I want to say my favourite sterling silver, feather bracelet sunk to the bottom of the ocean, while I was pulling in a monster marlin. But I wasn't. I was just holding my rod, when that beautiful piece of jewellery slipped off my wrist and into the perpetual darkness of the sea - gone forever. It was this moment that forced me to experience a weird sensation of sentimentalism. It was brief, as my mind started to wonder why I felt sad about a piece of metal?
Now, I am not a material girl, but a series of events made me question how I feel about my things. I snapped another beautiful necklace; I sat on my "fancy" glasses and discovered a rip in a new dress. Each moment had a fleeting pang of disappointment. The bracelet was the nail in the coffin, but also the silver lining. After that initial pang and thinking how crap to have this happen before I leave the country. I felt peaceful knowing a part of me would live on at the bottom of the ocean.
After reading up on the psychology of sentimentalism and nostalgia, it was simple. Human nature craves meaning. And meaning attaches itself to identities and moments, which can then embed themselves into tangible things. For me the bracelet represented my girlfriends - who gifted it to me at my 21st. It then became a symbol of my persona, as someone who adores nature. I never took this bracelet off. It had been with me on all my adventures, which is why - in the end - I was happy its resting place was the ocean floor.
So when you lose, damage or destroy these favourable things. Does it mean you forget these memories or deep seeded meanings? Not at all. Here lies the golden nugget.
Meaning and memory is not in the items you have, but the experience you had. Whatever it may be, if it's important enough - you will remember it.
This was my epiphany of generating an intentional lifestyle of minimalism. So I create a meaningful life by adding experiences and not things. Of course, there is the debate that without certain things you couldn't create memories. This is true, and there is nothing wrong with having some things. It's more when or if a particular thing goes; you can be content knowing its use created moments that will never fade. And not feel you need to fill the void with more stuff.
To finish - I love this excerpt from short film Minimalists: Living with Less | The Feed. Joshua Fields Millburn suggests to "love people, use things. Because the opposite never works".
If you're interested in this stuff I highly recommend checking out these guys: www.theminimalists.com
Peace / Rochy