The Best of 2011

by CaReese

2011 has been a difficult year. I will not be sad to see it go. There have been some major changes in my life. In the past year, I have moved across the country, taken a major standardized test, launched a blog, adopted a new way of life, and found a great church community.

It has also been a dark year. I have come face to face with unemployment, depression, frustration, and utter despair. Though it was fraught with crisis, disappointment, and misfortune,  2011 has not been without its bright spots. Even in the darkest of times, there are glimmers of light. So, here on Minimalist Believer, I would like to share some of the bright spots of 2011.

  • Graduation. At the end of April, I received my Master’s degree. It was a time to celebrate my hard work and achievement. It was also a time for my family to have a taste of what I experienced in my university’s unique atmosphere.
  • The launch of Minimalist Believer. I started Minimalist Believer in April. I was really excited to start this blog and to share my journey in minimalism. I looked forward to meeting and creating a community of like minded people.
  • Mexico. In July, I went to Mexico with my family. It was very low-key; mostly relaxing on the beach. I took a digital sabbatical. I wrote every day. I left all my worries behind, and truly lived in the moment. From reading on the beach to being serenaded by a mariachi band, my time in Mexico was simply amazing.
  • The Minimalists Meet-up. Last night, I went to Rock It Bar and Grill in downtown Chicago to meet The Minimalists, Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, on their 33 city tour. It was a chance to meet people traveling the same path, hear their stories, and to learn from them. It left me feeling inspired. It confirmed that I am on the right path. More importantly, it gave me great hope. Two years ago, both Joshua and Ryan were unhappily employed, and unhappy in general. Their lives have changed radically in the last two years. Meeting them and hearing their stories gave me hope that things could change for me, too. Joshua and I talked briefly about some of the changes they made in the last two years. I’ll be discussing their approach a bit more in a future post.

2011 was tough. I’m really glad it’s over. But I have life lessons and good memories to carry into the future. More than anything, I have hope going into 2012.

I sincerely hope that you have a happy and prosperous New Year!

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