Follow-up to the tidal flow

Lulu made a good comment on the last post about twenty-somethings burning out young.

She writes: "Many have left demoralized. They have barely had a chance to learn the rules much less to learn how to work with unhealthy people. They are beat up all the time until they quit. Many of these kids would have been just what we needed to reform the system. And we've lost them. We don't allow them appropriate time for family, friends and life."

Whoa. I wanted to clarify a little, after I read this. Because "Ranter Rae" was on the loose, and might not have been as clear as she should have been.

I kinda did that. I almost burnt myself out. I told Renee yesterday that when I was in the community house in San Francisco, which was one of the hardest points of my whole life, I realized that I didn't know how to care for myself at all. I couldn't figure out how to take care of my kids and eat, also. You know, ingest food. I lost a lot of weight. I didn't know how to order my day in a sane way, and so skipped around between people in the house, changing diapers, bookkeeping, and feeding people on the street. I also spent time yelling at people trying to park in our parking spot (we paid $400/month for two spots, which we fit four cars in) , and yelling at people who were trying to pee on our wall in the alley.

I was traumatized, when I came here to the Land. And then God and the Land began to heal me. I began to establish order in my days, to do one thing at a time. I hung my clothes on the clothesline and watched the river glinting at me through the trees, and I ate when I needed to. I swam in the gentle river.

When I say "doing things a different way", I don't mean burning ourselves out. When I say "responsibility", I don't mean carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. I have to tell you that I am healing from over-responsibility, from feeling that anytime anything goes wrong anywhere, I am somehow to blame. It's a ridiculous idea.

This is what I mean: every person has a story, and I believe it is more than making money to live, to make money to live. There is a wild thread running through all of us, and I'm just beginning to discover what that means. My Superstar Husband and I have spent many years doing a lot of things that are not linked to our wild, brightly beckoning thread, and we are just now trying to rectify that.

Rest. Work. Play. Discovery. Giving, giving, giving. Creating.

I do believe that things are formed in us in our twenties. I can't count the number of times that I was crippled with angst over who I am when my Superstar Husband and I were first married. He is seven years older than me, and I was twenty-one at the time. He'd say, "Don't worry, it's your age," and instead of feeling patronized, I felt liberated. You mean, there might be an end to this?

And there is, I think. I am becoming more myself than ever. And thinking less about it. And the shaping of my twenties and the things I have had to learn are carving the way for the next decade, and the next and the next.

I think what I objected to in the statement of the woman on that show was the idea that experimentation is all we really can expect from that decade. And the idea that settling down is not for that decade.

This amazing company was started by a friend of mine, who is young and inspired. This shop was started by a friend of mine, barely out of her twenties.

I want to start with my kids even now, building into them a sense of giving and empathy, as well as playfulness, joy, freedom and creativity. To look at them and wonder, what will they be? Who will they touch?

But, really, and honestly, I have no idea about how it all works. So I definitely don't have all these solutions up my sleeve. And I am afraid. I have ideas of things I could start, things I could do, and I back down because I am afraid of failing. And I know, I know, that fear should have no place in me. I just think that we can do things a different way. Deconstruct.

Is it that way because that is the right way? Or is it that way because that's the way we've always done it? Because that's the way it was marketed to us? Because Fisher-Price says? Or Gerber? Or Oprah?

It's why I feel great about taking my kids from the Land of Plenty, into India. We'll just figure it out, build our own forests. Do things a different way.