My name is Josh and I have a confession to make. I think I'm a fraud. I'm not completely sure, but I probably shouldn't be allowed to volunteer for an environmental community group such as yourself. I'm pretty sure I don't have what it takes, and when I get down to really thinking about it, I'm not even sure I want to.
Granted, when I first contemplated the whole “sustainability/environmentalism” movement a few years ago, I was fascinated – couldn't take my mind off it. Suddenly, everywhere I looked, I saw friends buying locally grown organic food, or boycotting certain clothing companies. Some people even went vegetarian. I watched from a distance with rapt attention. In the face of what were certainly sweeping life changes, I was horrified and inexplicably intrigued rolled together into one mess of confusing emotion. I couldn't look away; my captivation was eerily similar to the feeling you get at the 'bats' exhibit at your local museum or while watching PlanetEarth footage of a killer whale hunting seals.
The more I thought about it, though, the more impressed I became. My friends' devotion to 'living green' was both inspiring and contagious. I decided to give it a shot. My wife and I started buying from a local organic market, began to aggressively recycle, evangelize our other 'unbelieving' friends, and in a moment of heady fervour, I somehow concluded that I should try vegetarianism. That's where the downhill slide began.
I'm just going to be blunt about what happened next. I took on way too much way too soon. I hated not eating meat, and contemplating the onset of the summer barbecue season with the knowledge I could not participate ferociously eroded my resolve. Next, I started to hate not being allowed to buy coffee from Starbucks. I resented not being allowed to buy clothes that I liked because of where they came from. I hated having to pay almost double the price for locally grown food. I hated being 'green' because to me, being green meant depriving myself of stuff I liked – or paying hand over fist for its 'green' equivalent.
I'm acknowledge that this isn't exactly something you brag about, but today now that the smoke's cleared, I've only got a fraction of the motivation that I once had. That's my confession. I've lost my edge.
I wish I didn't struggle like this, I wish I the fortitude to stick with the 'sustainable' lifestyle. I wish I was doing my part. Instead, here I am, back at what feels like square one.
I'm sorry, BurlingtonGreen, but I can only take on one small lifechange at a time. Past experience dictates that I re-learn what it means to live an environmentally responsible life. I'm back in the proverbial saddle, it's true, but it's one baby step at a time for me. I'll probably never become an 'environmental warrior-machine' but please know I truly want to do my part to leave a better world for my kids. Just be patient with me.
Oh, and thanks. Thanks for walking me through this.