Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘life’

“The secret is not to dream,” she whispered. “The secret is to wake up. Waking up is harder. I have woken up and I am real. I know where I come from and I know where I’m going. You cannot fool me anymore. Or touch me. Or anything that is mine.” – Tiffany Aching, The Wee Free Men

For me it’s like this: I’m gonna check my privilege here first. I am a white cis gendered woman who grew up middle class. I didn’t have everything I wanted, but I never had to WORK for what I needed until well after high school. I may be queer and have a documented disability now (epilepsy), but those parts of me didn’t impact how I moved through the world until well into my adulthood.

When I reached the point in life where my parents no longer paid my bills, it dovetailed with us splitting on beliefs and ideology and sometimes really simple things, and I had this hard realization. My parents didn’t exist to take care of me. I existed to take care of me. My blood family is a good thing, but it involves a lot of negotiating and often because I’m queer and now married, they can be difficult negotiations. But nothing changes with them unless I stand up for myself.

I’m feeling this way about the US government, especially today, because through history we’ve (we = white people) expected the government to be our parents. We put presidents in power and expect them to take care of us. Presidents, senators, reps, governors, all the way down the line, and clearly that’s not going to work. It’s not how it’s ever worked. Those folks have abused their power. I, personally, have felt safe the last eight years, knowing that Obama is in the White House. And that’s just like letting my dad pay my rent. It’s passive and irresponsible. It’s me not taking care of my country or my rights or my future. It’s me putting all my trust in one guy.

And people of color have known this is how it works all along. They know the government isn’t their friend. Their protector. Their buddy. They’ve had to fight, protest, resist, organize, etc, all along to get any rights.

And now liberal, white folks, those of us who want to wake up instead of dream, we are learning the lessons of a young person meeting the real world. Daddy’s not gonna bail you out anymore. And honestly, Daddy wasn’t doing you any good bailing you out in the first place, because it made you believe that having your person in power meant you were going be taken care of. Like some spoiled college kid. That shit ain’t gonna cut it anymore it. Sorry.

Basically, all this is to say, is we gotta grow up. Americans need to be adults about self-governance. Because regardless how it was with cool Dad Obama, we don’t have parents now. We’re on our own. We’re gonna have bills to pay and have needs to address. You’re going to need to negotiate with that government. Local and state government, first. We are gonna have to step up and govern ourselves. Every damn day.

I’m not saying I want to be here. I am saying we have to be.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Here’s the thing: when I decided to marry Kristl and settle down in Chicago, I thought the idea of “Life by Wandering” was kind of done.

The idea being that I would live a whole bunch of different places, and get to know this country, this world, by living in for a year or two in them. The best way to understand a place is to live in it, get to know the locals, make a few friends, set down a few roots, and pick up the essence of the place.

I’ve done this in several places in the midwest: Grand Rapids, MI; Toledo, OH, Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL (yes, the actual city of Chicago.) I’ve also lived in Denver, CO, San Francisco, CA, and Tokyo, Japan. Some of these places I only spent a couple months. Some I spent years. But up until my relationship with Kristl, I was convinced that I was going to be constantly on the move.

Bear with me if you know this, but Kristl was an acupuncturist and she had a significant brick and mortar practice. In fact, by the time she decided to sell that practice and move on, she had her own practice space with three treatment rooms and was grossing over six figures of income. She was successful, but it was unlikely that we were going to leave Chicago with that kind of career.

However, my dream of travel, living all over, and seeing the country and the world in a very intimate way didn’t die. It intensified, and I wasn’t alone. About a year ago, Kristl heard a podcast interview of a couple who both have location independent jobs and live in an RV together. And they weren’t in their 60’s. They were a little younger than us.

An RV? Remote work? Location independence? These terms were like fresh spring water after a long walk in the desert. The truth behind Kristl’s practice was that it was successful in it’s own right, and it was paying the bills, but it wasn’t touching her student loan debt. Also, she felt chained to it. We love Chicago, but we were both ready to try something new. We reasoned out some viable timelines, two to three years to build up the practice and transition out, five years at most. I would do farming and sustainability coaching. Easy-peasy.

Then I had a life threatening illness in May and the picture changed dramatically. A cozy three to five year plan seemed foolish. Why waylay your life goals when you never know how much time you could have?

We decided to move to North Carolina in the fall. Kristl would sell her practice. We would start a business together. We would figure things out. The most important thing was to be healthy, to find joy, to move closer to the goal of being able to freely see more of the world and by that understand more of who I am.

We moved at the very end of October. It’s mid April now. This road has not been easy. I am not a natural entrepreneur. I have learned much about myself, and I have had opportunities to redefine many parts of who I know myself to be. I think if you knew me in college or grad school (or even high school, if we’re going that far back), you’ll find me a much less flamboyant, more willing to listen individual than I ever was.

Regardless, I realized that I thought I had to completely let go of this wandering dream to be with Kristl, and suddenly here we are, in a much bigger way, pursuing it together. I never would have thought to pursue remote work or to start my own business to live in many different places. It is through this partnership that the legacy of Life by Wandering lives on.

We are getting our things in order. We may well be in North Carolina for a while yet, but that dream is slowly becoming a reality. The nuts and bolts of a life of real travel are coming into focus. Time is a construct, frustrating though that truth might be. Anytime something is trying your patience, remember that you don’t know all the beauty, magic, and infinite good that is taking place to make the thing you are waiting for come into being exactly as it is supposed to, at exactly the right time.

Allllllll of this is to say that I LOVE that I don’t need to rename or restart my blog. I can just restart exactly where I left off. If you ever feel like you are a wanderer, remember you don’t have to wander aimlessly, you can wander with a purpose. You can wander with a map, and use Google maps. You can live your life by wandering and see the whole damn world. That’s what I’m doing.

 

Read Full Post »