What will plugging my apartment back in feel like?

August 14, 2023 by Joshua
in Choosing/Decision-Making, Freedom

First some context:

When I challenged myself to avoid flying for a year, I expected the worst year of my life—my family disowning me, running out of money, etc. Instead, after a couple months I unexpectedly found the experience rewarding enough to go for another year. Then each year led to another. At some point I figured I’d never fly again.

It’s easy enough not to get on a plane. Never flying again got appealing enough I have no problem imagining it.

When I stopped eating meat in 1990, I didn’t know if I’d eat it again since at one time I liked some of it. After a while, I had lost the taste for it and now the thought of eating meat is unpleasant at best.

A similar pattern happened with cheese, the last animal product I ate. I loved cheese, but it’s not appetizing now.

How long can I make it with my apartment unplugged?

I’ve written how nobody is more surprised than I am that I made it past a few days. Now I’m in my second year.

Unlike flying, meat, and cheese, our society depends deeply on electrical power. While the grid has been built by countless people over more than a century and who knows how many billions of dollars, my electric power depends on relatively new technology that’s portable so can break easily. Plus I could injure myself and not be able to climb the stairs. My building is planning renovations that may prevent roof access.

I can imagine a situation where I reconnect my apartment to the grid and plug back in.

question mark

How will I feel when I plug back in?

My thoughts about other activities changed, so they aren’t like they used to be nor like mainstream. I once would have liked eating meat again. Now it would feel disgusting. I once wanted to fly places. Now it would feel pointless, like I was missing the beauty, diversity, and so on of the world near me.

Plugging back in might give me a lot of easy power, but I’m more conscious that it will lead to polluting innocent people’s environments and paying for them to be displaced from their land to access minerals and fuels. It will destroy other people’s life, liberty, and property.

What emotions would I feel? A loss in freedom. An increase in dependence. I think resignation. Certainly acknowledgment that making it however far I make it, it shows what’s possible, beyond what anyone expected. I think I might feel like I was giving up something I cared about for convenience, like getting rid of a pet dog so I could party more.

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