Tampons and Composting: Wherein I Realized That Nothing is Sacred

I don’t know what started it,

maybe it was because i went to a hippy massage school,

maybe it was when I started seeing that my choices could directly affect my life, that I had a little control over some things…

maybe having a house that i could call a home, a place where I was responsible,

maybe Jill(a former roommate)’s “green award” and unrepentant commitment to recycling were actually a positive influence and not an annoyance

or maybe like allergies, you can contract a social obligation ideation just from living in Austin long enough.

go google image search "austinite." whoa.

go google image search “austinite.” whoa.

Whatever the cause, at some point, I started changing. I started eating better, working out, and adopting a “care more about things” attitude. My previously wild-like-ivy passion began tailoring, growing, shaping into a useful force. And moving slowly, like honey on a low grade incline, my boldness was tempered by wisdom, so that my decision-making became centered.

Life has been an evolution the past few years. A shaping, re-shaping, negotiation of wants and needs and freedom and perceptions. I think a lot about who I was and I’m tempted to be disappointed in her, a girl who thought even less before acting, a girl who made careless decisions when it came to her health and her environment.

And then I remember, that girl was doing the best she could. That girl was surviving an incredibly abusive, life-long relationship. That girl had just had her heart ripped out by people she loved, people she trusted. That girl was working her ass off just to stay above water. So no, she didn’t care about organic veggies, but her heart was beautiful and loved , and just because you go somewhere new doesn’t mean it was a bad place where you were before. It was just the “before” place. Just what was best in that time. So I try to cut her some slack, the woman I was a few years, boyfriends, and pounds ago. And then I try to look forward.

To that end, I have goals this year. My goal for February is actually to live on a real budget and to have a VERY firm idea of my spending. Since they say goals should be smart ( Specific Measurable Action-Oriented Realistic Timely), I put them down as this:

February (tomorrow, but i started early) will be the month that I use Mint.com to track all of my spending and earning (since I’m just one person with just one source of debt- school- this is not too lofty) to develop a sustainable budget system for my life. Within this, i will make a plan for how/when i will pay off above mentioned debt.

I have always been a spendthrift, but this specific goal is because I think that planning ahead in finances allows for much more freedom in spending choices. And while i like rules, i love the freedom that comes from having stewarded resources well. (more on this to come later – with recap of how parties cause fights in the vallett relationship)

My March goal is composting/reducing waste.

Now, as I write this, it is January 31st. But I’ve already begun informally composting as well as research on the issue. Totes interesting and ihopeihopeihope to share more on that as I learn, but what I wanted to talk about today was how we got to the “whole-‘notha-level” level when I learned about tampon applicators hurting the environment.

Now…. I shouldn’t say learn. I should say “realized”. Because I knew (but didn’t think about the fact that) that they were composed of plastic which either

1) gets recycled into other useful things or

2) lasts “forever” in a landfill and even when it does biodegrade, usually gives off awful bi-products.

I also knew that I didn’t recycle them because OHMYGODDISGUSTINGBIOWASTEANDPERIODSAREEMBARASSINGEVENTHOUGHTTHEYSHOULDN’TBEBECAUSE…because of things I won’t go into ::cough.penis-obsessed-culture.cough::

Then I saw this ridiculous but mind-changing commercial.

ACTUALLY, the commercial features cardboard applicators also, which… do they sell those anymore? I ask in earnest because I LOOKED thinking they would be less expensive (you bet your bottom i will cut costs in ANY way reasonable – what do you think February”s goal is about?) but couldn’t find any torture cardboard tampies. Anyway….

What I’m trying to communicate is that there was this one distinct moment, the moment at which I contemplated my menstrual cycle’s effect on the environment (which, apparently I’m not the only one wondering) that I realized:



More exactly: only the sacred is sacred. Only that which is truly holy and beautiful and good. everything else is fair game. I want that. I want the Truth to be held close and dear to my heart, to be the most important thing, to spur me on and hold me close in every moment. I want to cling to it and know it and yes, worship it. I really want to treat the sacred like it is sacred.

And I would like EVERYTHING ELSE to be respectfully on the table. I want to examine it and talk about it and experiment with it and assert some opinions and have my opinions informed by facts and opinions from others. I would like to carefully look at the nooks and crannies and minutia and make conscious decisions and NOT just go along with things just because that’s how I’ve been taught or what I’ve seen.

Which, maybe ironically, also kind of makes EVERYTHING sacred.

In that way, life reminds me of dippin dots (I was thinking something a lot more like molecular biology but sometimes i actually try to be relate-able). When you eat dippin dots, you’re eating ice cream, it’s just that instead of one big assembly, the product is in many small doses. (Also, let’s not contemplate surface area and volume discrepancies between the two forms because that is where the analogy breaks down.)

even little things are filled with littler ones

even little things are filled with littler ones

And I think: there all all these little moments, all these tiny decisions every day. Left or right? Pants or skirt? Call or text? Applicator or….

And in each of those little dots, I want to explore. learn. wonder. I don’t want to look at life as just a scoop of one thing.

Are there any “little-turned-big” things you’re thinking about right now? Care to share?

One thought on “Tampons and Composting: Wherein I Realized That Nothing is Sacred

  1. Great post, really interesting thoughts!! Definitely made me think about the effect my period has on the environment for the first time ever. Thanks for your insights!

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