I left Maine with a suitcase.
That’s all I had with me when I attended the unpaid flight attendant training in Pittsburgh. I packed a couple different outfits and other essentials, and it all fit neatly into one suitcase.
For six weeks, I lived in a hotel. Then, over the next year, I bounced from Pittsburgh to Baltimore to Philadelphia. I had a bottom bunk bed in a three-bedroom condo which housed 12 other people. I was mostly away on trips, so it didn’t matter that I didn’t have a place to myself. But, for the most part, I still lived out of my suitcase.
I made $19,000 the first year that I was a flight attendant. I didn’t feel poor. I had enough money to do the things that I wanted to do. I was also living a very different lifestyle, which provided me with more life experience than anything else.
Being a flight attendant let me travel to parts of the country that I would probably never see otherwise. I learned how to be extremely thrifty, and I learned how to make the most of time. I also learned what was valuable to me.
I moved on from the bunk bed to a studio apartment. When I lost my job as a flight attendant, I moved to Columbus, Ohio. It is here that my living space and paycheck sizes increased. With these increases, I have accumulated more things.
Now, I live in a two-bedroom apartment, and it has a full-sized dining room. There’s only me. But I have two bedrooms. I thought I needed the space; however I just filled that extra space with stuff. I don’t even go into the second bedroom because I don’t like the clutter. This makes me mad.
Apparently, I don’t need anything in there. So it’s time for it to go. It’s time for a lot of the extras to go.
I’ve been thinking for a while now about something to write about. And I finally figured it out. It’s not going to be about stuff. It will be about minimalism. This is about getting rid of the clutter and valuing life experiences over having stuff.
I’m taking the month of March to make the change.