Wednesday, March 12, 2008

When Life Hands You The Suck Make Less-Suck-Ade

The past year and a half or so has been pretty hard for me for a variety of reasons including but not limited to being literally a world away from The King and some career things that I won't bore you with.

I know that there are a lot of people much worse off than me. I know that in general I have led a very blessed life, and therefore I shouldn't whine or complain, but the point is that for a good long while I felt nearly constantly depressed, heartsick, and lonely.

And I think that that is part of what turned me towards environmentalism. Similar to how some people find God in tough times, I found living simply.

I guess it gave me a project. It gave me something to do. Something to think about other than myself that was greater than myself. I've already written about how this experiment has affected me monetarily, and as I wrote, the reason that my finances got better is also the same reason that I started to get better. By focusing on something greater than myself, I was able to pull myself out my funk.

I'm not really a religious person. I was brought up in a household where religion didn't enter the picture too much. And yet, instinctively, in hard times I followed the path of a more spiritual person. I started to focus on a greater cause, and I took a leap of faith that my teeny tiny individual actions of not buying clothes or not using toilet paper or bringing my own bag could have some positive impact on the world.

I became more involved in the world around me. I started getting more involved with my volunteer organization, and going to see more local LA bands. I started just walking around the neighborhood more. At first, I was going through the motions. But gradually, I started to realize that ever so slowly, the fog was lifting.

I found a vibrant, wonderful community of fellow bloggers, all of you amazing people who share your lives with me and read my stories even though you've never met me, and don't even know my real name.

I was talking to a friend last night about how much things have sucked and been awful in the past year or so, and I realized that, amazingly, I feel okay now. In fact I feel really good, maybe not the best I've ever been, but probably emotionally healthier than I've ever felt in my life. Because now every day is a new adventure in which I might decide to try out a new recipe, or organize a clothing swap, or write a letter to my legislators about a high speed train. I can't tell you how empowering that is. And every day I read your blogs and I learn something new, or someone makes me think about something I've never thought of before.

I've never been someone who lived much in the moment. I've always been the type to dream (and unfortunately stress out) about what might be or what will be.

I still think about the future of course. But not obsessively. Not as much as I used to. Because, for the first time in my life, I'm learning how to live one day at a time. For the first time in my life, I'm learning to enjoy the journey.

(Whew! What is up with all these introspective posts! I promise tomorrow I'll post about something that isn't me, me, me!)


hgg said...

That sounds great, I hope I'll manage to simplify my life some time in the future.

Sam said...

I remember being shocked when I read that you were going to start using a water bottle to wash up after peeing. I thought, *wow, there are people as crazy as me out there...and now I can come out of the woodwork*. I originally started reading your blog because I wanted to read the other blogs by the crazies (affectionate term btw) who were also trying to get through winter without any heat. I was shocked to read about the diva cup challenge too...I was waaaay too embarrassed to discuss my menstrual cycle and my cloth pad using ways. (BTW, tried diva cup last time and injured myself. I'm sticking with the diaper for now).

I think Chile Chews mentioned wanting to hide stuff like her grey water collection system when having a friend come over. My friends tend to be weirded out by the fact that we have no furniture (out of laziness more than wanting to make a statement) and that we I too hide grey water buckets, and take clothes off the clothesline because I am not yet ready to reveal my really-weirdo skin to my in-person friends. Having found these conscious-choice blogs has made me very comfortable with my choices. For once in my life I fit in with some sort of crowd and that is very comforting.

The bean-mom said...

I'm so glad to hear that you'll at this place in your life where you'll feeling better, and learning to take one day at a time. (I need to work on that last myself!)

Don't apologize for these introspective posts. I loved this, and loved learning a bit more about the woman behind these environmental challenges!

The bean-mom said...

I meant "you're", of course, not "you'll." Sorry: my inner editor had to correct that one.

Jennifer said...

What a good reflection... I need to think about this more...

EcoGeoFemme said...

This is an encouraging post. I like thinking that there are ways we can help ourselves through troubling times, by reaching out to others.

I'm happy for you that you're in a better place now.

Mad Hatter said...

I'm so impressed by how you turned a difficult year into a really positive thing. Thanks for taking us along on the journey!

Chile said...

Ha, Beany! Half the time, most of the embarassment is over not cleaning the greywater buckets often enough. They get scuzzy fast. And, now, I have to hide the cloth wipes bucket in the main bathroom, too. ;-)

Arduous, I'm so happy to hear that you have found simply living to be empowering. Hm, typo there seems to work as well as the "simple living" I meant to type. Kudos to you.

PS: Introspective posts have their place. It's nice to read both kinds. :)