I’m sure there’s a moment in time, we can all recall where either yourself, friend or family member, decided to embark on a crazy, non-conventional life change. Everyone commented on how extreme and unnecessary it seemed. It was a decision that was judged and labeled as dangerous, unhealthy, or irrational. Become vegan... gluten free, backpack around the world, drop out of school, quit your job, get a tattoo. Instantly, that bubble of pride, excitement and independence deflates…you regret sharing your news, and this barrier begins to grow around your body, going into an automatic self-defence mode…the world doesn’t understand or accept you… this challenge will be harder than you expected…
Ultimately, these emotions do go through my mind as I try and share this next year’s journey with loved ones around us. I do fear judgment and embarrassment that our choices are not accepted by society, it’s far from the norm and far from what the majority of people practice. I wonder if it’s worth it, will I find support, will I loose friends, and did I make a mistake?
Now when it comes to gift giving, I find myself even more exposed and vulnerable. This sense of fear and worry of “what will they think”, invades my mind. I continue to push those thoughts away and tell myself to be confident and strong in my actions. This does seem to feel a little easier when it comes to friends that we aren’t the closest with. For example, we have a birthday party coming up for a little kiddo from my daughter’s daycare. I feel that by prepping them ahead of time, sending them a little facebook message, letting them know that we have embarked on a yearlong journey, it should be less stress. However, what do I do about family members? I have a cousin’s baby shower coming up, and it’s someone I see on a regular basis, with family that will surround and all ask, “what is it?”, “what did you get?”, “let’s see”… I plan to take this on with confidence and honestly. I will make it personal, and share with her the gifts I have decided to give her, in a more personal way. Pull her aside and explain to her why I decided to give her some of my most cherished hand-me-downs and the reason for these gifts.
It’s definitely easier to give second hand gifts when it’s to those who support, understand, or atleast entertain the challenges we’ve decided to set out for our families. We just have to keep ourselves focused and be reminded of why we wanted to set out on this challenge in the first place! In the end, it doesn’t matter what the whispers say, it matters what our supporters think but most of all what we believe.