Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I'd rather sit on a Pumpkin!

"Why should we be in such a desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree or an oak. Shall his spring turn into summer? If the condition of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute?”--- Henry David Thoreau

 This is one of my all-time favorite quotes. Why, you ask? Well because it describes what I feel on so many levels? 

Why are we in such a desperate hast to succeed?

Why are we so busy being busy?

Why are we in such a race to be better than each other?

Why are we in such a hurry to accumulate?

Why do we have to be constantly seeking---be it a better job, a a better house, a better life, better friends, or better things?


 Is what we have, and who we are so bad that we have to be constantly seeking an image of ourselves that will never satisfy?

Are we not enough?

Do we need to be constantly perusing, constantly hungry, constantly not enough?

I find that when I am in that mindset, I am very unhappy, and so are the people around me.  I'm not saying that you shouldn't have goals, and purses worthy things. I'm just saying that maybe if we slowed down a little, we might be surprised how far we've moved away from the things that really matter to us.

At the end of it all, we might even feel a little cheated. 

Why didn't anyone tell me?

Life is not fair, we cry. 

Yet, we could have stopped at anytime, and changed direction. But we were so busy being busy we never had the time to figure out which direction we really wanted to go---only that we were moving in the direction everyone was.

That's a scary place to be. Not to know where we are going, only that we are moving steadily to this “Somewhere, sometime, someday” because everyone else is.

 Someone wrote me a letter not to long ago. In it they expressed their disturbance that I had chosen a different, non conventional path then they. Then this person proceeded in asking me why I had chosen the life I had chosen, as if it was a terrible thing. They just couldn't understand why. It was like they wanted me to explain myself to them. It made me feel a little upset.

I was very befuddled. I appreciate this person telling me their feelings, and I respect them. And I also respect their concern for me. But what could I write in reply to such a letter?
How could I expect this person to understand me?

That got me to thinking why?

Why have I chosen to be a writer---an artist?

And why does it bother so many people?
Why does it bother people that I'm not married, that I'm self employed, and that I'm not currently in college?

 Maybe they are kindly worried that I don't have a life. Maybe they're worried that I'm going to starve. Maybe they're worried that I'm missing out.

 Maybe I am. 

But that's my business.   

But maybe they're missing out as well. 

They're worried about me missing out, but I say, they're missing out on a great deal, too.

I don't stew over their choices in career, nor do I tell them that I'm bothered by who they married, or what college they are going to. 

I don't care. I only care about them, as a person. If they are happy. All that other stuff is fluff. I don't ever come up to them, and say, "Gosh, what do you do with yourself all day, with a husband, and a job, and college, when do you find time to really live?

Seriously. It doesn't matter to me. If you drive a dumpy truck, or if live in a mansion, or if you choose to live in a tin can. It doesn't matter. Besides it’s none of my business. 

What matters is how I feel when I talk to you, and how I make you feel. 

I guess the question boils down to, does your job, does making a lot of money, being married, or having a higher education make you a better person than someone else?

Does it?

I guess I'm rambling. Sorry about that. But I just can't seem to understand why I and my sister have always been under a magnifying glass our whole lives, first for being home schooled, and then for choosing not to go to college at the exact same time as everyone else. It doesn't mean we’ve stopped learning. It just means that we are perusing our creative goals, for the time being.

There are worse things to take up one's time, far more disturbing than music, and writing books. But who knows. Maybe being an artist is a terrible crime. 

Maybe I'm miserable and I don't know it. 

Maybe I should have taken the road everyone say's I'm missing, or have missed. 

But in the words of Henry David Thoreau, “I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

Perhaps people think I spend too much time sitting on a lowly pumpkin, when I could ride in a glittering "stage coach" 
Maybe that's true, too.

But it is my pumpkin. And I like it. And I'll carve it the way I want to.

I know I befuddle people in many ways. I stop, when people say go, I ask why, when people just say, "go with the flow." I'm really not that much different than I was when I was little. I still like to draw, write stories, use my imagination, and I still feel like the same person I have always been. But maybe that's bad. 
Oh, and I do enjoy myself on many occasions. If it's wrong to enjoy life. Then I am guilty as charged. 

 The deeper truth is that I am an individual, and value my independence, and will fight to keep that independence even if it means I walk a lone. I have always gone in a different direction than the crowd because I choose to. Just because I'm not at college doesn't mean I've stopped learning. 

In this age of knowledge, ignorance is a choice.

I am very aware that walking a different path bothers some people. But popularity or conforming were never really high on my to-do list. As the quote goes, “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they are not on your road does not mean they’ve gotten lost.” 

"Why should we be in such a desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree or an oak. Shall his spring turn into summer? If the condition of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute?”--- Henry David Thoreau

I have always heard a different drummer, and have followed its music. Yes, it is a different sort of music than many people follow. But no less important.

We are all different.

Why do I choose to live at home?

That has been the question that has irritated so many people.

In a single act I have not only managed irritate my friends, but strangers---people I did not know as well. “Still here, you say?”

*shivers.* What a terrible thought.*


Maybe not. 

The only thing terrible about it, is the thought that my worth has been devalued to so many by simply living in the place I was born.

Which I don’t hold against anyone. 

Suddenly I, by ceasing to live someone else’s idea for my life, have become an enemy to society, and a couch potato bystander of life, who apparently has no other desire than to merely exist. 

But this is an unfair assumption to make. I have always wanted to contribute, to dance, to give, to learn, to inspire others, and to make a difference. And you don't have to be dancing to someone elses music to do that.  When I hear the sound of the drummer, meant only for me, I follow where it leads. When I feel the music, I dance, its voice is what I answer to. No one else. 

What I won't answer to is society's warped rhythm. I've never liked to polka with a dance partner that was faster than myself. If I dance, I want to learn the steps, and dance deliberately, beautifully.  

 I don’t ever want to have to seek myself outside of myself. And if doing what I love means loosing admiration from the outside world, I gladly give it away. 

Such admiration is fickle anyway, a vapor that vanishes in the morning. To seek such approval would make me feel as though I’ve given away the air I breathe, changed who I am for a stranger. And that’s not a very nice feeling. 

Choosing as I have has taught me lessons, things that I will take with me my whole life---walking my own path being one of them---choosing and not having life chosen for you by someone or something else. I have learned that when one is truly free, you can better see where you are going and why. And wherever I go, whatever I do, I want to live. To enjoy the moment. To learn, to love, and to give freely. That is all. I’m not a complicated person. I never was. 

 I have lived a different life. I’ve grown up charting my own path. Something I could never expect anyone else to understand. Nor would I ask them to. It would be silly. We all hear a different tune, and dance as best as we can. Whatever I choose and am still choosing will probably always confuse some people. The truth is, I don’t want to confuse people, or make them feel uncomfortable. But I can’t help that. No. I don’t want people to trouble themselves, worrying that I’m wasting my life.

To waste time worrying about other people’s choices, is in itself wasting life. I have learned that making a living, and having a life are two very different things. 

To me, to really be guilty of squandering one's life, is not to live it. Not to love it. Not to take time. Not to know yourself. 

To follow the crowd, to do what everyone else is doing would have been the wrong choice for me, at the time. If I had followed the crowds music, I would have just followed the pack, just for the sake of wanting to be the same. 

But I’ve never been the same. I have always had a different path to follow. I’m an individual. And I choose the speculation that is sure to come with it. I choose it. 

Had I chosen differently I would have missed all that I have experienced, and sold myself to someone’s will. And to do that would exile me to myself. 

Others may look at me like an untended garden in need of pruning, full of straggly weeds, and wild growing flowers, with bits of herbs, and lemongrass, daisies, roses, dandelions, and soft green unmarked sprouts, with no labels, peeking up from the earth, all growing in uneven rows, with unpainted fence, and a willow growing by the gate, waving with the wind. But it is my garden, planted on my own, the rows I made myself, the seeds I have sewn, the herbs I harvest, the dandelions I blow. 

I am the gardener. No one else. Nor do I need someone else to tell me what to grow. I already know what it is I want to harvest. I need no labels, no one to tidy my fence, nor to pluck my flowers.

All that I am growing is mine, wild and weedy as it is, unmarked, and to some, untended and untamed.  

But I know better. Some may say I’m a strange gardener, letting some weeds grow, alongside my flowers. But to some, weeds may be flowers, and flower weeds.

It is my private place. And if I let any in, let them tread softly. For the young seedlings are tender. I like wild places, for in them many beautiful things grow.

And most often times you cannot see the beauty, unless you take time to look. In many obscure gardens, great saplings grow.

But some grow saplings, other cabbages. And that is the way of it. The gardener knows the soil best---they know what will grow and what will not. And when we come together at harvest we share sapling, tomato, cabbages and cucumbers alike. All are of worth.

Yes, I have missed some things I'm sure. But I don’t need very much to make me happy.  

Yes, even in my small, humble corner of the world I have been heir to shafts of light, beams of inspiration, and rivulets of happiness. 

Everyone has a different path to walk, everyone has a definition of happiness that is all their own. And I respect that, completely, and unequivocally. 

My sister and myself do what we love, and we love what we do. It is that simple. 

We have never been the type of people to gather a lot of pleasure from crowds, parties, and the social ladder climbing game---something we have never been very apart of or probably ever will be. 

To be as we are has given us perspective, and a freedom that I have learned to appreciate more as time goes on.

I don’t know what my future holds. And I think I like it that way. To not know, I let go of control, and to let go of control is to have faith.

We are all players in life.

We all have a different story.

Some characters come and go.

Some teach you something.

Others help you grow.

All have twists turns, bumps, and jolts.

Yet it is the joy in the journey that counts, not the gold bricks of someday, or the castles of sometime.

Who you became, what you have learned along the way. That’s what counts.

Not anything else.

Who knows where my road will lead me.

So far it hasn’t been a bad ride.

I hope your ride is just as beautiful.

As always,

Your friend,


(I liked this quote so I stuck it in here) 

"I could say to you that you do not serve the public good—that nobody’s good can be achieved at the price of human sacrifices—that when you violate the rights of one man, you have violated the rights of all, and a public of rightless creatures is doomed to destruction. I could say to you that you will and can achieve nothing but universal devastation—as any looter must, when he runs out of victims. I could say it, but I won’t. It is not your particular policy that I challenge, but your moral premise. If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own—I would refuse, I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being’s right to exist. Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!" | Atlas Shrugged

  P.S  This video explains how I feel, exactly. It's very worth the watch. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Translate this blog