“Since when do you care about animals so much?” “You’re Vegan now?” “I never knew you were so passionate about the environment.” “You used to hate cooking.”
I’ve been hearing these things a lot lately… and yes I’ve changed. I don’t know if it’s age or if I’ve just had some major realizations, but I’ve become much more aware of things I truly care about. It’s not that I didn’t care about anything before, I just didn’t want to acknowledge that I cared because that would mean I would have to change… and changing is hard and overwhelming. For example, I really care about the environment A LOT but I was afraid that if I expressed that, I would have to immediately be the picture perfect environmentalist. I wasn’t ready to drive a prius, go completely waste free, only eat food from my own garden, and be able to debate the effects of global warming flawlessly. The thought alone was so overwhelming that I just decided it was easier not to care. Since I wasn’t able to commit to perfection, I wasn’t making any progress at all. It seemed like too much for me to handle. I now know that making small changes is the only way to start and waiting for perfection will only keep you further from your goals.
It’s so much easier to be complacent than to actually live with purpose. I’ve always been such a people pleaser. I never wanted to rock the boat or be involved in any controversy. I was always pretty go with the flow. Friends: “Where do you want to go for dinner?” Me: “Anywhere is fine.” Friends: “What do you want to do tonight?” Me: “I’m down for whatever.” Friends: “Who are you voting for in the election?” Me: “Um I don’t know.” You get the point… I just wanted to be easy and low maintenance. It’s much easier to coast through life being agreeable and never challenging anyone or anything. I would rather have had everyone like me than risk annoying someone with my opinion. Ironically, I now strive to be more high maintenance where it counts and my conversations go a little differently. Hence the name of this blog.
When I decided on the name Hi Maintenance Hippie, I meant it in a way that I would still be myself and care about the typical (and sometimes shallow) girly stuff I’ve always cared about. Hair, fashion, makeup, and having fun are all things I enjoy but they don’t need to mean disregarding more pressing issues. My inner hippie really cares about the big picture. The environment, other living beings, long term health, world hunger, deforestation, etc. aren’t as fun and easy to talk about as my lipgloss color but I needed to dig deeper even if it meant rocking the boat. I’ve learned that everything really works in harmony and that you can enjoy life while also serving a purpose. I want to enjoy the simple things but never at the expense of what I believe are the more important things I really care about.
I think a lot of people live their lives this way because it’s easy. However, I’ve realized that although these people are pleasant to be around, they are not the people who change the world. I’ve always looked up to people who really stood for something. For some reason I was afraid to be one of the people I looked up to. As if it were their job to solve all the problems of the world while I just coasted through life trying to keep things fun and easy. I’ve never wanted to be controversial or risk losing friends.
My changes started with my diet because that was one of the things I felt I could most easily control. Then it trickled down to other aspects of my life. I started eating compassionately then began dressing, shopping, and conserving more mindfully. I know my journey has just begun and I’m nowhere near perfect. My goal is just to get better and maybe inspire other people along the way.
The only thing I’ve really changed is that I’ve decided to be more honest with myself and make an effort to care a little less about what other people think. It’s definitely a little scarier putting myself out there and living this way; but if I can make even the smallest positive change it’s worth it to me. So if my lifestyle is annoying you, it’s probably just because you don’t want to know the truth the same way I didn’t before. If it’s inspiring you even a tiny bit, then all my efforts are more than worth it. And if we are just really different and you think I’m wrong, extreme, crazy, etc… that’s fine too. I just hope we can approach each issue with an open mind and be receptive to factual information that will move us all forward.