Be the change

My cultural pluralism professor does a good job of getting through to me. He is very insightful and his lectures always leave me thinking. He has a tendency to ramble on but it is interesting and meaningful so it does not bother me too much. He talks a lot about the changes that need to happen for society to grow and even quotes Gandhi at times.

The one thing he talks about quite a bit that comes from Gandhi’s teachings is that you have to be the change you want to see happen around you. I never really bought in to the idea before but now I understand. The idea of making drastic changes seems pointless to a lot of people because they feel like one person cannot change the world but if enough people made the decision to a change would come, slowly I am sure, but it would come all the same.

I have started small. I started with my own life and things I wanted to be different, better. I deleted my facebook. I got a lot of.. I wouldn’t say push back about it but there were definitely¬† lot of questions. Most people asked “what happened?” as if the only reason someone would leave FB is because something bad happened. This made me chuckle on the inside. Are we really that obsessed with something that isn’t even real? My answer was always something to the tune of “the best time to leave is when there is no reason to stay”. This is what I began to realize about FB, this is my own personal opinion, FB is like each person’s very own reality TV show. People can sit on Fb and post pictures of themselves and their friends/family, they can go in and post updates about what they are doing, post articles and music they like but why? I see people posting “Shower and coffee time for bed” with a picture of themselves with wet hair holding a coffee cup.. Who is that post for? What was its purpose? Do people even think anymore before posting things online? Is there no filter? I mean, if it’s not something you would call a friend about then what makes you think anyone will care about on FB? I would call a friend to tell them how I just ran into Dave Matthews walking downtown but I don’t think I would call a friend to tell them I just took a shower and now am having a coffee while I get ready for bed. I definitely wouldn’t send them a picture of me doing so. I think Carly Simon’s Your So Vain could be the theme song for FB. I was tired of being a part of it. That’s the truth. I told people that now that my brother is moving home I no longer need it to keep up with my niece and nephew but the truth is FB is absolute bullshit and it keeps people from actually living their lives. I don’t want that kind of distraction in my life. I went three years without seeing friends that I used to see every weekend, why? Because I saw them on FB everyday and followed their posts so I it felt like I was still involved. The day I deleted it I called them both and made plans for the following weekend. Not having a FB has made me accountable for the relationships in my life again. If I want to stay in touch with a friend now I actually have to do it. I have to pick up the phone, I have to make plans. I am so glad I did it. This is just the first step in living a more meaningful life.

Another small change I made was cutting off all my hair. This change in the grand scheme is hardly worth mentioning but it carries a bigger meaning. I have not cut my hair since my depression two years ago. When I was in the middle of it I stopped trying. I didn’t do much with my hair, I stopped wearing make up, I didn’t go out much. So my hair continued to grow unchecked. Then I got better and liked the length so I continued to let it grow. Then when things got serious between Todd and I over a year ago I made a conscious decision to let it grow because I knew at some point we might get married and I wanted to have long hair I could wear up. for months I have wanted to cut my hair and haven’t because I don’t know when the ring is coming and I wanted to have long hair for our wedding. In the mean time I am sick of this long hair. It is boring, it takes forever to dry, it just wasn’t me and it was making me kind of miserable. Finally over the weekend I realized how stupid the whole thing was. I am keeping my hair long for pictures so that way I can look back and see how pretty I looked with the long hair that made me miserable. I cut it all off the next day. I will look just as pretty with short hair on my wedding day plus I was waiting on something that I have no control over. Todd will ask when he is ready and I shouldn’t put my life on hold waiting for that moment. I love my short hair, I have not regretted the decision once and I love even more that I the hair they cut is long enough for me to donate. This hair that began to feel like a weight holding me down will be something beautiful for someone else.

I want to do my best to live a life of purpose I am hoping that by making changes in myself it will help empower me to get involved on a greater level in the community and find ways to help and make changes there to. To help others I need to be able to see my own short comings and help myself first.


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