Friday, September 21, 2007

Goodbye, Shampoo! and other stories

I'm house-sitting in beautiful, scenic Sussex County this weekend, so it seems like a good time to blog. I am in an empty house with no one to talk to.

There are a few things plaguing me - things that really bother me if I get to thinking about them, but otherwise exist as just a hum in the background or a distant buried memory - and for the most part, I'm happy right now.

I'll just sum it up briefly now. Some of it is a convergence of the Karma Obsession of 2006 (an oversimplification - basically, after getting a lot of information about Eastern religions - a class, hearing the Dalai Lama speak, reading some books, writing a thesis that had to do with Taoism - I started to rethink things, which included a phase of being CRAZY worrying about the ramifications of everything I did, thinking of it in terms of karma) and the Ecological Footprint Craze of 2007 (very much like the Karma Obsession, only with environmental impact/cruelty impact). Blah that was a long sentence. This post will be full of bad grammar, just so you know.

Anyway, I've been referring a lot, in my sporadic blog posts and in e-mails or conversations on how simplifying my life, materialistically, and focusing on things that are alive - the natural and social worlds - have made me a lot happier. With this simplification comes this lightness, this feeling like some weight has been discarded.

I keep going on tangents with this post.

Anyway, I don't feel like talking about it right now (sometimes I get sick of talking about the environment/human rights/that kind of stuff BLAH BLAH BLAH) but I've been thinking how funny it is, that people are now LOOKING for alternatives to commercial chemical products - that what was probably common sense at some point is now this big thing you have to SEARCH for, since we've all gotten so used to all these expensive chemical products. (I find it amusing, too, that there are mad expensive eco-friendly cleaners out there, when the cheapest household ingredients work a million times better.)

I thought of this because I was trying to find a recipe for "natural laundry detergent." Basically, I just wanted to know if castille soap concentrate and borax would be enough - since I used to just use borax to wash my clothes, anyway - or if I should add baking soda or something, and how much of each ingredient do I use, anyway? (I eventually gave up, used my own judgment to make my own "recipe," and my clothes seem clean.)

Anyway, I just wanted to announce that for almost two weeks now, I have gone shampoo-free. I still wash my hair. Just not with shampoo. Right now I'm using baking soda as a de-yucky-er and apple cider vinegar as a further de-yucky-er and conditioner. My hair is soft and shiny and totally not greasy. The curls are really nice. The inch at the bottom that felt almost like split ends now feels like the rest of my hair. I hope this lasts. I mention it because it feels like a big deal to me and I want to just proclaim it to everyone I know - LOOK my hair looks better now than it did before and I'm doing something NON TOXIC and low maintenance and oh, did I mention it's ridiculously cheap!?!?!?!?

Sometimes I feel so light and happy and I just want to proclaim to people, "I don't have cable! I don't have air conditioning! For fun, I go outside, read a book, or talk to real live people! I don't use shampoo that dries out my hair anymore! Not to sound weird or anything - cause I know it does sound weird - but I've been cutting all these toxins out of my life and I think it's really making me feel better! Oh, I also like my job and my classes! My family, living situation, and my friends are great, too!" It doesn't feel at all like self-denial. It's stuff that I didn't even notice it was gone; I had no time to miss it. It quickly got replaced.
I spent (wasted? nah!) so much of my college life obsessing over the future - what kind of degree I was heading for, what kind of career, etc etc - and now I realize that what I've always been saying to myself and others is something I need to listen to myself. Life is short. Planning ahead is fine, but don't live for the future so much that you don't enjoy the present. What if I were to get hit by a EE next week!?!??! So, I haven't lost ambition, but I have no idea what my future holds and I don't care. I am happy now. Therefore, I am confident that as long as I continue on this path, I will not only be successful and happy in the future, but somehow move toward my goals of Doing Good in the World. I want to do more than just be kind to others, blah blah blah. I want to make a big difference. I always have.

I have all these stories and things I want to share, some of which I've been repeating to people all week and they maybe want me to shut up already and just talk about normal things like the weather, but I will post them, in a nice edited form, later. When I can think. I will just share a moment from this evening.

At a diner with a friend, the topic of prescriptions comes up. I announce that I have stopped taking mine. I tell her how since I started drinking organic milk and eating "less crap" - natural and health food - my health has gotten better and I need to take a lot less medicine. The sentences come out in between forkfuls of gooey, greasy Disco Fries that I'm shoving into my mouth. Hmm.

I suppose I am only selectively cutting out toxins.

Everything in moderation, I guess.

No comments: