Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Multifaceted


“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


There is something magical and untouched about the world of words.  Whenever I come to this blog to write out my thoughts or feelings―to tell a fictional story, or one of what I have done recently, I come with a certain style.  I want to sound a certain way, say words that make me seem both intelligent and unpretentious.  I want to write with a carefree attitude―making myself and my life both seem light and interesting.  These things can be done with certain inflections, specific wordings, and a particular tone.  But let me be clear, I am all of these things and more.  I am, like most people, multifaceted.  

Some of my favorite things include rainy days spent under blankets, sipping tea, reading a good book or watching Gilmore Girls or Harry Potter; going on a road trip while wearing clunky boots, ready for any adventure, hike, camping trip, or excursion that would come my way; traveling to Europe or any big city for that matter, and visiting museums, famous places, castles, cathedrals; decorating houses; gardening and eating the food I've grown; yoga, and all that hippie-dippie stuff that comes along with it: crystals, teas, incense, salt lamps, sage.  I enjoy all of these things to some degree, equally.  And I think, with most people this is a strong case.  

Because of social media and blogs or Instagrams dedicated to one thing, we think that continuity is key.  Most accounts look like similar photos, in different places, at different times, posted over and over again.  There is a lack of real life when someone only shares what they want their account to look like.  Yes, I love to go camping and take glorious photos of scenery, but I also love reading and ogling books, perusing bookstores.  

With this sort of single-faceted persona or feed comes a lack of realistic qualities.  What do these people do for a living to fuel said adventures?  What do they do when they're not hiking or rock climbing?  It creates a sort of unobtainable, unrealistic sense of self.  You get trapped looking at these bloggers who do this for a living and want to do just that.  Why can't we all be adventure photographers?!  

Soon enough, life has to happen, careers have to be built, and reality has to be faced.  But the thing is, reality isn't so bad after all.  There are books to read, adventures to go on, and also goals and achievements to be met. 

For me, getting a college degree has been the weirdest and most difficult thing.  I've traveled all over, I've taken the photos, camped at the places, and seen the museums―now I need to earn the degree and start the career, the life I've always wanted yet never had the courage to face.  Because honestly, getting a degree and starting an adult life is fucking scary.  Sure, getting married and buying a house are easy, but a degree and what comes after that ... now that is the part of multifaceted me that I haven't dared to face.  But I guess it's now or never, right?

Let's go.  Let's get this degree.  Let's see what life has for us next.  Let's finish this part of our lives we've been waiting so long to finish. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Zero Waste | GOALS

As I was journaling for the new year a lot of imagery that came up was what I wanted my home, my life, and my year to look like.  A new year is always a fresh start, but you can start fresh any time just by living in the now and being aware that whatever changes you make now will impact your life as they come and go.  When thinking of the impact my life has on this earth I imagine how humans have created an island of plastic in the ocean, how we have fields of grass where nothing can grow over sealed boxes of our ancestors, how sea turtles get plastic forks stuck in their noses, how we are so dependent on plastic, which is a byproduct of oil, this insane industrial machine.

I know, things get deep real fast with me.

From this, I made a goal to try to live a zero waste lifestyle to the best of my abilities.

Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills and incinerators. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.
So I began to do some research.  The biggest names out there are Zero Waste Home (who even has a book!), and Trash is for Tossers (which is my personal favorite, and was featured on MindBodyGreen).  

How did I go from zero plastic to zero waste? 
First, I stopped buying packaged products and began bringing my own bags and jars to fill with bulk products at the supermarket. I stopped buying new clothing, and shopped only secondhand. I continued making all of my own personal care and cleaning products. I downsized significantly by selling, donating, or giving away superfluous things in my life, such as all but one of my six identical spatulas, 10 pairs of jeans that I hadn't worn since high school, and a trillion decorative items that had no significance to me at all. 
Most importantly, I started planning potentially wasteful situations; I began saying "NO" to things like straws in my cocktails at a bars, to plastic or paper bags at stores, and to receipts.
Personally,  my first steps are going to be eliminating the plastics I use and buy.  Lunches and drinks can be packaged in mason jars, glass or stainless steel water bottles, beauty products can be made at home, and most food can be bought in bulk and carried in jars or organic cotton bags.  Cold brew coffee and beer can also be bought using refillable growlers from the company or origin.  I have recently transitioned to using cloth rags instead of paper towels at home, so I just have to maintain that habit.  I've even thought of a way to reuse old clothing for fun gift wrap!

There are a few more tips for zero waste living that will save you money at this link.

Baby steps are key, but a lot of these baby steps are going to be big lifestyle changes.  I have a few more goals for life and this year that I'll be going over in the coming weeks.

Here's to now!