—From Deschooling Gently by Tammy Takahashi
Elizabeth is deschooling with her youngest child. The process sounds immensely healing. I think I might take that quote she posted on her blog yesterday, and apply it to myself, substituting corporate America for the school system and trusting that my taking time to decompress, my suspension of harsh self-talk, my patient exploring, will lead to "a life where everyone is happy and learning." A life in which I can rest in the silver lining of being job eliminated almost two months ago now—and believe me, I am resisting the voice in my head saying Two months! Why are you still lollygagging!—the silver being the sense that I once again own myself, I direct my own life, I can show up as entirely my own person. This sense brings a lightness of being even on those days when I give in to worry and the age-old conditioning instilled by my well-intentioned civil servant upbringing, a conditioning that says one must align oneself with what is established as opposed to striking out into the unknown. The unknown is dangerous, risky, unpredictable. Cleave to what is safe.
On the other hand, one could argue that everything precious on this earth has been wrought by souls daring to brave the unknown. Everything established was once uncreated and undreamed. I think Elizabeth is giving her son the most wonderful gift—the experience and the knowing that the established paths are not the only routes to a desired and desirable destination. One can lay down new paths across untrammeled fields, and discover answers to questions we don't even know to ask. All it takes (all!) is a willingness to look fear and convention in the face, to breathe deep and step into the possibilities.
I'm deschooling, y'all.
And thank you, Elizabeth, for giving me a frame.
I'm not entirely beyond needing that. Yet.