It's a brand new year. The project is starting, and I got to spend the first day of the decade binging the second season of You and munching on cucumbers (have you had them with lime juice and chili powder? Out of control). So far, so good. But with the new year comes new reflections and understandings. I've realized in the past few weeks that there is a platform that this project is going to be built on, and it's imperative to me that I bring it up before anything else.
It needs to be said that it is an extreme blessing to be able to call shopping secondhand for a year a "project". The majority of people in this world live this way as a lifestyle. Not by choice, but by necessity. The mere ability to experiment with living a more frugal/conscientious life for a year is a privilege. I'm fortunate enough to have a full-time job, as does my partner. That is a blessing in and of itself. Many people don't have that going for them, and they shop secondhand, thrift, and borrow as a way of life.
My overconsumption and mindless participation in consumerist culture is a side effect of being blessed. I'm not financially wealthy, but I clearly had enough money that I could buy a shirt and not think twice, or buy decor for my home and not even use it. That's privilege. I can go to a Sprouts and shop from bulk bins and spend the extra on organic veggies. That's privilege. There's nothing WRONG with being privileged, necessarily. I'm not shaming myself for working hard and getting to where I am- I've earned it. But I do feel that its important to start the Project by sharing that I understand that not everybody is able to do this type of thing for "fun"- they do it for survival. Shopping organic and local, eating farm to table, these actions are due to being able to AFFORD it, not living in a food desert, having people in your life that encourage you to be healthy, having the technology to access information on where to get bulk foods, etc. Hell, I'm writing this blog post from a MacBook Air. That's privilege.
I have all of that. I have a family that loved me and encouraged me. I am able-bodied and was able to work to pay for my education. And that means I've been blessed out of my mind. I want to say that I'm grateful and I don't take the gifts I've been given lightly. I want to show appreciation and respect for the path that I'm on, and I'm crazy excited to start this project with awareness, understanding, and gratitude.
2020, you're gonna rock.