I’m squatting over in the small downstairs toilet, furiously scrubbing black stains off a pair of pink crocs. It’s a mindless job, and quite honestly a futile one, seeing that Eva is just going to jump in the next puddle of mud as soon as we go for a walk. Still, I want to do my job well and I scrub, scrub and scrub.
When I’m done, I move on to the next pair of shoes. Winter boots. The kind with fur inside and a bunny with ears that shoot out of the boots. As I hold them in my palms, I remember Dorota saying that she wanted to sell them. They were hand me downs from rich neighbors who couldn’t be bothered to donate them elsewhere, and discarded them outside their double-doored entrance, on their driveway, with a sign that said “For Free”. The boots were in a huge box with many other toys, and even a bicycle, one they probably discarded away because it got too small for their son. Dorota took the whole box home, together with the bicycle, and now I’m left with the task of cleaning them before they’re sold off in a garage sale.
I looked at the bunny boots and wondered where they would end up. Would they move through different families, on different pairs of feet for years to come? Or would they end up in a pile of trash, ready to be incinerated, in a matter of months? How many pairs of bunny boots are circulating in this world of consumerism?
We buy and buy and buy so much. We consume what the conglomerates want us to want, not what we need, and we participate in the death of humanity and the environment as silent users. Suddenly, I’m awaken to the darkness of capitalism, more so than I ever have been.
I started to remember the many times I went out shopping for a new dress. Just because I could. I started to recall the thousands of dollars I spent in bars and restaurants, just to feel like I had a great night out. That person feels so different…….from who I feel like now.
I always pride myself for not being materialistic, but in a way I was still trapped in the senseless pursuit of “material happiness”.
My life these few months have been so liberating and inspired. Although I live out of a suitcase, I’ve never felt more alive, and aware of every thought and action.
I’m living the life I dreamt of, not in a ‘oh I wish my life were like this’ , but more of a ‘what if I had made certain decisions that led to this life’ kinda way. And I’m beginning to feel like this is only the tip of the iceberg.
We’re all trapped in this world of capitalism. And one can hardly do a thing to escape it. It lurks around every corner, hell, it’s right in your face most of the time. But we’ve come to get so used to it, that it doesn’t look like a freak as much a familiar.
What role can I play in this world? What purpose can I elect for myself?