Friday, February 15, 2008

Maybe I'm a hippy

I think Boy thinks I'm losing my mind...

I don't know if it was my years of living in Okinawa (Japan, that is), but I have a thing for small spaces. I love small, quirky spaces -- spaces that force you to use your imagination in order to live there. Thing is, I hate the thought of it initially, but then I grow to love the space. Right now, we are the (proud?) owners of a flat that measures around 55-60 square meters (approximately 600 square feet). This place is half the size of the last place we lived in the US and trust me, when I first moved in, I felt it. But I have grown accustomed to it and now I am loathed to leave.

Boy and I are being adults now and "moving up the property ladder". We have the money to do so and we'll need to remortgage anyway in the summer, so the time is right. But I really don't want to go. It's kinda like my friend Roomie said, "I don't feel like I've accomplished what I set out to do. I don't know that I set out to do, but..." Boy and I keep getting in these arguments because I get my mind set on something and it's hard to get me to see the merits of anything else. But I don't want to see the merits of a house that's too big for me. I know that I am easily swayed by the moods of others (it's mostly a curse) so I know that if we eventually move to a place that's 1800 square feet, then I'd eventually grow to feel that is an appropriate amount of space for two people and two dogs.

However, ethically, it's not. What is our modern obsession with having a lot of shit? My amah's like that -- she's got oversized furniture in the house, a lot of trinkets and stuff around. There are reasons why she likes to live like that, but there is no need to live like that. I'm not saying, though, that we all should live off the land or what we can get like this guy, but there should be a balance and an awareness of when we are letting our possessions and our fear of others rule our lives.

I just joined website where you can leave your books for others to find, read and pass on to others. I also joined a site where you can share your skills, tools and even space with others. Next month, I'm off to Ireland for a conference and I'm staying with some people that I met online. All these things scare the shit of me. I've not been taught to be this way, only been given messages by our society to hoard and distrustful of others because they will exploit your holdings. I'm putting myself out there -- some ways more vulnerable than others -- because I just don't want to live our conventional life in such a straightforward way anymore. I don't want to be scared and I want to let go.


Websites
  • Book Crossing - leave (or release, as they call it) your books for others to read and pass on, keeping track of the book on this website: www.bookcrossing.com
  • The Freeconomy Community - "is about sharing the skills you've learnt throughout your life and learning those you haven't. It's about helping others and providing an opportunity for others to help you. Freeconomy allows people to make the transition from a money based communityless society to more of a community based moneyless society, and to share the land they don't need or can't use to facilitate a local food community": justfortheloveofit.org/
  • CouchSurfing - "a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit"; you can provide travellers with a place to stay or they can offer you a place to stay (we usually just call that family): www.couchsurfing.com
  • Hospitality Club - similar to CouchSurfing: www.hospitalityclub.org
  • 2 Comments:

    Anonymous a.t.w. said...

    pritty cool. i think it's excellent that you're trying to live intentionally, (as weird as that sounds, many of us do actually live unintentionally). community is a hard thing to commit to in our culture, but it's so necessary to be human. i interviewed this chinese underground church leader once (dude had been tortured, hounded, blacklisted, imprisoned, etc since he was a teen before he escaped to germany in his 40s when his execution was finally on the agenda), and he said something to the effect of 'we pray for you american christians because you have it harder than us in many ways--you have so much stuff to distract you and drive you apart, all without realizing it. for us it's always a matter of what matters most to us; we have to regularly choose what we want to live for.' i thought that was pretty profound. i remember the days of living with 4 other people in jordan, where we had no phone, no computer, no hot water, no supermarket, and very few possessions etc, and yet our quality of life may have been better than in our respective countries. definitely hard for me to make the daily choice to live more simply and choose what matters most when it's so easy to just live by default.

    Sunday, 17 February 2008 at 01:18:00 GMT  
    Anonymous a.t.w. said...

    Hey...saw this on Digg. Thought yoo would lahk.
    http://www.flat-chat.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=34

    Wednesday, 20 February 2008 at 08:05:00 GMT  

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