The situation of a generation
In the last few months, I suddenly start coming across articles about the generation I am part of. People in their twenties or early thirties, millennials, hipsters or whatever we´re called. I really don´t know much about this whole topic, except that I am part of this generation and hilariously fit into the stereotype. Probably writing this blog fits in perfectly too.
Although I´m not living in a city anymore, like most of this generation, and at the moment I´m writing on my laptop while frying fish fingers. The fish fingers should have been veggie burgers. However, many things in my lifestyle do fit (and the fish fingers were veggie burgers yesterday).
Urban jungle. All right, so I don´t live in a city, so I guess I should cross the “urban”. Otherwise though, why this sudden obsession with house plants? Actually not so sudden, I got my first cactus when I was seven years old and loved plants ever since. I did try to fit as many plants into my room as I could. Then there was a time when I travelled a lot and lost interest, now the plant addiction is back with a vengeance. So why does everybody do this? For myself I could still argue that I simply love plants and it comes in handy that it is now a trend, because I can buy cute plants and planters everywhere. When I was a kid I went into the plants corner at the supermarket, trying to make my parents buy me one. Not candy: plants. I loved to go to the garden centre and hide between the palms there, I dreamt of having a jungle at home. I still do the same now, with the difference that I can now buy the plants and create my own jungle.
Growing my own veggies. I also got obsessed by my veggie garden. Right now it´s covered in snow so I´m more busy with my indoor jungle, but in the spring my enthusiasm will rekindle. I want to grow my own veggies, learn to be self-sustainable. This is definitely an idea that caught hold on me through posts on facebook and the “moestuintjes” I got from the Albert Heijn supermarket.
I started meditating when I was nineteen. A bit young maybe, and it is the heavy shit, with emotional release, breath therapy and all that. I´ve never set foot in a mindfulness class. Yoga I did do, and it helped. It seems to be really trendy too: “spirituality”.
I have an endless to do list and still I hate to work hard for my money, because I have the right to do exactly what I want. However, society is preventing me, so I´m fighting it in my mind continuously. Even this grand mindfuck I see time and time again when I scroll down my timeline on facebook, as my friends seem to struggle with the same topic. The irony is that we put so much attention into the social media, we depend upon it, and it takes a lot of our freedom away in the process: Free time that we could otherwise have spent, well, differently. I will post this on facebook though.
My art is about nature, in a broad sense of the word. In the beginning I thought it was simply a longing for the forest in Sweden where I grew up, now I see that also this topic is embedded in something much larger going on around me. My generation is increasingly conscious of environmental hazards like climate change and pollution. We all want to be as green as possible, live as consciously as possible, at the same time we do fail, because we are so much used to luxury. I hear myself thinking many times a day: “it´s okay for this time”. It happens when I pick up a plastic-wrapped cucumber in the store, when I eat fish or meat, when I throw stuff in the general bin instead of the recycle-bin. It´s endless and very difficult to avoid. At the same time it frustrates me and makes me sad: my timeline on facebook is full of posts about endangered species and plastic waste. Climate change may be so severe that the world is not the same at all in 100 years. I seriously consider not having children for this reason. It does make me desperate to know that a big part of our natural world is suffering, it happens because of humanity, and as a human I cannot do very much to change it.
It drives me to try the little things: preserve my own garden, indoors and outdoors, rescue cats and rabbits from the shelter, start doing pottery to somehow connect to a slow and natural production process.
I don´t know if this is what my whole generation is trying to do. It may well be so. Whether we are all imitating each other or not, apparently it helps us cope. Not with a lack of food, war or other life threatening situations. It helps us cope with an overdose of information, technology and stuff, doom scenario’s in the future and a general feeling of a lack of purpose.
This all sounds terribly serious. I suppose it really means something to me. I hope I can write something a bit more positive next time because, you know, the law of attraction and positive thinking and all that shit.