As the middle child of four sisters and I was often left with my little sister to babysit. But sometimes I wanted to leave to hangout with my friends or I didn’t want her all in my friends and I’s business. I used to push her out and would leave her home even though she would want to spend time with me. I felt guilty then and in some ways I still feel guilty now but I was a only a kid. I didn’t know any better.
As I reflect on this year and this journey three words come to mind: fast, inspired, & guilt.
It almost seems over night that I have jumped all in with this journey. Fullbyles is a year old this December and I have already done so much. I have written over 20 post, updated my website layout, and bought the domain for my blog. I have spread the reach of Fullbyles by now having an Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest page. I didn’t waste much time in making this a serious part of my life.
This experience has allowed me one of the greatest joys of life which is to connect with others. I have engaged with people all over the United States and even the world learning about zerowaste and minimalism. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a sense of the positive connections that can be made through social media. Over this year I have been inspired by the different people I follow on social media to be more creative and push myself to go out of my comfort zone. However, with all the good did come some bad.
This journey to a more meaningful and sustainable life is not an easy one or a straight path. But most good things aren’t easy and are not straightforward paths. In this journey it’s absolutely no trouble at all to feel a lot of pressure in the beginning. A feeling in the pit of your stomach that your small changes are not enough. That no know one cares what you are doing.
What people don’t tell you about this journey is the crazy amount of guilt you feel in the beginning. Before ideas like zerowaste and minimalism, I was living in ignorant bliss. Simply said, it was wonderful. My husband would also agree- no hesitation. Before this journey I was really only concerned with food waste (because of my mama) and basic level recycling (because of elementary school). Some days the guilt is subtle and on others its overwhelming.
I feel the guilt when I go grocery shopping and forget some sustainable practices like to bring my reusable bags and say no to plastic bags. I especially feel it when I am lazy (don’t want to look for another option) and or broke (it’s probably a more expensive option) and I buy plastic packaged food.
Sometimes I cannot even enjoy shopping trying to embrace minimalism. It truly sucks because I love shopping. I’m still trying to figure out how minimalist of me that is. But it comes and I feel the guilt creep up whenever I decide to go to a mall instead of a thrift store to buy my clothes.
I feel the guilt when I go out to eat and forget to say no to plastic straws, forget to bring my to-go container, waste food, get a plastic to-go cup, or get sauces in plastic cup containers.
Worst of all, I’m guilty of judging people for not joining this journey and movement. I just don’t understand why anybody wouldn’t want to leave the blissful island of ignorance and join us few people on the sometimes desolate island of sustainability. Where most people are angry, taking the longer process, spending more money, and having people misunderstand us.
The internal conflicts I wrestle with on this journey are non-stop and exhausting. I don’t mean to judge others and I hate that I judge others and myself so hard. I know there are a million factors impacting people’s ability to participate like money, time, health reasons, religious reasons, upbringing, perception, and of course ignorance.
I’m sorry to the people I have and will judge. I am a work in progress.
I know it’s not a pretty and glamorous thing to talk about but something I know I experienced often in the beginning of this journey and still do- though much less now. As I have gone through life, I have recognize that it’s important to acknowledge these feelings and to more importantly work through them. I don’t want to just pass through this painful process. I want to gain all the insight from this phase as much as I possibly can. I want to be a better person, advocate, and supporter of others pursing a zerowaste and a minimalist life style.
Like our journey on this road to old and new places, it takes some time but I eventually will get to my destination. If I am lucky along the way I will learn a few things and share it with you all. I am embracing this phase of my journey that’s not pretty or glamorous and I’m using it to help me grow into the phenomenal individual I want to be.
Is there a phase of life you didn’t like but it taught you a valuable lesson?