Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 22, 2010 – Involuntary Simplicity


December 22, 2010 – Involuntary Simplicity
In quest for voluntary simplicity, or just lack of option to make money in a reasonably agreeable way, I left the city to move back to my parents’ farm. Here, I found a home, dogs, cats, sunshine and a piece of land to grow vegetables. I am convinced that this is a good place for my daughter, in spite of her loneliness. She can breathe fresh air, have contact with nature, play with animals, and above all, lots of space and time to pursue any kind of physical, mental, intellectual or artistic activities. Silence is a rare commodity nowadays, and I much praise it. We need silence in our minds to stay healthy.
I came back to my parents’ farm under a hefty price of taking care of them. My mother is bedridden and my father is aging and fighting against financial hardship. I feel the burden of caring for them, while I see my youth fleeing away in front of my very eyes. Not only my youth is vanishing, but my resources is not growing. I have given up making money out of this land. It seems impossible. The debts my father has may well be almost the value of the property. If we lose it, then, I also lose my inheritance.
Something different happened in my secluded life. I was asked out. I felt flattered and at the same time angry for not having proper clothes, shoes, small jewels. I have only one pair of stained jeans and couple of T-shirts that I wear for my classes. Moments like these, the theory of voluntary simplicity seems to fly out of window. I had to rush out to buy some clothing and shoes with a credit card, just to learn that I blew my limit. Of course, I don’t have money to pay it in full.
In my involuntary simplicity, I don’t do nails, pedicure, epilation, eyebrows, or even color my hair unless they look indecent. My only claim is for sunscreen, which is a health concern above all, under the tropical sun. Of course, taking a shower and brushing my teeth. Everything else should be unnecessary for good living. If living alone and no wanting any date.
I feel empoverished, disempowered.
In a Brazilian culture, for my social class, it is important for a woman to be well groomed, with beautiful clothes and shoes, and smell fresh. How can we be all that with a voluntary simplicity? Is any man going to understand why I have chosen to be frugal?
I feel trapped here, in my reality.
The talk about organic farming, sustainability, back to the land, all is speech to justify mediocre living on my parents’ farm.
Now I want to get out of here!

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