Monday, October 26, 2009

Re: Dreams

A friend, who is a few years younger than I am, wrote a blog post about how she was feeling upset that no one was taking her dream of a rural life seriously. This is the comment I left her. I've edited out a few personal details, but otherwise nothing has been changed.

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You're at an age right now where everyone is going to try to convince you to be practical, to follow the traditional route, to do things the way they did and the way most people do.

You don't have to do that. Most of those people live the way they do because it's the easiest way, the one they have to think about the least. People give up on dreams because if you don't dream, you don't have to take risks.

Being a person who dreams is EXTREMELY valuable. The world needs more people who are fully alive and doing what they love. Right now it seems like there aren't any happy people because (I'm guessing, from my own experiences at your age) you're surrounded by people who are trying to get you to make your life small because they made theirs small. They need to believe that a big, fulfilled life isn't possible because it's how they justify giving up their own dreams. But it IS possible. I know lots of people who live unusual ways - hell, I have a friend who lives in a bus. She's chronically ill and is still one of the happiest people I have ever met, because she's free.

And living out in the country is not even unrealistic, not at all. I live in the country, always have. My neighbors own a farm. I know lots of people who live even further out in the country than I do, on huge plots of land away from EVERYTHING, and they homestead and homeschool and farm and everything. They all have different reasons for doing it - some want to live more in harmony with the earth, some want to minimize the influence of government and corporations on their lives, some just plain love nature. What they have in common is that they all seem really really happy.

If you have a chance, you should check out the Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn - it's mostly about leaving school to educate yourself, which you may or may not find relevant, but there's also an awful lot in there about following your passions and how being a teen/young adult is a time when it's really important to dream big.

As for god, I personally believe the only true religion is the one you find for yourself. Simply taking on what other people say without doing your own soul-searching has very little value.

Sorry for the tl;dr but I just can't stand it when I see someone hurt because others have laughed at their dreams. Just hang in there and keep believing in yourself. You DO have people supporting you, even if it's just us here online. Tell the haters to step off.

1 comment:

Idzie said...

Yes. You put that simply wonderfully! It can be extremely hard to follow a different path then those around you believe you should be following, but what keeps me sane and doing just that is knowing that the rewards, of actual happiness, are most definitely worth it!