I'm not sure of when did the phenomenon that Anthony Bourdain once described as the Hipster Apocalypse officially started, but in the last 7 years, I have seen more and more of hipsters or their wannabe's walking around the planet, even in third-world countries. Who are they and what do they look like? In a nutshell, the males usually have this long beard (if not hair) and tattoos. They wear skinny jeans and round-rim hats. The females are usually dressed in some boho-vintage-inspired outfit (probably bought at Urban Outfitters or American Apparel). They are into arts, vintage vinyl, vintage camera (and polaroids). They drink craft beer (and even the gluten-free ones). And they are usually into bands that nobody's ever heard before as well as indie movies that nobody really gets.
Yeah, the infograph above has pretty much summed it up. Hipsters are basically the 'anti-mainstream' people, which I think is pretty ironic since being a hipster is almost as mainstream as being gay in America these days.
They usually live in Denver, Austin, or Brooklyn (or aspire to do so). Many of them are vegan or vegetarian (or paleo or whatever), they shop organic and certified fair-trade products, do yoga, and yet smoke on regular basis at the same time. Yeah more irony right there.
Okay why am I talking about them, again? Oh yeah, I am writing a prologue of my friend Karen's inspiring story, because she kinda reminds me of those hipsters I saw at Williamsburg, Brooklyn where my friend Kathy used to take me back in summer 2011. Not because Karen hangs a dreamcatcher on her walls or wears flower crowns in the summer, but because she is just a 'normal' person who lives in Dallas, not into weed nor Bon Iver but is actually abiding by the natural and organic lifestyle in its truest form.
You shop in an all-organic grocer? She volunteers in a co-op and gets produce, meat, eggs, and even yoghurt delivered to a pick-up point straight from the farm. You use eco-friendly diapers? She uses cloth diapers. You drink kombucha? She grows it herself at her own kitchen! Seriously, how hippie can a person be? Haha...
I find the fact that she is a very normal yet very 'earth-loving' person to be fascinating. "I'm an undercover hippie", she joked to me once. Whatever you call these people who choose a more natural lifestyle like Karen these days, I think we ought to learn from her. Cause everyone has a story of why they do things the way they do,
and the following is hers.
I have always been passionate about health and well-being. Having volunteered in associations like the Amigos Sin Fronteras, I knew from a very young age, that helping other people especially with their health was something that I wanted to do for a living. So I went on to study stomatology in BUAP (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla) for almost 5 years before studying dental hygiene for another 3 years in Houston, Texas. Throughout these years spent learning and working in medical field, I was exposed to so many different aspects of the industry that were quite traumatizing, including witnessing a woman in labor and c-section surgeries. "I wouldn't want to see all this when I give birth one day. I want to get anesthetized and sleep through the whole process," I said to myself.
While still studying, around year 2008, I started to experience many symptoms that lead to confusion. It took the doctors 9 months to diagnose me with hyperthyroidism. I had to take so many medication, my blood pressure sky-rocketed, and if I was to follow their advice I would have to take the medication forever -- which can't be good, right? Moreover, they told me that it would be hard for me to conceive a child. And if I ever got pregnant, it would be a high-risk pregnancy, since I would have to take some hormonal meds (that I was allergic of). Lastly, they told me that it was better for me to have my thyroid removed.
On top of it all, my liver was intoxicated and I couldn't handle the medication anymore. And then in 2011, my sister, who'd just given birth naturally at home, suggested me to look for alternative treatments. I then stopped taking the medication at the beginning of 2012 and started consulting my health with a chiropractor, who taught me that healing and health start with the right diet. I thought I was healthy, I mean I used to give nutritional consultation back then. But I discovered that what I Iearned in school was largely influenced by the food industry (for example : they used to say that coconut oil is bad for you because of the fat, but the truth is, it is actually good for your heart, read more here. whereas the popular canola and corn oil are more suspicious because most of them got GMO's).
So I started to do an intense detoxification diet : no wheat, soy, canola, corn, and dairy.
I know that God gives us miracles, but I also realize that it is our responsibility to take care of our own body. We ask Him to do His part all the time, without realizing that we need to do our part and give thanks
My healing started when I realized that I was already healed. That all I needed to survive and to be healthy was already there. I stopped asking for healing and started to give thanks for it, while doing my best to keep my health. I even gave thanks for a baby that I did not have yet.
I felt at peace and my whole attitude changed when I started to be grateful and to take that step of faith.
And in less than 2 months, I got pregnant.
Now I knew that if I'd gone to the regular ob-gyns, they would've treated me as if I had a high-risk pregnancy. So I went to a midwife, who could tell my baby's position just by touching and feeling my belly and not by conducting an ultrasonography observation all the time. I did everything naturally, my thyroid level was normal, and my whole pregnancy was easy (I didn't even experience morning sickness). Finally on March 2013, I gave birth to my precious Benjamin through water birth.
Even during labor, I embraced the natural pain that I felt. I knew that it was there to give me a sign that Ben was going to be born soon. It was a moment like no other, and it got us, my husband and I, closer than ever before.
I believe that our part as human is also to consume things the way God has created them to be consumed, or in other words naturally. That's why I still breastfeed my little one and eat healthy. And that's why I question everything now regarding my child's well-being, like the benefits of immunization and even the school system.
Not everything is bad as bad as you think and not everything is as good as you think. The key is to ask the right people and do your own research.