The moment you decide to live a counter-cultural lifestyle is the moment you yell from your sudsy mountain, “COME TROLL ME, Y’ALL!”
If you don’t believe me, try it.
In our new world of intersectional everything, no matter what box you mean to stand on or what box you mean to check, you’re checking them all. Whether you want to or not. You are painting yourself into a corner, you just don’t know it.
You are, in a way, trolling yourself.
I remember telling my friend that I was “eating clean." He quickly replied that he too “thought corporations were what was wrong with America.”
I really had no idea what to say. I literally had nothing. But, It made me realize that all terms are interchangeable these days. It seems you can no longer be a vegetarian because of a meat allergy — it must be your cause. Pick your hill. Be prepared to die on it.
But, fear not.
I believe that minimalism is the exception.
What is minimalism? Minimalism is the lifestyle about nothing. It is the Seinfeld of movements. Ever since Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things debuted on Netflix, it seems that minimalism is the hottest trend since slap bracelets and hipster beards. Also, most minimalists have hipster beards.
It is everywhere. My google alert for minimalism that once retrieved obscure art blogs and the occasional tiny house now feeds me a daily encyclopedia of articles on purging, simple living, and teaching your toddlers how to get their KonMari on.
While this is a great thing, it seems minimalism is now being considered a global movement. It is being categorized as an “issue.” Well, there’s feminism, veganism, libertarianism, socialism, and now, minimalism. Fear not, with all of the trolls that come along with the other listed “isms,” I believe minimalism is excused from this list.
Here is why:
1. Minimalists don’t have to engage. If people troll you because you are hopping on the (ultra mod) train to simpleville, just smile and wave. Feel the wind in your hair as you wave goodbye to the trolls yelling from the train platform. Minimalism is a choice to excuse yourself from the things, people, emotions— the whatevers that get between you and your goals.
2. Simplicity allows you to shut them off. A key component to minimalism is if something isn’t adding value to your life, remove it. If decluttering your life includes decluttering your friends list, then so be it. Feel free to step away from a troll. Feel free to hide someone from your feed. Minimalism offers freedom, and you don’t need to argue that with trolls. Just turn the switch off and close the door to your little tiny home.
3. Once you set goals, you won’t care. People can’t troll you if you don’t care. This is the best component to minimalism. The road to minimalism is paved with intentional living. You will begin to care less about what people think when you are living intentionally. Few become minimalists because they want to change their friends or because they want to impress them. This is a personal journey, sharable indeed, but one that needn’t be plastered on merchandise items and rallied for. Your minimalist tunnel vision will give you the freedom to tune out the trolls in your life.
Minimalism, simple living, intentional living, whatever you want to call it, can help eliminate the trolls in your life. Take a long look at where you are. Give yourself and audit. Where is the negativity coming from? Where are your trolls living? Once you pinpoint these areas, try minimizing them. Step away. Allow yourself to breathe. Give yourself a break. If you realize — once absent — that these things added more value than they were subtracting, re-implement them in a healthy manner.
Minimalism is a choose-your-own-adventure lifestyle which makes it even harder to troll. Having said that, I promise once you proclaim your love for simplicity, your friends will ask why you’re eating cheese on your burger, because, well, excess! It will happen. But it will stop, because you won’t really care. The benefits that you will find from the freedom of minimizing will turn your trolls into comedians. It’s a fun process to be a part of. You just smile and laugh. No comeback? They ask. Really? Nothing?
Because let’s be honest. Cheese is excessive.