300 word flash fiction challenge entry. 292 words.
|It took me a lifetime to realize what was important to me. I spent thirty three years trying to accumulate things, things I thought would make me a happier person. They didn’t. My cubicle grew into a corner office, my home grew from a one room apartment to a four bedroom behemoth in the suburbs. I filled it with expensive, but rarely used things. Happiness eluded me.
I hit my fifty fifth birthday eight weeks ago and celebrated alone in a home that most would envy. There was no cake, no candles, no cheerful song, just a suffocating feeling of loneliness that closed in around my chest and made it hard to breathe. Something needed to change.
I had read about minimalism and had watched videos touting the path to happiness through simplifying your life, so I tried a thirty day challenge. I got rid of one item in my house on the first day, two items on the second day and so on. When I reached thirty days I had donated four hundred and sixty five things. It was difficult, but I could breathe again and I became obsessed with how the process of purging unnecessary things seemed to be changing my life. Two weeks later my home was on the market and I quit my job.
Today is a big day. I open the door to my new home and breathe in the smell of leather, wood and new carpet. A feeling of warmth fills my soul. I toss my small suitcase onto the bed in the back of the van, scan my eyes across the tiny but sufficient kitchenette, turn the key and pull out of the lot.
I am truly happy for the first time in my life.