I very often feel like there is some unspoken unschooler competition to one-up each other in what amazing, epic adventures we all can have in as short amount of time as possible. I am quite certain I am not the only one who feels this, but I could be wrong.
The thing that every human being has to come to terms with eventually, no matter their background, is that the grass is always greener. That rings so true, and it hurts. Imagine being some epic-looking person like a Cirque du Soleil acrobat. That must be the most amazing job in the world, right? Well, actually… I can’t exactly speak for them, but I know just from spending half of my life doing dance and theatre that it gets boring doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And Cirque du Soleil performances are 5 times a week at least, for a year or more (most shows running now have been running for years, though I am sure that not all the performers stay in the shows their entire run considering things like getting old and whatnot). They all probably wished they had an exciting office job.
I know I said 3 whole entries ago that I would touch on being realistic “in the next entry”… and by that, I of course meant “the next entry that is not an ‘ask Jess’ entry.”
The problem with the “Must do Epic Things at All Times” mentality is that, while it is good to realize you can do epic things with your life, it is impossible to be doing epic things all the time. Dishes must be washed. Laundry must be done. Sanity must be kept up by taking time to relax and read a book, or go out for coffee with friends.
Who is telling you that you must only do epic things all the time anyway?? That grass that looks greener is who. Yes, it’s talking. Kind of like Audrey 2. And, yes, it will eat you alive.
This is a tough, tough lesson to learn; at least, it has been for me. It comes down to CMAWOT Syndrome: Caring Too Much About What Others Think. (Pronounced “SEE-ma-what”. Trust me on this. ) It lives in all of us, to an extent (there is a spectrum, you see.) It starts about the “middle school” age, regardless whether you are homeschooled or not, and slowly eats up the part of our brains that allow us to think for ourselves. It’s normally cured only by a painful slap in the face, unless counteracted early by rare personalities. There has not yet been a test invented to find out who does and doesn’t have this Rare Personality at a young age.
Anyway, enough of that.
It’s true, though. You’d better believe it.
Jessica’s Not Entirely Fool-Proof Method for Attempting to Get Over CMAWOT Syndrome to Some Extent or Another:
(Remember, I’m not a life coach. I’m just attempting to put into steps some stuff I’ve had to do to myself recently. Please berate me with incessant questions on what the heck I mean.)
You need to take some serious time alone, or time talking to one or two really, really good friends whom you know will be honest with you. (I would have just suggested time alone, but then I remembered that I’m an introvert and I’d better attempt to come up with options for my extraverted readers.) And really take the time. Set aside a whole day, or even several days to a week. Go somewhere you feel completely calm and comfortable, and where you feel you are able to think clearly. This varies for each person, so I won’t tell you it’s definitely your house, or definitely the public gardens, or definitely across the country in a giant bookstore. Just pick a place with the comfort of your soul in mind. It’s pretty much very important.
When you are in this place, with yourself or with your friend (read extraverts: NOT YOUR ENTIRE POSSE), and you have calmed down your mind, begin to slowly think. That’s right. Slowly. Think. At the same time. It’s hard.
Think back to when you were younger. Say, between the ages of 8 and 11. What did you do with yourself then? How did you act? Who were you, back in the day when you didn’t care what others thought? What would you be doing now if suddenly God gave you magical powers to never ever care what people thought, or how what you’re doing looks?
That’s just the first step, and I do implore you now to ask yourself some questions of your own. I can’t think of all the questions myself, unfortunately.
Next, start making logistical plans for ALL of the things you want to do, and balance that against realistic means for doing them. Notice that it is really stupid do do all of those things. Repent.
Okay, don’t repent. Just cry a little and have a moment or two of utter humbleness. It’s alright, you’ll feel better about things soon.
Okay, math time! The next step is to divide step one (childhood loves and actions) into step two (logistical failure). Or maybe it’s the other way around…. well, anyway, divide one into the other as you see fit. The answer will be something like 2, remaining pi.
That is to say, you will have a couple of options to seriously look at, with the comfort of knowing that they are really what you want to do.
I believe I will elaborate more on this in my next/a later entry. My brain is about run out of steam. My only hope is that I conveyed myself at least slightly. Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts on my sentiments, and if my advice helps! (Truth is, y’all may be wayyy ahead of this individual.)
Till next time!