One of the quotes on my vision board reads:
‘Be fearlessly authentic’
So today I was thinking about what to share with my little corner of the internet. I had this post in mind but thought “oh people won’t want to read that” and “that probably won’t be SEO optimised”.
But, I just wanted to write. I wanted to be ‘fearlessly authentic’.
So here we go…
My social media feeds are drowning in idyllic lifestyles. Zero-wasters living off the grid scroll into indulgent vegan burgers that are unbelievably like meat, and the latest target haul filled with pretty things.
Being a blogger of all things travel, working online and living a conscious lifestyle seems to evoke an internal conflict for me. Seeing my fellow bloggers and content creators painting their worlds and identities so clearly makes me question my own.
The environmental damage of animal agriculture was a large part of the reason I chose veganism. Making a positive change for the planet and my future children’s prospects is an issue deep in my heart. Sustainability is no longer optional.
But, if this is true, why am I still not fully zero waste, forgetting to tell servers I don’t want a straw, and keeping an old pair leather winter boots. I feel guilty and torn.
If I don’t throw out my old leather boots am I still vegan? If I do throw them out and buy new ones am I no longer minimalist?
I rave about a vegan burger in plastic packaging. Is it better that the world goes vegan or avoids plastic?
If I’m still using up a plastic bottle of conditioner can I Instagram about my new shampoo bar?
By now, your either like ‘I totally get this girl!’ or ‘damn she’s crazy!’. Honestly, I’m hoping it’s the former. I’m hoping that I’m not the only one out there trying to navigate this complicated landscape we live in.
Modern society isn’t quite ready for us. Being a vegan, or a minimalist, or a digital nomad or anything of that nature still makes you relatively unique. Sure, these movements are growing in a positive direction. But, beyond the blinders put on by a strong and idyllic social media presence, reality often brings us back. Back to the realisation that this way of thinking is not yet the status quo, and that isn’t easy.
To some extent we instinctively all want to fit in and feel normal. I’d be lying if in the ‘real world’ I didn’t occasionally crave normality. Shopping sprees, Starbucks cups at Christmas, and cracking the eggs into the cake bowl with my nan like when I was a kid.
Then I stop. I remember why myself and so many others are on this path. Society is so damaged, on a path it can’t sustain any longer. I feel a responsibility to help.
But to do this, why should I feel guilty about not being perfectly eco? Why can’t I give myself permission to celebrate all of the small changes I’m making and sharing to inspire others?
I can, I should, I do.
Celebrating Our Efforts
We should all be proud of any changes we have made to become more sustainable and to live more consciously. By celebrating and feeling positive about these actions we are more motivated to continue and grow. It also makes it more inviting for others to join us.
As a new graduate, I may not yet be in the financial situation to buy a totally high-quality capsule wardrobe I am proud to post on Pinterest. And I’m still figuring out a minimalist vegan skincare routine. But I’m on the journey, moving forward. Honestly, I think that’s all we can ask of ourselves and each other.
Celebrate when someone chooses the vegan option, pat yourself on the back for remembering the reusable bags, and forgive yourself for forgetting them last week. We are human, we learn and grow.
Being fearlessly authentic is my new perfect to strive towards. Willing to be real and true to the complex lives we lead whilst doing our best to make a positive impact. We are all at different stages of our journey and that is ok! Change is not always instant and being patient with yourself is the kind thing to do.
And of course, we need to remember that social media is merely a window into our messy and beautiful lives. It’s the creme of the crop, no one is perfect!
I hope that this post, or ramble, has resonated with at least one person out there. Please comment below with any of your own thoughts, I’d love to hear them!