Where does it come from and where does it go?

I am delving into what the world is made of and what I find frightens me; but I am too ashamed to turn back.

Besides the fact that I have my head brimming with thoughts and my soul tense with emotions about ethics and conscious living and the consumer lifestyle right now, I can’t organise myself to write about a single topic. So, here goes.

In the beginning, I was a lost soul in more ways than I could understand; I kind of still am. It all started when I decided to invite minimalism into my life. Before that, my sister had been living out of a minimalist wardrobe for a quite a while already and was a huge advocate of “less stuff” in general and I had always been reluctant, thinking “But how will I ever function without my [insert some random wardrobe piece here]”.

Now that I’ve actually had more time made an effort to find out more about minimalism, it’s become more appealing to me and is starting to sound like the only kind of life that makes sense. All this thanks to my sister, The Minimalists and Into Mind. Fast forward passed all the articles about style, fashion and the minimalist wardrobe and I’ve stumbled upon ethics. More specifically, ethical fashion. Read more about that here and here.

Parallel to my pursuit of less stuff was my pursuit of less me, physically. While Nerd Fitness made its debut in my life before minimalism, I only recently got sucked into the rabbit hole of asking “why, food?”. Trying to lose weight led me to trying to heal my body image which lead me to trying to fix my relationship with food which led me to trying to understand food. I read about Health At Every Size and read about the Paleo lifestyle and I’m still trying to sort it all out in my head, let alone trying to figure out how to move forward with all this new information.

So what does all of this have to do with anything? I’ll tell you: everything.

I am so, for lack of a better word, angry. I’ve slowly become more conscious of my presence in the world and I’m frustrated that I don’t have a guide to tell me what to do and how to fix it.

Simply asking, “Where does it come from and where does it go?”, has sent me spiralling out in a panic because the answer is always “I don’t know”. Who made the clothes you’re wearing? Is the cotton from Uzbekistan, picked by people who are forced into labour? Does the person who put together the shoes I’m wearing get enough to eat, time to rest and sleep? Does the factory that made the iPad I want to buy respect the rights of its employees? Where does garbage go to die? Can that to-go coffee cup be recycled? What about that sheet my burger was wrapped in? Is my burger even made of real beef? Was that cow healthy?

I am paralysed by the fact that merely existing is costing this earth and its inhabitants. Damn right I feel guilty. And so should you. But, where to go from here?

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