Recalibrating

Haven’t posted in a while but it’s not because I have nothing to say and it’s also not because I haven’t had the time. As mentioned, one of the reasons I decided to travel was because I was unsatisfied with my life in Toronto. Part of that was due to the lifestyle I was living but part of it was also an internal tugging that was telling me there was something more and that I could figure it out if I left behind everything to go travel. Well I guess I’ve been on a fragile path lately being hit with many realizations and not knowing what or how to express.

Following synchronicities and intuition has definitely led me to have experiences that have been right for me, whether presenting me with the right challenges, opportunities for growth or just really special moments that have confirmed my path. I’ve been able to really focus on internal, personal growth. Books and podcasts and conversations with awesome people have been instrumental for this; each appropriately finding me at the right moments as well. Still a work in progress but my mind is much more clear with regards to many things including emotions from the past which have been tainting my present reality.

The details I’ll save for another post but for now understanding and patience are what’s driving me. At the same time, the increasing clarity has created a greater drive in me to find direction/focus. Ruling out what I don’t want has been much easier than deciding what I do want and when you have a year in front of you, it seems like plenty of time to figure it out however in my 7th month of travel now it feels like the months are flying by…but it’s definitely becoming more clear and I know where my heart is.

What am I doing? I am recalibrating. Away from unnecessary stressors and inputs, I am at a lake in the mountains, where the air is clear and where I help tend to plants, chickens and the land; where I live in an ever-changing but stable community of like-minded people who work together to design and maintain a regenerative living space.

In the “real” world, I’m 32 starting again with almost nothing to present by the 1st world societal standard for a person of my age. In another sense, I took a path that I realized was in the wrong direction for me and decided consciously to acknowledge that and reroute with more insight and purpose. I can’t say I have any regret though it is definitely a jolt to the system (personally and macro-scale ;)). It’s a climb that’s worth it.

Patience is key with many things in life, subtle signs will lead the way. Stay open y’all ❤️

Local vs. Global

This week we had the opportunity to visit a number of family operations, each making their own artisanal products for local sale. Amongst them, a baker, sweets (cajetas) maker, furniture maker and potter. The processes involved with making each product was fascinating specifically coming from family operations, mostly manual with few and small tools (often recycled materials). The pride on the faces of the families was also heartwarming and really nice to see.

All items were made in the homes of the families. Food items came from decent conditions but not what would be considered acceptable under North American standards. It appeared liberated of standards and regulations which often unnecessarily complicate production operations (in my opinion). Some people might worry about sanitation but I’m sure each family takes precautions to maintain their reputation for quality. Moreover comparing the severity of common food-borne illnesses against the restrictions on our freedoms to produce and sell, not surprisingly I would choose freedom. Of course there should be common best practices and some checks in place for more serious concerns, but all-in-all freedom fosters morals, trust and responsibility, reputation-building. Laws foster rule-following and obedience for avoidance of usually financial consequences. Laws might be useful but I think only because we lack a more personal or community response.

Local production is also a lot more attuned to local demand and sensitive to environmental resources available. Inventory does not need to be plentiful and there is a lot more incentive for small-scale operations to not be wasteful. How many manufacturing companies can say they don’t create much waste or that their production is closely aligned with demand. I often wonder in shopping malls what happens to all the excesses of clothes once they go out of fashion or all the trendy, seasonal/festive items that will be fashionably expired by the following year. So much waste!!

More and more, I am convinced that buying locally-sourced sustainably-made/grown products is the only thing that will save our world which is currently being drained of its resources oh so rapidly. If you ask me, globalization has done more harm than good. Again I think of the deforested mountains where monoculture crops of pineapples and dragonfruit are grown here in Nicaragua for export hundreds to thousands of miles away by earth-unfriendly trucks to other countries. We say that health is more important than wealth yet everyday we make choices that contradict that belief. And I think it’s important to add that the health of our planet is no less important than our own personal health. An obvious example: buying cheap, non-organic, non-local produce from the grocery store is just as bad for the environment as it is for our bodies. We choose mass-market fashion over sustainably-made or recycled clothes. We don’t think twice about where the materials for our furniture comes from.

I’m guilty of many of these choices myself and my habits will definitely change going forward but I think it’s important for everybody to think about – really reflect on – the consequences of each decision we make, each vote with our hard-earned dollars, every inch of destruction we cause to the environment that we are leaving for the next generation (do it for the kids!). I think if we can’t say where or how or what exactly our purchases come from, then they are probably not the right purchases to be making.

Anyways, ponder on!

Ambivalence

Ambivalence is the perfect signal of internal conflict and I’ve used it to explore almost all aspects of my life. It’s that struggle of having opposing feelings about something or someone making it hard to resolve how you ultimately feel and/or confounding the decisions you want to make with regards to that thing or person.

 

The feeling of ambivalence makes us uncomfortable and can be rationalized into submission if we want OR it can be a crux point where change happens. I have struggled for a while now about my feelings towards work – enjoying the challenges and people while hating the lifestyle imposed on me (sitting all day, occupying the best hours of my day and best days of my life, etc.). If I played out the next 5-10 years of my life, I could see what my potential to achieve would be as well as what the limitations on my life would be but it was hard to determine an alternative.

 

I’ve received some undeserved praise I think for going abroad to volunteer but the truth is I’ve been mostly looking for an escape over the past year or so. In addition to my ambivalent feelings about work, I’ve become somewhat consumed with frustration over the modern way of life. Whether that’s mostly because I regret what our consumerist culture is doing to our world or whether it’s because despite my best efforts I continue to miss the marks of socially-recognized measures of success, I can’t exactly say. Nevertheless, the combination of factors has resulted in my increasing cynicism and need to break out before I spiral too far downward.

 

Self-reflection has brought me here and while I’m completely satisfied with the path my life has taken, the opportunities afforded to me and the internal personal growth I’ve experienced as a result, I also now feel completely mis-matched to this way of living right now and almost like I’m tired. Tired of swimming against the current; tired of constantly having to defend myself – why I’m not interested in getting my nails done or wearing high heels, why I’m still not married, why I choose to read rather than to have a social life, and why all the above choices don’t mean I’m a crazy cat lady in the making.

 

I don’t mean to get too serious or rant excessively but again I want to share a bit of my own perspective because it helps build the context to my actions. There are push and pull factors to everything and I’m explaining the push part here. I could ramble for some more paragraphs easily but I’ll stop now in hopes that I’ve gotten my view across and perhaps even given some food for thought.

 

Thanks again for following and reading.

Much Love,

Vina