Breaking Up With Society's Expectations
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
I have been reading a lot of Mr. Money Mustache and listening to Russell Brand’s podcast Under the Skin and where these have left me is a little unnerving. I am questioning every purchase, and every bit of media that is coming into my brain. They have greatly influenced me and even this is disturbing even though I agree with them both. Ingesting information should always be done with caution and without losing oneself in my opinion. I really love being challenged by those not living the status quo and find both of these people highly fascinating. Okay, on to where I am at…
I will be the first to admit I am totally effed up sometimes. I am currently feeling a little effed up. We have been paying astronomical prices for the best childcare money can buy and she is amazing. But she is not me. When I left my kids wailing again today it was so effed up. I mean, writing is important to me, but it can probably wait until they are a little older to be honest, along with pretty much everything else. Parenting and the raising of little people is the thing in my life right now. I am not really happy with how I have handled parenting thus far. I have been so terrified of being with my own children that I have paid oodles of money that could have been put toward early retirement into having someone else raise them…
Back to media. I want to get rid of all media in our house, but I am afraid of how much my children need me. I am afraid to let them cry. I am afraid to acknowledge their pain, but really my own. I am coming to terms with how much addiction has played a role in my household growing up and how pervasive its tendrils have stretched into my own. Yes, we live in an RV and are plant-based and have some out-there ideas. And yes, we mostly buck the mainstream and yet I am paralyzed when it comes to really living my ideals in the face of the social constructs at large. I still feel afraid of stepping out against the way the majority of the planet chooses to live.
I want to raise my own kids and quit leaving them with another person, even if I think I am not a good parent. I want to change my idea of what a good parent is. I want to let them explore and switch to my minimalist phone and get rid of the glowing box that is constantly in my hand and my face instead of being present for them. I will not regret being present with my kids but I will regret ignoring them for Instagram.
I know I use the internet, podcasts, articles on parenting, memes, gifs, and all forms of TV to numb or avoid. I have to numb my mind that just will not relent. It asks me to feel and be a part of but then I become dysregulated and instead of sitting with and meditating and relying on a God of my Understanding, I reach for outside distraction.
There is a whole world inside of me yet to be discovered. If I spent all the time in meditation that I spend on my phone, I’d be a much more even and productive person. I have no doubt. I have been in a wrestle with my addiction to screens that has been ruthlessly taking my attention, my life from me moment to moment.
I grew up with television and yes, I got all the pop-culture references and could talk endlessly about whatever main-stream idea was being programmed into the masses, but why continue if I do not still want to talk about that junk or even idolize or hold much respect for our current school system. My children will most likely be homeschooled or go to an alternative school or maybe they’ll go to school if they wish, but with a mind of their own.
If I could magically go back in time and take TV out of my childhood I would. Adrenaline and Sugar are the watchwords of my childhood. I was lucky though; the internet wasn’t around and my parents would frequently kick me out to play outside. There was a neighborhood full of kids, creativity and also bullying, but we had fun. There was big-wheels and mud pies, chores, and homework. But had I also had the attention of my parents, had them teaching me things about the world, had philosophical conversations without the blasts from all the talking heads…wow, what could that have been like?
What if we had meditative mornings with only music and healthy, nourishing foods? What if I learned how to care for the land and the planet? What if we had played music together? What if I had learned practical building skills and math in order to build a structure to help in the garden, a tomato trellis or a new tool shed?
I am, and will most likely, never be perfect or anywhere near it. But I am really effed up and I really want to not be effed up. I can see it, the prize. I can see the vision. I am just trying to put one foot in front of the other on the long Camino to get to the prize.