Perbincangan Culture Shock di Amerika

  Beberapa minggu lalu, saya ketemu Pak Marpu di pesantrennya. Pak Marpu adalah guru pertama yang ngajarin saya Fikih sewaktu kelas satu MTs dulu. Salah satu yang kita obrolin waktu ketemu itu adalah soal bagaimana saya melihat sekaligus menyikapi Amerika yang dulu saya ekspektasikan, dengan Amerika yang saat ini saya alami. Tentu saja ada gap di antara keduanya, sesiap apapun mental dan fisik kita menghadapi kehidupan Amerika yang sudah sedikit banyak bisa diketahui dari media. Saya kaget bahwa di DC orang bisa ngeganja dengan bebas. Orang ngelinting di bis, di kereta, atau di taman adalah hal yang sering saya temui. Di New York, perempuan bisa bebas bertelanjang dada, juga berjemur di rerumputan Central Park hanya dengan  two piece  layaknya di pantai. Sajian  wine  di acara resmi, orang ke klub seks, orang tidak beragama, orang menikah sesama jenis, adalah list  culture shock  yang sebenarnya tidak perlu dikagetkan lagi kalo bicara Amerika, toh hal-hal itu sudah banyak ternarasikan

My Journey to Minimalism

In a Saturday evening, My English instructor Amr told us about self conscious, and I really heard it for the first time. One of us asked him about the meaning and he gave a simple answer, you think a lot of what people says. At the moment, I wrote this phrase on a notebook boldly: self conscious, learn it! 

After that Saturday evening, this theory keep running on my mind. I started to google it whenever I have online access, I read some articles on internet, watch videos on Youtube, jump from one blog to another, find some books recommendations to read, then actually every aspect of my life gonna be different when facing what people says, what trend is going on, what’s thing should I dos and don’t, and so on. 

At the moment, I was a kind of person that in my phone, I have some apps of online shopping. I follow some hair style account on Instagram, follow new trend of men fashion style, collect some books with similar theme: how to be a person to be noticed. After I learned this self conscious theory, I realized that something was wrong with my life. There are many things I need to change.

Few months later, I found a great video titled “Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?” by Jon Jandai. I save this video and learn that we make too many definitions for happiness that we pursue of.  A lot of people hardly find their happiness because they definite it with something that sometimes unreachable, or relying on the definition of happiness to other people's lifestyles.  Such having a new car, living in a lux villa, wearing branded accessories, following fashion trends,  etc. Sadly, I realized that I was a kind of these people. I spend lot of money for stuffs, for unneeded things, for experience that doesn’t bring something to my life as individual.  

These experiences changed my outlook on a thing, especially on my own life. First acquainted with the theory of self conscious, then met with the theory of living a simple life, is a series that can not be separated in the course of my life. Since learning those two things, I have come to realize many things, that being a meaningful life must start from now on, start from myself, and start thinking to do things that only have value for my life.

And then I started to do minimalism in my life. Some people named it minimalism, simple life, live a meaningful life, etc. I don’t know which name should I take. The important thing is whatever they named it, it always goes to the same substance. 

First I sort things into categories. Basic needs, secondary needs, and third needs. The third means for items that are only used occasionally, or disposable items that are never used again. Second, I keep the things I use often, the clothes and shoes I use often, and donate the rest to friends, or charities that receive used clothes. Some items that can be cashed, I sell on internet and the benefits I can save as a savings. Third, I stop to spend money to buy things, but divert them for experience. Traveling to new places, doing local culinary, paying for course fees, and other things that can make me more developed and trained.

I believe in myself that this life style has change my perspective, and will does the same to others. I tried to bring this concept to one session in my course, I presented it in a mini presentation in front of my friends and my instructor, with a big hope that anyone of my class mates would follow this concept as I did. 

Life in fewer material possessions is not the main point. Minimalism is not forbid you to possess stuffs, things, new car, new house, jeans, shirts, or a full room of tuxedo. Minimalism is doing things that you really need it, and has a meaning for yourself. Minimalism lead you to separate what you need and what you want. Something that you want is not always be  what you need.    

I am agree with Joshua Fields & Ryan Nicodemus as they say in their podcast, that minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

Minimalism has helped me to eliminate my discontent, reclaim my time, live in the moment, pursue my passions, discover my environment, experience real freedom, create more, consume less, focus on my health, grow as individuals, contribute beyond myself, rid myself of excess stuff, and discover purpose in live.

This is my little journey to minimalism. How about yours? 

17 June 2018.