I was getting ready to go out for a party. I tried four different t-shirts and shirts to reach the conclusion that I would look the best in the fifth one. Now, I repeated the above-mentioned regime to select the trousers I was going to wear. And, once I was done with choosing the right one out of the clutter of clothes I own, I was like, “Phew!”
And, then I turned to my bed. There was a heap of clothes right there waiting for me to fold them back and stack in the right places into my cupboard. Aaaarrrrgh! Later that night after the party was over, it was time for some introspection.
What was the use of all of that exercise which took me over half an hour? Yes, I know that is usually not how long we guys take to get ready, but let’s just say that I’m a little too much into myself. So, there I was exasperated and irritated about the unwanted heap on my bed.
And, this was not just about that one day. It was a daily affair. Every time I had to head to lectures, I would try two or three t-shirts and trousers. Similarly, for when I returned from the classes, I would repeat the entire regime to figure out what t-shirt and shorts to wear in the room and the hostel.
Once I had figured out what to wear, I would continue to wear the same sets for maybe three or four days. And, then again a day would come when I would be overwhelmed by an ugly heap of clothes staring at me from my bed while I would be standing there figuring for a spot where I could lay my butt on the bed.
This had to stop. I was frittering away too much of my valuable time and energy into stuff that didn’t really matter. Everyone in my circles already knows what I look like, so why do I have to strive to look better for just a couple of hours!
And, if someone thinks that I should dress better for those couple of hours then fine. I’ll do it. But a party or some event happens maybe once a month. So, there has to be a way I can get done with this ordeal which brings down my energy and time on a daily basis.
I knew it was time to level up towards my mission to become a semi-monk. That is something I have been working on for a long time now but no one else knows about it. Basically what I am doing is giving up on unnecessary and superfluous articles of life that don’t really matter at all. I’ll elucidate on that further a few paragraphs later so let’s move for now.
Also, the reader may be wondering that I was talking about my clothes and then suddenly jumped on to this “Monk-Talk.” Well, don’t worry, it’s related. So, just hang on and things will begin to make sense. I promise.
So, as I aforementioned, I am not trying to become a monk and leave to the Himalayas in search of peace or meaning of life. That’s not my cup of tea. Also, to me, that is more like running away from life.
Rather I am trying to be a semi-monk. What that means is this- Giving up on everything and becoming a monk is an extreme. I don’t believe in extreme measures for anything in life. And, not giving up anything and running to have everything in life too is an extreme.
And, ergo, I don’t want to be that either. So, I am trying to find a middle ground for myself where I get the best of both worlds. Oh, I know a word to sum it all up- Minimalist! I know it’s going to take a long time to realize what I exactly wish to be, but I’ll get there one day.
Three months back, I threw out an extra table I had been adorning my floor space with. Before that, I did away with a set of clothes I did not even use anymore by donating them to my College’s social welfare club RCoY which organizes cloth donation drives every year.
Before that, I had done away with lots of books that had been adorned with lots of dust and cobwebs over several years. I had the habit to visit e-market places like Flipkart and Amazon every now and then to search for whatever great deal they were offering.
So, I stopped purchasing things and shopping stuff other than basic necessities. Over the past six months, I have hardly bought a single thing other than books for my Kindle. Super proud about that. I am giving up one thing after another to achieve a minimal lifestyle.
You know, a life where I would have minimal belongings, attachments and responsibilities. What’s necessary like plentiful eating, reading, writing, exploring and trying sundry things/activities out there in the world are the only things that I invest myself and my resources into.
And, now it was time to do away with the clutter of clothes that were not really serving much of a purpose. Just four t-shirts would have been enough to keep me clad into different sets of clothes every day while my cupboard had been deluged by over 25!
Ergo, I packed up all of my t-shirts and shirts into a suitcase and pushed it to the top of my cupboard. And, then I bought four T-shirts. All same size, design and brand but different colours.
To be precise and keep this post as raw as possible, I bought three Jockey-V T-shirts in red, grey and dark blue shades. I already had one in black so the total count was four. I chose these because these were pretty cheap for branded goods and also had a comfortable fabric.
Ergo, now I was supposed to wear just these four T-shirts all of which are the exact same differing only in their colour. I cut myself some slack by only going with the upper garments in this round of giving up. I didn’t take any measures for the lower body garments (Pants, denims or trousers) for I anyway don’t own that many of those.
And, with that, I had emptied a huge lot of space in my cupboard. My room was way more clear of clothes hanging and lying everywhere than I had ever imagined. And, the best part, I was actually least bothered about what to wear and what not to wear.
Here is how things have changed over the past 25 days since I have been in this practice. I hardly even check which colour the T-shirt I am wearing is. Every time moving out of the room, I just grab a random one and put it on.
There are no more heaps of clothes on my bed. No more time wasted on choosing from the clutter. No more going through the arduous course of folding the clothes and stacking them up. Added benefit, I feel much more confident the way I look.
Furthermore, lesser belongings. Lesser clutter in life to distract me and ebb away my time and energy. Lesser the choices, lesser was the exercise for my head. Thus, peace prevailed.
Also, I hardly care about my clothes myself, and as a result, I have grown to give no damn to what others feel about the way I look. I know that this may be too much for any sane mind. Maybe. But what fun is life being normal?
At least I have a tale and an experience to share. And, most importantly, being a hostel guy, I know how good it feels when you have no clothes to put away from the bed to make some space for yourself.
And, that was the tale of a 22-year-old striving to be a semi-monk. Call me stupid or kooky. I am what I am. And, I am proud of that. I say that because at least I am trying to augment the peace in my life by taking some actions while most of the world out there is busy complaining and grousing that their life sucks.
Maybe my methods are strange and too different for the masses to accept. But, if they are. Then, I guess I am headed the right way.