There is this question that has been buzzing in my head an awful lot recently and it's the question of “Is It Enough?”. Is art enough? Am I enough? Is it enough to make beautiful food videos? To photograph? Is it enough to subscribe to and drool over magazines like Kinfolk, to strive towards their aesthetic, and their way of life? Is it enough to want to support cute Etsy-based illustrators and makers, believing that somehow this handmade, vintage-inspired trend will make the world all better? That we'll all just make, and be local and organic and buy more Salvation Army clothing and with every bunch of kale bought, the holes in the ozone layer will patch themselves together? Is it enough to shop at the farmers market and cook careful, nutritious, delicious meals and spread their worth and warmth into the people around me? Is it enough to take Instagram pictures and rack up an online following for my particularly twee alternative lifestyle and hope that my passion, my love for prettiness and peaceful processes is inspiring others?
I've been trying to tell myself that it is. That given my college environment- this is enough. I am enough.
But this evening, I met the amazing woman that is Severine von Tscharner Fleming and suddenly I was awake again. Suddenly, I was sure, and clear, that no, it is not enough. Reminded that the world and society we live in are constantly trying to pacify us. Telling us that if we, as privileged and young individuals are living sunshiney, content, facebook status worthy lives- if we are existing and online sharing and self brand building within our own communities- then that is enough. We are enough. But that's not true at all. The truth is that the people who are responsible for the word 'selfie' being part of the English dictionary (god help us all), or the corporations that are buying up thousands of small farms- they're counting on us being twee, and living in our bubbles of self satisfaction and hipster lifestyle contentment. They know that we will have the occasional meltdown where we will doubt our life choices, and the comforts that we indulge ourselves in, and where we will deliberate dropping out of college, or leaving our jobs. They know that for brief periods during those meltdowns we will launch into action and vehemently oppose them, like petulant children almost. But they also know that after those little tantrums die down, they have engineered systems and structures too subtle and too strong for us not to fall back into ignorance. Because my latest Instagram pictures of the kale that I just harvested from the Farm just got 28 'likes'- I am content believing that the world is flowing in the direction I want it to, things are running by the rules I dream of. Because those young graduates that I look up to and secretly Facebook stalk are working for a potentially problematic but beautifully branded food venture- I believe that we're all working towards a common goal of peace and unicorns. So fucking untrue.
So basically, I guess what I'm trying to say here is that whilst I will continue to make food videos that are insanely artsy and more than a little ridiculous. Whilst I will continue to promise myself long hours in the kitchen and in the sharing and preparing of food. I will no longer delude myself into believing that that is enough. Yes, there are people who make gorgeous, dainty food videos and make a living off of it. There are also people who have 184k Instagram followers and basically make money for branding themselves. Those are all appealing, amazing things, but I think I have to admit that they are not- not for even one second- enough. At least not for me.
As dinner drew to a close tonight, Severine reminded us that no matter what cause we're working towards, and which field we're in, our jobs, whether we like it or not, will be 90% administrative. I think I've been trying to avoid that notion a lot. I've been trying to tell myself that if I just spend all my time making, and using my hands, and just doing, then there will be someone else to do the administration for me. And whilst that could be true to an extent, I think I was reminded today that it's really just about finding a passion for which that 90% of administration is 100% worth it. Where it will be frustrating as hell, and occasionally boring, but it will be inching, struggling, pushing through towards a dream or an idea or a movement that truly lights you on fire. Then, I think that that will be enough.