Fashionably Unfashionable

Before coming to Cape Verde, I was anxious about leaving all my stuff behind, all the comforts of life.  It may sound silly, but it’s true.  I wondered if I could survive without a washing machine, a microwave, a refrigerator, running water…you get the picture.

And I’ve found, after two years, I actually enjoy being self-reliant.  There’s nothing quite like it.   It’s nice to know that I can wash clothes by hand; I don’t have to have a washing machine (although if someone offered me one today, I would gladly accept it).  I can cook my own food, without a recipe or boxed ingredients.  I can take a shower with a bucket of water and come out just as clean as a long, hot shower.

I own no high heels.  I’ve worn the same clothes for two years straight.  My make-up consists of a tube of mascara.  I do not own a hair straightener, curling iron, or hair dryer.  I can pack a bag for a week in a book bag and have clothes to spare.  I have two pairs of shoes I wear on a regular basis.  I wash my hair once a week.  I can take a shower in 3 minutes and be ready in 5 minutes.

I’m afraid that when I return to America, all this will change.  I will pack half my closet to go on vacation for a week.  I don’t want to rely on things for comfort or happiness.  I like knowing that I don’t need a lot of things to be happy.  I like knowing I don’t need a washing machine, rather I need a bar of soap and a little bit of water.  I like not owning a television and visiting with friends instead.  I like that I know how to flush a toilet with a bucket of water.

I am not worried about up-and-coming fashions, or new gadgets…I don’t even know what they are, and I wouldn’t know how to use them.   But most of all, I like that I’ve replaced these things, these material goods, with an abundance of people, memories and experiences that never go out of style.

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2 Responses to Fashionably Unfashionable

  1. Anne Taylor Murray says:

    You inspire me! I am so proud of you!

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