I had a Simple Year field trip last night. I drove an hour in the middle of the night to see three guys talk about minimalism. Actually it was only 9:00 PM, but since it was past my typical bedtime, it felt like the middle of the night. To keep myself alert for this event, I did something out of character for me. I drank a cup of coffee, at seven o’clock at night. Pay attention to the coffee part, which is a key bit of foreshadowing.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I like to tell people I am an accidental minimalist. I hadn’t really heard of the minimalist movement other than in a vague sort of conceptual way until we moved to Colorado about a year ago with about 20% of our THINGS and then proceeded to buy nothing new for a year.
So, when I heard some deliberate minimalists were speaking in a nearby city, I figured I should go, even though my schedule was already pretty full this week (and next week, and the week after that, and so on). In fact, here is the phone conversation my husband and I had when discussing it.
Him: “What are you hoping to accomplish by going to this thing?”
Me: “Uh, accomplish?”
Him: “Yes, what is your objective?”
Me: (forming this thought on the fly) “Well, these guys are very well known and connected and maybe I can introduce myself to them and tell them my plan for handing off The Simple Year to a new writer and perhaps they know of someone who might be a good fit.”
Him: (somewhat skeptically) “Can’t you just email them?”
So, what I should have said to him was, “These are THE Minimalists, they aren’t just SOME Minimalists. Their name contains a definite article for crying out loud, they practically own the brand. I feel a compulsion to see what they have to say.”
The truth is that I’ve never really felt a connection with The Minimalists who write a wildly popular blog and bestselling books. I think primarily because they are young, single hipster types, and I am not. But I do admire their spare and lyrical writing style and of course, their message. Also with them was another cool beautiful person that writes Exile Lifestyle.
In hindsight, I might have been a little frightening at the event. In a crowd that consisted largely of polite groups of two or more, I showed up alone. Then I sat in the front row; and yes, I took notes. It’s possible I looked like a groupie at best or a stalker at worst. Is there such a thing as a minimalist stalker?
But I didn’t stop there.
To make good on my assertion to my husband, I marched up during the hugging and book signing portion of the evening and introduced myself to one of them. Then I jumped in with, “I write a blog…”
At that point, his face almost imperceptibly shifted, still with a genial look, but I had lost him. I suddenly realized that I was probably one of many people that wanted to tell these guys about their own blog.
Damn, I buried the lead. I should have started with the part about wanting to give my blog away.
So then in a desperate attempt to fix the situation, I started coffee induced babble in which I’m not sure any of my words formed a coherent thought. I think he might have even tried to get a word in edgewise, but the caffeine wouldn’t stop talking. All the while, he remained unfailingly polite; after I finally shut my mouth, he even asked if I wanted a hug.
Well, a hug would be nice…
If you haven’t yet read the details about my HandOff of The Simple Year, check it out here.