A Little Off-Center

There is nothing worse than being really on fire about something only to have your passion dampened by the disinterest or disgust of those around you. Society is dumb (can I get an Amen?) but what if the judgment and misunderstanding is coming from your closest friends and family? That is exactly what has happened in my life as I fight for self-sufficiency.

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Homesteading, prepping, and general self-reliance are some of the great loves of my life. Fortunately, my best friend is of a similar mindset when it comes to these things. It is one of the things that I love most about her and I consider myself very lucky to have her to spur me on and slow me down in my journey. My other friends and my family, on the other hand, disagree fundamentally with the lifestyle I have chosen. Differences of opinion are one thing but I have been so convicted in my lifestyle change that it has become very difficult for my loved ones to wrap their minds around what I want out of life now.

Me: "Hey, Dad! I got a great deal on some rabbits today! I'm so excited!"
Dad: "Now sounds like a great time to get out of rabbits."
Me: "Why? I just now got them."
Dad: "There's no time like the present to get them out of your house."
Me: facepalm

I have come to a point in my life where I really and truly believe that "self-sufficient" is just another way of saying "I am enough." This lifestyle has brought me more confidence than I ever thought possible and also helps me every day to manage my chronic depression and anxiety. I know that the people who love me can see this change in me but it is easiest not to let them know the full extent of what I do. The sheer thought of some of the things that bring me the greatest joy would bring my family the deepest shame and grief.

[Image from publicdomainpictures.net - CC0 Public Domain]

How do I tell them that this lifestyle was bred out of necessity? How do I tell them that I was so hungry for so long that it has forever impacted the way I look at food? That is why I will do everything in my power to ensure that I am never that hungry again. How do I let them know how many times I've actually been homeless and just lied about it? I have the supplies for a quick shelter on hand for when the couches and floors run out. How do I tell them that I've experienced such complete emotional loss that I'm not even afraid of losing physical possessions? They really are just things.

My dad is embarrassed by the fact that I haven't had a car, a washing machine, or a cable box since early 2013. He is worried about what people would think if they heard about how I live without stopping to think about whether or not I'm proud of how far I've come. I walk where I need to go or I borrow a car when I am so blessed. I wash my clothes by hand and hang them up to dry year round. I don't watch TV. I am starting to raise rabbits. I'm a fair gardener, even if I do say so myself. I have good experience with livestock and I'm growing less intimidated by the future every day. I have so much to be proud of but they just don't understand.

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Don't you be concerned about what other people think about this lifestyle you chose to lead. IT is not there concern. I have been faced with similar thoughts from family and friends, and I am crazy so be it, I am crazy then for wanting to be a little more off grid and self reliant.

Agreed. If I am crazy, it is because I am crazy about feeling confident, capable, and fulfilled. Keep doing what you're doing! :)

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Society, when it doesn't feel comfortable or accommodating to those who don't fit neatly inside its perimeters, tends to try guilting or shaming those outsider back 'into line'.

Instead of celebrating our differences, we are taught to fear them as something disruptive and harmful to the societal system. I agree that it can often be extremely difficult to continue battling against said system as it continually demands you fit within its boundaries so it knows how to handle you.

My words of encouragement would be to continue presenting this happy version of yourself to your family and friends, and eventually it might sink in that you are in fact happy & content in your lifestyle choice; and that it is a choice. :)

Thank you for your kind words. I think when I move back home and they see me more regularly, it will help more, too. (Plus they will be getting eggs and milk and things from me...) lol

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Sometimes we have to shed away the layers to realise the basics we need to live, survive and thrive don't necessarily lie in 'things'. When I start to panic and get stressed because I'm worried about what will happen to us with hubby out of work I try to remember that mankind has survived this long without all the extras. As long as we have food and shelter we can still live.

I agree! Sometimes these "things" get really overwhelming and I find the need to fast from them for a while. I'll be praying for you and your family with your husband out of work. I'll be praying for relief for you but I also pray that it is an enlightening experience for you that brings you the confidence to overcome in the future!

Thank you. That means a lot to me.

Helping to Welcome In 2018- Here's Your CLUCKY New Year Surprise. Please check your wallet for a LITTLE Holiday Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!

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From @goldendawne, The Stewards Of Gondor & @fulltimegeek

Good for you for being a part of a movement that will wake people up from their slumber... Working to be self sufficient is hard work, and many do not understand that yet. Deep down some people are bitter because they regret never grabbing their precious life by the horns and making it GREAT. So dont back down and keep it up, and thank goodness for good friends! New to Steemit here, fellow homesteader, following!

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