June 12, 2010

The Norm

It's hard to know where all of this really began -- this desire for a life that's no-nonsense. One that's packed full of freedom, passion, and, well...life! As I sit here now typing, it's easier to think back to impactful moments. Seconds and minutes of clarity. Sometimes hours of contemplation will culminate into one idea that blows the doors off of something. The A-Ha! moments are few, but they are quality. "Quality over quantity!" as a dear friend of mine always says. I've learned a lot in only a few short weeks. A lot of it is philosophical in nature, but I think it's good to try and peel back the surface layer of anything...see what makes it tick...see why it "is".

There are so many things in our country, and world for that matter, that are so easily accepted by the masses -- me included. A lot of them crumble like a house of cards after a little questioning and challenging. I have to proactively ask myself the "why" question any time I catch myself doing something out of habit.

The just-in-case items. The 2 for 1 special. The economy pack. The new and improved version. There are so many ways our world helped us accumulate. We are in the habit of buying things, so we also have to be in the habit of storing things. So the idea of a 2,000+ sq. ft. house makes sense to us. I mean, where else will you put all of your things? The care, energy, attention, storage, money, time, etc. that our things require of us end up trapping us in lives that we never would have agreed to consciously. Does this scare anybody else? I'm not saying that things in and of themselves are bad. We need some things. But we don't need two or three of the same thing all the time, do we? I've pared down quite a bit in the last few weeks, but before that, I'd say that in a given month I only touched 20% of my material possessions. The other 80% was taking up space, collecting dust, awaiting the next time I boxed them up for a move. This is insanity.

It sounds insane if you tell people you don't want to own a car. Regardless of the monetary benefits, there are also health benefits, environmental savings, time, energy. But a car, even though only some 8% of the world has one, is considered normal, perhaps even necessary, in this American consumer culture. Obviously, whether or not you own a car depends heavily on where you live, work, etc. so I feel for the people who might need to do more work to get rid of theirs if that's what they want. A different neighborhood? A difference city?

I currently own a car. I am planning on going carless in 2 or 3 months. The idea is exciting to me. Exloring the streets and city that my car has shielded me from. The simplicity of it is very appealing to me. These thoughts are random, and my posts have, in my opinion, been very unorganized thus far. I hope to take specific ideas or topics and tackle them one at a time, and more in depth. Stay tuned!

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