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Stephanie Drenka

Minimalism: A Lesson in Letting Go

Minimalism: A Lesson in Letting Go

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” (Theodore Roosevelt)

As I’ve started to embrace my minimalist lifestyle, studying belongings with acute skepticism to determine whether they are meaningful or beneficial to me, it occurs to me that maybe this discernment should extend to other aspects of my life.

We are certainly living in interesting times. I had to refrain from watching the news tonight for the preservation of my sanity. Sometimes that’s an important thing to do… take a step back — remove yourself from situations (or people) when they cease to be productive or healthy.

Since leaving my last job, I find myself questioning the intentions of former coworkers I thought were friends, but perhaps were only in my life circumstantially. These past few weeks, I’ve watched idly as any last traces of my existence have been scrubbed from the archives and realized that the only thing left connecting me to the place is my own resistance to let go.

One of the most important lessons minimalism has taught me is the importance of quality over quantity. Limiting my wardrobe to ~30 pieces might make me less trendy or fashionable, but the proverbial extra closet space leaves room for more important things.

Similarly, losing touch with people who don’t necessarily have my best interest at heart frees up time to spend with Holden, family, and my closest friends. My wallet may be a little lighter as the frequency at which I post monetized content diminishes, but I finally have the freedom to express myself more truthfully and feel inspired creatively again.

There is balance in everything, and I let things that weighed me down tip the scale for too long.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” (Søren Kierkegaard)

In these troubling and uncertain moments, when it seems like the world is spinning out of control, minimalism can help regain a hold of what’s most important. It’s imperative, now more than ever, to hold fast to your values. When I look back at this time in my life, I won’t care what outfits of the day I wore, or how many likes I received on a picture. Blogging is not about money or vanity for me. I write for posterity. To remember. Sometimes, when necessary, to take a stand. Today, it’s the record of my goodbye to a chapter in whose pages I’ve lingered too long.

Photography: Emily Stafford


  • Sevi

    January 27, 2017

    Stephanie, this is so beautiful and exactly what I needed to read today. You are such a blessing and inspiration. I am incredibly lucky to call you a best friend ❤

    • Stephanie Drenka

      January 27, 2017

      *hugs* i’m the lucky one!! you’ve shaped me into a person i can be proud of again, and i’m eternally grateful.

  • Emily Stafford

    January 27, 2017

    Beautifully written Steph! I’m so grateful for our wonderful friendship and how it continues to evolve. You help me be better and that’s the truth. Also, love our new weekend tradition and looking forward to many more adventures with you!

    Lots of love,

    • Stephanie Drenka

      January 27, 2017

      love love love you. so funny how small the world is, i feel like you, me, and barb were destined to be friends. 2017 is going to be amazing, with lots of quality time to spend with each other!

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