw immense inspiration from, her words, her photos, her hunger to just live life. She had to get lost to find herself.
Once I graduated high school I had time to think about the kind of person I was. The things I owned were beginning to own me. After self-reflecting, I went to my closet and threw away 90% of the clothes in there. For years I wore uncomfortable, tight t-shirts or skinny jeans to try to fit in. But fit into what? Girls that care about their appearance? That isn’t me. Sure I care about my health, I brush my teeth, shower, and wash my face- I swear. But I don’t need makeup or a different hair color to make me feel beautiful. I like simplicity, in fact I started to crave it. I downsized and minimized- big time.
Anything that wasn’t adding value to my life was gone. Perfumes, chemical-filled lotions, clothes that I would wear to look “presentable”, every makeup product I owned, hair brush, furniture, 12 pairs of shoes. It became addicting. At moments I would second guess what I was doing. I would ask myself if this was too impulsive (I’m known for being impulsive) and just a way to run away from what I was used to. I seemed to be having an “angel vs demon” fight in my mind over inanimate objects.
Since middle school I had an old Ugg box that I filled with memories. I held on to old amusement park tickets, cards from friends, and notes from people that I haven’t heard from in years. I realized all of these things just took up space. The note from my childhood best friend was NOT my friend. I was using an object to manifest them. I would rather connect with someone in person rather than feel their company through an object.
I don’t want to find comfort in my life by being surrounded by objects, I want to find comfort in the people I surround myself with. My parents thought (still think) I’m going insane. They couldn’t wrap their heads around why I was selling/donating all of my things. I announced I will never buy a book again, only check them out from the library. I announced I’ll be getting most everything from thrift shops to avoid putting more waste into the world.
Having less really is more.
Money I would be spending on a new top at Free People can now be used to buy a plane ticket to explore the rainforests of South America. I want my life to be about experiences, not things.
-photos & captions from Chase’s instagram–