The Minimalist’s Guide to Letting Go

Letting Go Featured Image

It looks like we’re less than ten weeks out from a full year under The Renegade Coder. I have to say that I’m really proud of where I am at this point in the site and in my life. The next few years are only going to get better. That’s because I’ve adopted a simple living lifestyle, and it has exponentially improved my well-being – both physical and mental. Of course, it hasn’t all been easy. I’ve had to go through the journey of simplification where I’ve learned the skill of letting go.

Table of Contents

Flashback to Cybrotronics

Can I just take a second to laugh hysterically about my first issue? Back then, I decided to let go of a project and a toxic friendship to pursue something that was going to genuinely make me happy. Today, I am very thankful for both of those decisions.

I think the funniest thing about the old site is that my ex-friend promised they’d be back – as if to prove to me that they weren’t lazy. Well, it’s been 43 weeks. Where’s the site, buddy?

However, the sad reality is that I knew they’d never put in the effort to continue the site alone. They’re a typical lazy person just looking to piggyback off someone else’s labor. I think I know a few too many of those. I’m sure you’ll hear about a few more of them when my big series comes out at the end of March.

Negligence in Relationships

One of the things I’ve learned since letting go of a close friend is that I don’t have to be friends with people simply because they’re nearby. There are over 7 billion people on this planet, so it’s easy to find people who share similar values as me. No longer do I feel bound to people who can’t even put in the effort to maintain our relationship.

Naturally, I’ve been forced to examine each of my closest relationships and challenge them. I realized fairly quickly that a lot of these people aren’t willing to put in an effort in our relationship at all. I am always the one who goes out of my way to plan a trip or a visit, and that effort is never reciprocated.

It truly is ridiculous how little effort most people will put into a relationship. Back in college, I used to come home to see some of my local friends for the first time in months. Of course, I wouldn’t talk to them again for months. When I finally moved within 20 minutes of home, I was hoping I could rekindle those friendships. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even get any of them to visit me. I was the only one reaching out.

I think the truly sad reality was that many of these people included not only my best friends but also my family. As a result, I’ve stopped reaching out, and I’ve begun to let the relationships atrophy.

Material Possessions

On a lighter note, let’s talk material possessions. If you’ve followed along the past couple weeks, then you know I’ve downsized dramatically. In fact, this past weekend, Morgan and I got rid of the following:

  • All Vinyl Records
  • A 3DS & All Games
  • An Xbox One & All Games
  • An Apple TV
  • A Bluetooth Speaker
  • All Pokémon Cards
  • A Game Boy Micro
  • Several Game Boy Colors
  • A Couple Pie Pans
  • A Waffle Maker
  • Some Cookie Cutters
  • Several Mugs
  • A Drinkwell
  • Two TVs
  • A Handheld Radio
  • Several Cables

Actually, I think there was more than that, but that’s all I had documented. It may sound crazy, but letting go of all this stuff was incredibly freeing. All of those items were taking up space, and I felt the need to use them because I had them. Unfortunately, not all of those items could receive the proper attention, so they were basically just waste. By selling/donating everything, I was able to give all of it a new life. And, I no longer had to worry about cleaning, maintaining, and storing all of it.

The beauty of downsizing is that Morgan and I will be able to get a smaller and cheaper apartment when we move. With less space, we’ll have less to clean and more time to do what we love. Personally, I’m ecstatic. Now, all I truly own are clothes, a PC, and some furniture.

Digital Presence

Oh, do I loathe social media. However, it seems to be taking an ever greater hold of society every day. As a result, it becomes difficult to really separate yourself from it without becoming an outcast. That said, last week I decided to take the leap of faith and separate myself from almost all social media. The following is a list of accounts I’ve deactivated:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • WeChat
  • GroupMe

And, here’s a list of accounts I’ve held onto:

  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat

I imagine it won’t be long before I start letting go of that second list. For now, I use Twitter and Pinterest for marketing purposes. Snapchat honestly doesn’t serve any purpose. I guess I’m using it to ween myself off of social media for now. It will likely be nixed in the coming weeks.

In addition to social media, I’ve also been unsubscribing from literally all pointless emails. The thing is I used to have several emails which I would use to separate streams of information. For instance, one email was dedicated to spam. Letting go of spam was pretty simple. Every time I got a spam email, I just unsubscribed. Since I only get emails that are important now, I’ve reduced my dependency on my phone. Reduction is a snowball effect.

Added Value

If you know me, I tend to be an eternal optimist. However, over the last year or so, I started to go down that pessimism path, and I’ve been down and out until recently. In an effort to start thinking positive again, I’ve decided to steal a weekly segment from The Minimalists. Instead of doing a song of the week, I want to use this space to just talk about things that have added value to my life recently.

To kick things off, I am going to share a song. After all, the Wonder Years released a teaser of their new album, so I want to share it:

I love The Wonder Years. They got me through a good part of my college years, and I still rely on them today to get me through tough times. I’m hoping this new album is a banger.

Coming Soon to The Renegade Coder!

I’ll keep stressing this but get hyped for March 30th. That marks the release of part one of my engineering rant series which runs through July. During that span, I will be taking some time to develop products for the store. By August, I’m hoping to have a respectable store which I can share with students at the school I’ll be attending (decision still pending).

I expect the update to be on the short side this next week. I’ll be doing a ton of traveling starting Wednesday. On the 14th, I’ll be hopping on a plane for a 3-day trip in Phoenix, Arizona. By the weekend, I’ll be back in Atlanta, Georgia before driving up to Raleigh, North Carolina on Sunday. On Monday, I’ll be getting a tux for my wedding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Morgan and I will be getting our marriage license in the same city on Tuesday. By next Thursday, I’ll be hopping on another plan to Columbus before finally settling back in Atlanta on Friday.

The Legacy Newsletter (56 Articles)—Series Navigation

For a long time, I used to try to write a custom newsletter every week which eventually became every month. If you’re interested in browsing those old posts just to see how this site came to be, I’ve created a small series for you. Check it out!

Today, the regular newsletter is issued via email which you can access by becoming a member of The Renegade Coder. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newsletterOpens in a new tab. directly through MailChimp.

Jeremy Grifski

Jeremy grew up in a small town where he enjoyed playing soccer and video games, practicing taekwondo, and trading Pokémon cards. Once out of the nest, he pursued a Bachelors in Computer Engineering with a minor in Game Design. After college, he spent about two years writing software for a major engineering company. Then, he earned a master's in Computer Science and Engineering. Today, he pursues a PhD in Engineering Education in order to ultimately land a teaching gig. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife, playing Overwatch and Phantasy Star Online 2, practicing trombone, watching Penguins hockey, and traveling the world.

Recent Posts