Wow. This letter gave me goosebumps. A big thanks to Parastoo for sharing such a personal and powerful story with us!
|Parastoo and her husband|
“I was born in Iran and lived in Europe for seven years before immigrating to the United States, fourteen years ago.
When I moved here with my husband, the unlimited amount of stuff got to me. It all looked very exciting and the options to buy things felt unlimited… but we had just finished dental school, and could not spend much. So when we got our dental licenses, and finally started making a decent income, we got wild 🙂 We moved into a 3700 square foot house and filled it up with all the stuff we could possibly buy and all the junk you can imagine.
We opened our own practice (huge loan), and we worked overtime to get it off the ground. But the guilt of leaving our one-year old daughter at the day care (sometimes 10 hours a day) was weighing on us. So everywhere we went, we came back with some toys for her. And since we worked so much and never had much time to spend in our huge house, we bought and bought… just to feel homey and feel like we were doing something for our home and family. But as years went by, we felt more and more unhappy.
In 2005, we expanded our office that had become too small for the amount of patients we now had (another loan), we bought a house in Arizona for my sister as an investment (another loan), and we refinanced our home three times to cover the expenses (another loan). And then when the economy changed and took its toll on our office, I opened another one 45 min away with the hope to build a plan B (another expense, another stress). It seemed that the more we worked (sometimes until 4 AM to finish paperwork), the poorer we became. We were drowning in debt and I was exhausted.
Two years later, we adopted our son and I reduced my work. It helped a lot, but having so much stuff drove me crazy. I cleaned all day and got nowhere. I tried to simplify and reduce, but the amount of stuff coming in was a problem.
A year ago, we tried to renegotiate our office’s loan with the bank and rent with the landlord. But both turned us down, and when our payments became late, they sued us. The stress was huge in our life and the economy had made us vulnerable. In February of 2011, with three lawsuits in hand and financial and emotional disaster, we filed for bankruptcy and soon closed our offices, moving it all into our home and three car garage.
February 2011 is also when I found your blog for the first time. I saw your story on Yahoo and fell in love with your blog. It was exactly what I needed. The best anti-depressant, the highlight of my day, every day. It gave me hope and a goal to strive for during the most hopeless, goal-less and difficult time of our life. Your whole lifestyle represented my perfect dream life. Along with zero waste, your de-cluttered and simple life appealed to me. Your tasteful and functional system was in perfect harmony with my perfectionist personality and your smart ideas made it doable. I started to follow your system and it changed my life (de-cluttering proved to be the hardest considering the amount of stuff we had).
We are moving more and more toward your lifestyle. It has reduced our expenses a lot, and as my house gets more and more organized, we are all happier. My husband got a job and I stay home with my kids, working on de-cluttering and zero waste, a little bit every day. I go on your blog daily to renew my energy. At this time, our home’s payment is late and we will soon go into foreclosure. But we have never been so happy. It even seems that the more we loose, the happier we get.
I am forever thankful and really appreciate you opening your home’s door and exposing yourself and your family to make a difference.You might get comments about your white walls, or critics about your trip to France, but please never forget the huge positive impact you have had on my life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. “
Want to share your journey to Zero Waste with us too? Email us your story of 750 words or less, accompanied with a picture to: zerowastestory at gmail dot com.
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