The tiny houses have always charmed me. Very minimalist decor, meticulously thought-out storage. Living in such a small space to keep the bare minimum, or at least to stick to the essentials. I imagined myself living in one of them later. It fascinated me to see how much these people can live with less and be happy. Then I moved to the other side of Canada, by car, with almost nothing.
It forced us to clean up all the things we had accumulated in our young life with less, and to stick to what we thought was our essential – and in fact, it was still a lot too much. Moving to Vancouver was the greatest gift I could ever make in life because, in addition to opening up to the world, I opened my conscience on ecology and on my way of consuming among others food, products, and clothing.
I quickly realized that the tiny houses we see on Instagram are pretty, but they are often more isolated from society, and we must have a car to get there. Living in the city seemed to me a better idea. Everything is within walking distance, and it feels good for the body and the head to walk and get some fresh air.
I chose to barter my car for public transit, and since then I feel so much lighter, financially, but also emotionally. One less stress to be in the traffic to get to work in the morning. Of course, we are a little less autonomous when we are on foot, and I sometimes miss driving to nowhere on Sunday afternoons off, but my choice makes me very happy now.
During my life on the west coast, I met great people who changed my way of seeing life. I worked with a woman who had once worked in a garment factory in Asia. I would say that it was quite the trigger on my questioning where my clothes come from. I now prioritize quality over quantity. It’s not always easy, I’ll admit. I am far from rich, but I no longer have the “need” to have a walk-in full of clothes.
I got one, and it did not make me happier. Sometimes I still can not resist the temptation of a little floral dress from a fast fashion store, but I would tell you that very often I succeed. I also restored my wardrobe around my basics, trying to stick to a small number of clothes. When I buy a new piece, I have to leave an old one. This is my new rule.
As for beauty products, I still have work to do on it, but since it’s my job, I think I’m reasonable. For some time, I have not spent my money on the lines that do animal testing. And ideally, I look for products that are vegan. I am also much more alert about the ingredients in my products. My choices are therefore limited a little more, and it pushes me to do more research on their origins.
Our society is made to believe that we must make a lot of money to be happy. Have lots of nice clothes. Have a master’s degree to do a paying job. To hurry to living with less. Being in a relationship as quickly as possible, without really taking the time to get to know each other. To live in a big house, with two cars in front. Make a big wedding ceremony with all the flafla. But every time we achieve a goal, our need is filled for a moment, and then we want more.
True wealth comes the day when we understand that we do not need to possess many things to be happy.