Stumbled upon an old photo album at a friends braai last weekend. these are some of the beauties.
A lovely colleague of mine, Kathleen who runs Ogilvy’s sustainability practice, Ogilvy Earth sent out an email a couple of weeks back about an iniative called Green Wednesdays (http://www.greenwednesdays.com) run by a ‘green’ production company called Nice and Serious. (http://www.niceandserious.com)
Nice and Serious specialise in making films about environmental issues and sustainability. It all sounded very appealing to me, as one must always try and do good, as much as one can.
The event was a complimentary screening of Food Inc – described as “An unflattering look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry” on IMdb. Boy, they could not have been any more accurate. It was nominated for an Academy Award but lost to the Cove, which I have watched and which takes ‘deeply disturbing’ to an all new level.
The difference for me between the Cove and Food Inc is that, with the dolphin slaughtering – as one individual, Amy Mabin, I didn’t feel like there was much I could do that would make any difference – in fact, it left me with feelings of hopelessness and hatred.
Whereas with Food Inc – which by the way, does not manipulate you into feeling guilty for being a carnivore – is only really telling us to make healthier and more responsible food choices. I Amy Mabin, can do that. Be conscious of the animals, the people and the environment that could have been affected by the production of that piece of ham.
I threw my ham away this morning.
So, I wont go into details of the film, but do yourselves a favour and get it out on dvd. Make sure you don’t settle into a fat piece of factory farmed chicken filled with antibiotics while you’re watching. I’m certain you wont feel too lovely about eating it.
I think what also really struck a cord with me during the films is how all evil in this world is driven by the desire for power and money. And, this sounds like a rather ‘well, no shit’ kind of statement but I forget, often, how sick this world can be. I prefer to live in denial – because it makes my life feel more safe and comfortable.
Humans manipulate what is real and natural into processed goods that are easier, quicker and cheaper to consume making us lazier, fatter, and more sick and stupid by the day.
Awareness is my responsibility. I in fact, pride myself in being an emotionally and intellectually aware soul of this world. But when it comes to food – I can at times choose to be ignorant because the truth can be too much to bare. Like it was last night.
Now this does not mean I am becoming vegetarian. I’ll see how I go. But what I will do, is make better choices. Check my labels and buy organic as much as possible. The more of us that buy organic, the higher the demand will be and hopefully the more affordable it will become. At the moment its cheaper to buy a burger that it is to by a head of broccoli. Now that’s scary.
What does it mean? It means something different to everyone. Settling in, settling down. Apparently it will take me 6 to 12 months to feel ‘settled’ here in London. I left Cape Town because life was too comfortable, easy. Well let me tell you, I came to the right place to avoid those two things – ease and comfort. At times I feel very uncomfortable – having to, or needing to do things that I would never have done back home. Like;
Joining a running club – to meet people, because I came from a City full of friends to City full of unknowns.
Getting up an hour earlier to avoid the rush hour on the trains.
Living with strangers.
Taking the wrong bus.
Walking instead of taking the bus.
Using an epilady for convenience sake after 10 years of waxing – horrifying isn’t it?! 😉
Commuting for an hour to work.
Running in the dark, because of the commute.
And generally, well, just moving country I guess. Leaving friends, family and a job that you love, is well, not really a comfortable thing to do, is it?
So, I’m doing all these things that may be making me feel uncomfortable at first, but what its doing, you see, is liberating me, and forcing me to tap into strength I did not know I had. Putting myself in situations where I am forced to ‘survive’ or just ‘go with it’. I’m a control freak – so some of this and some stuff I have not mentioned – has felt really awkward and I have wanted to cry and scream and crawl under a duvet and hide there forever. And through all of it, I have been longing for a boyfriend who is living in Germany.
Long distance has been so good for us, I am more in love than I have ever been, but boy am I done with saying goodbye. Extreme highs, and extreme lows. And there is no Thandi (sausage dog back home) or Mom to cuddle when I’m in that extreme low. I have myself and my moleskin and my bed. And some peanut butter, to soothe the pain. I have friends too, not a lot, but some. Since I stopped drinking this is one of the few times where I am reminded of why most people drink – to soothe, to numb, to escape, to relax. All the more reason to tap into the healthy things I know provide me with that relief. Like running, listening to music, writing and talking.
I just need to find some balance. I need to settle?
Another quality I am learning here in London is patience – you have to, have to, haaave tooo, be patient when your train stops in its tracks and there is absolutely nothing, buggar all, you can do about it.
You also have to patient waiting in queues at Waterloo to put your ticket through the machine and to get onto a squashed tube.
You also have to be patient when your bus is not on time and when the self-help machine at Sainsbury’s is not being your friend.
You also have to be very patient, when your boyfriend is faraway and you don’t know when he is moving here because the future is not up to you or him, but up to a government who hold his passport.
Still, I don’t think its good enough, I’m not strong enough, and could be doing better. (Those are my scripts which I am trying to re-write).
I have to force myself to pat myself on the back or tell myself I am doing ok. (Like a good parent would).
I don’t treat myself like I would a friend in this situation. I should. I need to. Im stressed, and I am compressing a lot of it – being ‘strong’. I have never bitten my nails this badly. I stopped for years when I was back home. And sometimes I feel like I’m back at the ‘square one’ of life. But I know I’m not. I am just peeling off another layer, and it may feel like sometimes, emotionally, I’m a child again- but this is why I came here. To grow. Growing pains aren’t called growing p-a-i-n-s, for nothing.
So much more to do and learn. Honestly? I’m scared, but the fear is temporary.
I have my moments when all is bright and light, moments when I am bursting with faith.
Those moments make it all worth it.
I just wish my dogs were here.
Thanks for listening.