I decided to start this blog to document my journey from my life as an unhappy city dweller to my life as a content village dweller living a life of voluntary simplicity.
Simple living (also referred to as voluntary simplicity) is a lifestyle characterized by consuming only that which is required to sustain life. Adherents may choose simple living for a variety of personal reasons, such as spirituality, health, increase in ‘quality time‘ for family and friends, reducing their personal ecological footprint, stress reduction, personal taste or frugality. Others cite socio-political goals aligned with the anti-consumerist movement, including conservation, degrowth, social justice, ethnic diversity and sustainable development.
I originally moved to Edmonton Alberta from a small town with the typical dream of gaining a better education and chance at a better career. After spending the first few years here struggling for at minimum wage jobs dreaming of the opportunity to make big dollars my wish came true. I managed to earn what I thought was a fantastic job opportunity. Paid education plus a guaranteed job that paid $45,000 to $74,000 a year. Success right?? For the first 5 years it did feel amazing! Unfortunately for a multitude of reasons (way too numerous to list) I have become disheartened with my career and feel completely trapped. I have spent years now chasing a salary figure thinking it would make me infinitely happy. I guess that was naive thinking! Living in the city for the rest of my life was never in my plans to begin with but I feel foolhardy giving up a job with such a good salary even though I hate it. I always thought people who said “You should find a career that you truly love” were full of shit but I certainly see their point now. Mind you even if I had a career here that I loved I would still miss my small town upbringing. I have this unrelenting pining to return to a rural lifestyle. It has become impossible to silence and I have been trying to shut it up for months now.
I need to escape this materialistic, consumeristic society. There are very few people that I have met here who dont constantly talk about buying useless garbage from malls all day long. Im tired of listening to other girls tell me about their shopping trips and manicures. It makes me sad that these trips to the mall are the highlight of their lives. Since when is getting a manicure necessary. I dont want that to be my life. Im so frustrated with it that I never want to see another mall again. There are so many things that I am willing and eager to give up just to escape this city and this lifestyle. I dont want cable tv or a cellphone or haircuts. Im not attached to my car.
My mind has been made that Im leaving this city. It will be next summer and thank god my fiance is supportive of the idea. The only other person I have disclosed this information to is my mother who is somewhat supportive (or scared to tell me what she really thinks). I am reading more and more about this idea of voluntary simplicity and am surprised how inline it is with how I have always felt about life. It is comforting and reassuring to know that I am not alone in this lifestyle/spiritual/health quest.
I will keep this blog updated with my progress as I tell people about my plan and post their reactions and my thoughts and plans.