The original inspiration behind this blog was a sudden impulse to live for a year without buying anything new. I would buy second-hand. I would make things. Maybe even barter. But I would purchase nothing brand new.
I dwelt on the idea for a while, and it felt lovely. It felt real. It felt like me.
But then I thought of shampoo. Was I really going to make my own shampoo? What about milk? And garbage bags? And what about the fact that I don’t know how to make anything? I have a sewing machine, but I can’t even thread the damn thing without my mother’s assistance. And what if, god forbid, I just really wanted some Skittles? I certainly couldn’t make those, and I didn’t even want to think about what buying them second-hand might mean.
The list of “can’t”s went on and on. Dwelling on the idea no longer felt lovely. It felt heavy, and lumpy, and hard. And then I said the same words that have derailed far too many a good idea: “This is impossible. I can’t do this. I don’t know what I’m doing.”
To be fair, I can’t do this. I don’t know what I’m doing. But it’s not impossible for me to learn. I am, in fact, an excellent learner. I still have the report cards to prove it. And it would be silly to wait to document and blog about this little experiment until I do know what I’m doing. Not when there are sure to be so many excellent missteps and opportunities for good-natured self-deprecation along the way.
And so here we are again. I’m not prepared to live for a year without buying anything new. I don’t know that I ever will be, or will ever actually want to attempt it. But the impulse behind the impulse is the same: creating less waste, leaving a smaller footprint, teaching my children to be mindful of the earth. I don’t have to know what I’m doing before I start.
I begin this experiment knowing I will fail, in one way or another. And I am okay with that.