Black Minimalists: Anekia Nicole
Learn about Black Minimalists team member, Anekia Nicole's minimalist journey.
When and why did you start your minimalist journey?
I have been dabbling with the idea of becoming a minimalist for the past few years. However, I became more serious about my journey in January 2017 after being overwhelmed by the surplus of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years.
What lessons have you learned since going minimalist?
Since going minimalist, I have learned it is not about the stuff. It is often times about the value we’ve attached to it. For example, I held on to a dress I wore to my High School graduation for over 10 years! Even though, I could no longer fit into it. Why? Because I valued it as an important piece of memorabilia marking the moment I reached a huge milestone in my life. Overtime, I realized I didn’t need to hold on to a physical item to remember an important moment in my life. Those memories will always live within me.
What are your goals in living simply?
My goals for living a simpler life is to live with intention as opposed to engaging in a life of over-consumption.
Has minimalism impacted other areas of your life?
Minimalism has drawn my attention inward. Since becoming a minimalist, I have grown used to being in silence. As I transitioned into minimalism, I have begun to pay greater attention to how much I engaged in social media, watched tv, or consumed other media outlets – which was a lot. Now, I have cut back on how much I take in and have become more selective of what I choose to take in.
Currently, I prefer to spend the first part of my day in silence. I often use this moment of silence to self-reflect, write in my journal, meditate and pray. Things I thought I had no time to do before.
What surprises or challenges have you encountered?
I was definitely surprised by the effects that minimalism would have on my life.
Of course when I started this minimalist journey I was focused on the external parts of my life, so I was surprised by how much it had an impact on my internal well-being. Minimalism caused me to center my focus on the internal aspects of who I am as opposed to focusing on my outer appearance as a representation of who I am.
Becoming a minimalist has definitely been a challenge. Another thing I’ve learned is you can’t expect instantaneous results. Becoming a minimalist is a lifestyle change. I had to understand it is a work in progress. I spent years of my life engaged in over-consumption, developing an emotional attachment things and accumulating lots of items. Thus, the journey towards minimalism is going to take time.
What mindset changes have you experienced?
I definitely shop with a purpose now. Before I would just purchase items because it was cheap or on sale. Now, I consider whether an item I pick up meets a need or adds value to my life before purchasing it.
What advice do you have for someone interested in simplifying their life?
To understand that it is a process not a single event.
Start by breaking things down into smaller more manageable steps. Maybe start by creating a list of goals, and work on one area of your life at a time before moving on to the next.
What does being a black minimalist mean to you?
I am being open about my journey as a black minimalist to represent other people of color who are also on this journey. When I first learned of minimalism I didn’t find too many resources that provided a good representation of people of color nor did many of those resources relate to my own personal experiences. Like many other areas of our lives, we often find ourselves in spaces among people that don’t represent us.
Creating spaces where we can feel the freedom and comfort to be ourselves, can be seen and have our voices heard is important to our own experiences. So, we can build community around our shared experiences.