As much as we humans like order, routine, and a level of predictability we cannot deny the fact that life is fluid and you can never guess what it hiding around the next corner.
Time changes us even if we try to resist.
This change and growth is such a beautiful and natural thing but it can lead to moral dilemma’s. One of which I have been grappling with for nearly two months.
Despite originally starting in, and being passionately focused on Sustainablity throughout my degree, I somehow unexpectedly (but not unpleasantly) ended up a career of ‘straight’ science. Sure, my field of ‘plant science’ has a (literal) green focus, like most production industries, has some very ‘un-sustainable’ practices.
Over the last few months my career path has lead me to a project that has conflicted with my personal values since pre-appotiment. It required HUGE amounts of resource consumption in order to gain information about an endangered plant species. Several years back the end would have justified the means for me. Since then time has passed, my values have changed, and burning fossil fuels for one plant species hasn’t really sit well with me. Not only are precious resources being consumed by something that rubbed me slightly up the wrong way it was also been eating into my personal time and distracting me from what I truly love.
In order to work on this project I have had to put my pooch into boarding missing out on precious dog time (we only get them for so few years that each day is a gift), I have had very little time to take care of myself in my mans FIFO related absence, and my all-consuming passion for sustainability education via my blog has become somewhat of a chore due to my energy being depleted in the field. It is a shame that such an adventurous and exciting position has become such an emotional and physical sticking point for me, but gut feelings (the ones that told me not to take the position, and despite my pleas that I wasn’t the right person I still ended up getting it) should never be ignored.
So today I informed my boss I would have to give up this project to someone who would be able to give it the time and love that it deserves.
This was a difficult decision as we all secretly want to be Indiana Jones and traverse unknown territories in search of hidden treasure (or in my case plants), but the practicalities of this aren’t always going to work. The decision was made even more difficult by the two incredibly inspiring self-sufficient farmers that I met while searching private properties for hidden plants. Their commitment to the daily practice of sustainable subsistence farming (check out the veggie patch above) really made me want to spend a week with them and find out more. But, in a way, the fact I wanted to question farmers about their cheese making and permaculture planting really made me realise that perhaps hunting for endangered plants wasn’t what I was put on this earth to do.
It is always scary to follow your gut instinct rather than your purse strings.
By no means has this decision left me broke and on the streets, but it will have an impact on my personal finances. However, this decision is a great one as it really enables me to pursue my true calling as I plan to enrol in a Masters of Sustainability Education in the upcoming months. Ok, so this wont let me trek up and down hills, or see gigantic cacti (like the lovely pics from todays field work above) but it will allow me to ‘be the change’. For ‘environmental science’ is so often focused on identifying and ‘curing’ the problems caused by our existence on this planet rather than focusing on prevention of problems in the first place.
I would like to hope that by focusing on giving people a ‘why’ something should be done rather than scolding them for doing the wrong thing or ‘fixing’ problems caused by doing the wrong thing, we can encourage all to be responsible for better planetary health rather than causing guilt and pain, or worse still a state of nonchalance.
So heres to life, fluidity and change; and hopefully for me a new chapter in my education and a new career in my area of passion.
Plants rule, but to keep them here in an abundant supply we need a level of awareness, not a bandaid on a gaping wound.
Peace, love and vegetation.
ps. the hat today is one that has been floating around my house for months. A hat of extreme mystery as I have no idea of its origins but I do believe it looks horrendous on me. In the spirit of experimentation I wore it post-work this evening and it did a great job of warming my head. Still not sure it suits me but can’t say I didn’t try. Also in my evening magazine flicking (on a dining table surrounding by birthday presents) I came across the @sustainabilityinstyle Instagram featured in Orbit Mag! Yay!
pps. Please excuse any spelling mistakes/general nonsense I have been up since 4.30am for work. Hopefully this crazy lifestyle will be a little less crazy sans one project. 😉 More time for blogging and research.