Monday, August 18, 2008

Throw-away World.

Have you ever noticed that we live in a throw-away world? Think about it. When was the last time you actually took something in to be repaired? You know, like a camera, or a watch, or a microwave. Can't remember? That's what I'm saying. We live in a world where it's less expensive to throw something away and buy a new one, than to repair it. We don't take the DVD player in to have it fixed. Instead, we toss it and buy a new one. They're cheap enough, so why not? We certainly don't repair the hair dryer when it "dies"; we run to Target and get a new one. Tell me it isn't so. It's true and you know it.

I look at my grandparents. They hung wet paper towels out to dry, so they could be reused. And I? I love paper towels and have absolutely no problem using them and never reusing. I once read that Japan uses 30 million 'disposable' single-roll cameras annually. Disposable cameras! We are products of modern consumerism. Society has told me that it's okay to always want something new, something better, something easier. I've been trained to focus on my wants and to choose things that will make life easy for me. Society says I'm entitled to experience life on my terms and in a way that is most convenient for me.

Now, this post is not about reducing, reusing, recycling, and saving the world, although, as you know from previous posts, I'm a fan of green. No, this post is meant to touch on a deeper issue. I've been thinking a lot lately about how this throw-away-all-about convenience-mentality has infiltrated our society... and how it has affected me, personally. As you know, I'm thirty. I'm single and find myself in the middle of a dating world that just doesn't seem to work hard enough to move on from singlehood. The pool (the dating pool) seems chock full of "kidults". Okay, not chock full, but you know the type... adults whose actions and tastes are more childish than mature; adults who want all the luxuries of adulthood, but none of the responsibility. I'm not saying that all are like this. I'm not even saying the majority... I'm just saying a fair amount, and thus I have this fear that this throw-away mentality has seeped all too easily into how we treat each other and how hard we work on our relationships, not to mention if we start them in the first place.

In the last three years alone, I have had five close friends contemplate seriously or actually go through a divorce. Now, I know that divorce can be the right decision in many cases; I'm not condemning it... but I'm just not condoning it as such an easy option either. In a meaningful relationship or marriage, you work hard, harder than you ever thought you could. And then when you have reached your end, you step it up a notch. I am a fighter. But, indeed, I am a product of our society and I fear that I, too, may succumb to the ease of throwing something repairable away. It's a fear. I admit it.

Divorce has affected my life in a very dramatic way, and that was by no choice of my own. My parents divorced when I was not yet two. Their choices forever changed my life. One of the effects of that, I realize, is an instilled fear of which I have been working to rid myself for quite some time. This fear to enter into a relationship that someone else will not view as repair-worthy or to enter into a relationship with someone who is not as fiercely determined and committed to me as I am to him or ... worse yet, the fear that I will be the one who doesn't view it as repair-worthy.

But fear is not faith (thank you, Katie). Although I do not believe this fear has really thwarted my growth in relationships, it has definitely factored into my approach to dating in one way or another, if only a fleeting thought. But I am determined to live my life fearlessly, full of faith, hope, and happiness. As Flora Whittemore once wrote, "the doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." I am not a throw-away kind of girl; I'm a fighter. I plan to open the doors of every repair shop in town, if I need to. Small steps lead us to achievement. Rarely does fulfilling our hopes and dreams happen overnight, but we can take one tiny move towards them each day. So, as the silly quiz below so aptly predicted, I may be a little scared of commitment... but throw-away culture is not my culture. I’ve been burned, so I’m cautious yet more wise because of it, but I am more ready than ever to hit the floor running... and repairing along the way. :) The hardest and most challenging things in life are ultimately the most rewarding.

You Are A Little Scared of Commitment

You're open to getting serious with someone... though you can't entirely imagine it.
Maybe you haven't met the right person. Maybe you haven't gotten to the right point in your life.

Your reaction to commitment is very normal - especially if you're young or have been burned before.

Give it time. You'll probably be ready for a serious relationship sooner than you think.


Sherine said...

Great post Emery... I don't consider myelf throw away type.. but I have found that Todd is the fighter for us.. and I'm greatful for that. You will be the fighter in your relationships too.. which is an essential characteristic of any relationship. Good for you.. and good for your significant other:)

eclaires said...

Now if I could just find a significant other... :)

Kimberlee St. Clair said...

Thank you, thank you....your post couldn't have come at a better time.

Your thoughts and words are inspiring.

Love ya!

Sharona said...

What an inspirational post! that is awesome. It makes me wonder how I measure up....