A Confession: Times, they are changing
|May 16, 2012||Posted by under General Content & Rants|
Spring. Things are changing around me like crazy. Seems like these days, everyone is starting a new life and leaving an old one.
It has been almost 10 years since the first Frugal Vegan zine made its debut on the indie zine-scene. I never anticipated this zine to catapult me to where I am now, with this blog. But I do remember why the zine became successful:
When I created this first zine (The Frugal Vegan: Harvest & Winter Survival Guide) , I did it out of pure joy and interest. I had just moved to this province, didn’t have much cash and people here had no clue what a vegan was. I felt that it was important to put everything I discovered as well as all the information I acquired and read, into a fun publication to help others like me live a healthy “green” vegan life on a dime. To be honest, I didn’t care if the zine became overly successful, my only goal was to help a few other people be vegan and frugal while having fun doing it.
I also made the zine anti-copyright to get the information out there. I am one who believes that information and education should be free, always. I wanted people to photocopy it and give it to friends. I also told Microcosm Publishing not to pay me, to just photocopy the zine and sell it to get it out there. I was just thrilled that they picked my zine to sell, as I later heard that Microcosm rejects most zine submissions!
I was also told by an intern at Microcosm that my zine flew off the shelves like crazy for quite some time. And about 3 years later, I started getting royalty cheques from them, which I was not expecting. This zine and my other zines are still being sold at Microcosm, I owe them everything for this.
My goal wasn’t to earn a living with it. Nor is it my goal to make a million bucks with this blog. As I’ve said before, I’ve been approached by several advertising companies over the past 3 years and have refused all but one. I only have one paid ad on here (aside from FV Sponsors who pay me $5 a year) but I know the company and agree with what they are doing.
So where am I going with this?
My life & I have changed A LOT since I first published The Frugal Vegan Zine and even since I first started this blog over 3 years ago. I still consider myself an alternative radical with a non-mainstream lifestyle but I no longer look the part and some of my activities and interests have changed. I also have different tastes and needs.
I want to stay true to The Frugal Vegan blog by still giving you (hopefully) thought provoking articles, great recipes and some cool DIY project ideas.
But I digress. The thing is, my idea of frugality is much different now than it was 10 years ago, even 3 years ago.
Sure, I still look for bargains and sales. I occasionally use coupons. I shop at thrift stores for designer finds. I get my hair cut at the hair school or an inexpensive salon. I travel on a dime. Frugality is relative.
I no longer make a lot of my own stuff anymore: I used to make laundry detergent, my own face products & perfumes, I cooked & baked a lot more….
I also have a higher standard for certain things now, but I still don’t know if it’s my age that is bringing this sudden persona out, or my upbringing which I tried to suffocate for a long time. I just don’t want to hide my “other” side from all of you anymore, even though I think some people will be annoyed with it. I do see the way some alternative/indie people look at me now, and it makes me sad. I think they see me as a sell-out.
Since emerging from my depression not too long ago, I’ve been feeling amazingly calm, happy and way more myself. But who I am now, is not necessarily what some of you might expect. I’ve always had friends who were rebels, progressive thinkers, intelligent, not mainstream and fought “the system”, if you know what I mean. They are still like that. I have a rebel-indie side (sometimes referred to as my hippie side), and another side which I tried to suffocate for a very long time which contradicts the rebel-indie side.
Let me explain:
I was raised in an upper class environment. I had everything and more at my disposal. Life was easy for me growing up. I even went to a teen birthday party once, wearing a gown and hopping into a Lamborghini we had rented with a driver, to attend the party at the country club. Yep, that shit is real, it doesn’t just happen on Gossip Girl.
That kind of nonsense makes people lose sight of reality though. And I didn’t want to lose perspective as to how things truly were out there in the real world, because I certainly wasn’t living in it myself. So I always tried to surround myself with normal people because I didn’t like many of the other people raised in the same kind of environment I was raised in. I thought most of those spoiled rich kids were assholes and had no sense of reality. They also had a sense of entitlement and a chip on their shoulders. Ugh.
I even talked my parents out of sending me to private/boarding school because I told them I wanted to be around normal kids and they agreed. So off to public school I went and stayed. I really needed to get out of that scene, as I felt that it was toxic for many obvious reasons.
Luckily, my parents believed in hard work, no free handouts and snobbery was frowned upon in our home. They were also minimalists. I started working at 13 for my own pocket money. So none of this negative stuff I am saying about the upper class lifestyle, has anything to do with my parents. They are/were classy people with taste and very down to earth. It is because of them, that I didn’t turn into a total snooty asshole.
But like some of us who grew up in that environment, I felt that it was best that I leave it all that behind and pave my own way without assistance. I’ve been to food banks, had crappy apartments with no plumbing and I had no money at times. But I never ran home for help, it was the last thing I wanted. I always got myself out of jams because I was taught independence early on, thankfully.
Many have told me that I live my life the way I do since I will always have a “back-up”, if things go horribly wrong for me. Truth is, I’ll never know if that’s true or not. And these days, nothing is secure anyway. No one can rely on anything.
So what does this all mean?
It seems as though I am inching my way back a little bit to what feels somewhat familiar. And this is where my struggle starts.
I struggle as to what to write sometimes. A few years ago, it was all clear. Now, it isn’t anymore.
Thing is, my financial situation is better now as I am no longer in dire straights. Although I am far from being a millionaire, my partner and I are not struggling anymore, like we had been for several years. But frugality is still practiced in our home, just on a different level than before.
So if you suddenly hate me now because of where I came from and where my life is going, there isn’t much I can do to stop you. I still want to be a voice for frugal indie radicals out there (because that is me too). I also want to start sharing some other things with you in hopes that you won’t see me in a negative light.
So here’s hoping you’ll keep reading, even though some posts might be a little different and more mature now. Maybe it’s my age (42) that brought about this change. But perhaps, it’s all that I learning and growing I’ve done in the past 10 years.