I was cranky today.
I’m a sensitive soul. I have way too many feels. I want a lot of things to change in this world. I want to accomplish a lot and at the same time I want to hide away in my hole and see no one and do nothing. I want to wake up to the sunrise and fall asleep with the sunset. I want to sit in quiet, quiet silence and watch carrots grow and listen to dragonflies or waterfalls. Or waves in the Philippines and the wind through palm trees.
I realize how different I am.
I am a proud weirdo. A misfit. A black sheep.
I’ve been ever since I came to Canada when I was 4.
The things that get my heart going are when I get asked to speak to a group of students about not making garbage. My soul soars when I find someone who is living a nomadic lifestyle and then I yearn for the same. I get excited when I know someone has planted a garden and is giving food away for free. Or is living off the grid.
I’m weird because I cringe when a friend tells me that they just got accepted for a mortgage and that they will be buying a house. It’s not that I am not happy for them, but because I can see that they want it only because they think it will make them happier. And will make them feel successful. Because that is what society tells you is success.
But all I can see is how much debt it creates. And how unnecessary it is. And how unhappy people become. And how much stuff they try to buy into their lives to make up for their unhappiness.
But here is where I take a deep breath and let go. Let it all go.
My life is not their life.
My idea of success is not the same as most.
I must be accepting of everyone as they are and be non-judgemental of their choices.
Because I too once believed in having a fancy car like a Mercedes, a nice condo or house with a big backyard, a family of 4, vacations every year and everything I ever wanted to buy just be within reach. I too thought I needed to fit in, dress nice, look pretty. Get my hair done, nails did and have sexy heels on and have a colour coordinated walk in closet.
Yes. Really. I was all of that once too. In a previous lifetime.
But when I am sitting still, I remind myself that even though those things may look good on the outside, they will never make me happy. That’s why I’m here now. Because I was on that path to all of those things and I felt miserable.
Of course I do want a relationship that is secure and committed but I remind myself that I do have a family now, even if it is not what I imagined. What this space is giving me now is the room to work on making myself happy first. Working on making myself happy is making sure I am taking care of myself. And reminding myself that where I am now is actually where I wanted to be 5 years ago, with the added bonus of extra love from a beautiful, incredible wide-eyed, nature loving, toddler.
I remind myself that the things I want most in life are:
1) Zero debt. I have one credit card that I am still paying off but it is a few thousand dollars. Ok, like $6,000. But that’s pretty good considering that is all the debt I have. I promise you, I will not have anymore.
2) Time with my son. And while I work really, f’in hard to provide for him and I cry sometimes (ok a lot) wondering if I’m being a good parent or if he’ll have a good life and especially when I have to stress about finding a babysitter (like this weekend where he needs to be somewhere overnight for just under 24 hours at someone’s house who is not family that I need to pay) or whether or not I can even afford to put him in swimming lessons – through all of this stress – I remind myself I get to be home with him. Every day. I wake up to his face and we wake up slowly. Really slowly. And eat really good food every day. On rare days I have to rush off but 90% of the time I’m with him doing whatever we want.
He’ll be almost 4 soon and I get told: he’ll be starting school soon! It will give you a break, they tell me. Well, I have no clue yet if I want put him in school. And to add that to the list of the already weird things I choose, is putting me further outside the norm of society. I’m ok with that because there are beautiful families who homeschool their incredibly bright, happy children. Even on the road. Like Our Open Road, who inspire me all the time with their family of 4.
3) The flexibility to work where ever, whenever and accept work or decline it. No matter what that looks like. Be that here where I am in this city now, in an ecovillage, in my tiny home or in a van moving across the country to connect with everyone that has reached out to me on here. I’m being serious here. I started creating a map. With a timeline. Holler at me if you want me to come say hi. I promise you it will be within the next 3 years.
4) Inspire and help others.
5) Live within my means. Consume and own only the things I need.
When I look at this, I think ok, I’m good. I’m doing really good. Because aside from not being debt free yet, I’m living my dream.
And I know I’ve said all of this in previous blogs before, but I need to remind myself every now and then. I need to be responsible for my own happiness. And that means I need it written down for me to see in plain sight.
Because anyone who is different knows it is hard. It can be hard to look around you and have no one else that not only remotely looks like you (because honestly everyone I know doing anything like traveling in a van, living on a boat and making zero waste videos are all white people), eats like you, is zero waste like you but is also a single parent as well.
I just needed to remind myself today that this little zero waste, self-employed, veggie eating, black sheep with a gypsy heart and a homeschooler in the works, is doing alright.