Thursday, 20 September 2012

Continuing on a Theme

“Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”--Franz Kafka

I grew up a conservative, Catholic Canadian. That quote? Pretty much the antithesis of how I was taught to behave out in the world. So it shocks me that someone thought of me when they saw it. sort of inspires me, even if that good little Catholic girl in there thinks its a scary, completely dangerous idea that can only end in tragedy and/or a pail of Haagen Dasz.

A lot of the time I just trundle through life completely unaware that I am, in fact, sort of living it. For one thing, we don't just home school our kids. We un-school them. We encourage them in their creative pursuits of music an dance and art, and squeeze math and science in when it comes up. (and for the record, because they're brilliant, (and I'm their mom, so I get to say that, and no one gets to argue with me about it!) they're still ahead of most of their peers in those subjects.) We don't own a car. We don't (often) mow our lawn, and when we do, we use that old-fashioned kind of mower. You know the kind without a motor?

Occasionally, we even grow our own veggies and make our own wine.

I'm a writer, for cryin' out Pete's sake! I write not just novels, but romance novels, and not just that, but erotic romance novels, and not even just that but GAY romance novels!!!!!

I am living the life I never even dared to dream of back in the day when I first put pen to paper when I was fifteen years old. I am doing what I love. I'm living the life that makes me deliriously happy.

Granted, a good portion of my family (and trust me, it's a REALLY big family) thinks I'm insane, probably even thinks I'm in denial over how much I am in love with my family and the life we have. In fact, I'm pretty sure certain members of my family can barely stand to watch just how little we care about things like status quo, conformity, conventional-ism, and a trimmed lawn. I'm pretty sure some of them think it's all my husband's fault. That I need to be rescued.

I'm positive I'm just mercilessly following my passions and my bliss.

Just like when I write a book, and I follow my characters into plots more conservative writers might frown on, I'm not doing it for them. I'm doing it for me. And if I teach my kids one thing in life, I hope I teach them to be brave and stand up for the mercenary in them that wants happiness above status and conventional acceptance. (With any luck, that won't include anything really socially unacceptable that might land them in jail or anything.)

I self-edited all this joy and self expression out of my soul for nearly thirty years of my life. It's bad for a book, and it's bad for your soul. I'm not doing it any more. So there!

What about you? Do you ever look at your own life and think: "Damn! I really am doing ok!"


Faith said...

Yes, I've been thinking that a lot lately. Good post, Jaime.

Jaime Samms said...

I'm happy, Faith, hue like eveu good Canadian, I kept. apologizeing for that long because so many people in my life seemed uncomfortable with it. that'sbullshit. Not doing that any more.

Vastine Bondurant said...

I was lucky. I grew up in a really conservative community, yet my parents just never laid out patterns of what they thought we should be. We just 'became' ourselves.

And, as an adult, I'm pretty much the 'what you see is what you get' version of a person.

In writing, though...ay-ay-ay. Suddenly there's this 'Joe Public' out there who are so ready to make an author conform. And it's taking a lot of practice to NOT do that, to just BE.

With inspirations like Jaime and others who encourage that freedom in writing, I just may GET there.

So look out, world. LOL...

Jaime Samms said...

We are all.waiting for you Ms. Zampa!

SJ Drum said...

I grew up in a super conservative community with an ultra conservative father and a liberal Wiccan hippie mother. Quite a contrast. Awesome because I was able to adopt perceptions from both worlds and create my own philosophy.

I've never seen one of those mowers without a motor. Sounds like a great workout!

Feel free to send me some of that homemade wine.

Jaime Samms said...

SJ, It's a reel of blades that spin as you roll it over the lawn. It's actually lighter than a gas mower and nice and quiet. Good for the environment, so your mother would approve, and plus, it's fun to watch the clover flowers and dandelion heads pop off as you roll over them :)

Jaime Samms said...

Oh, and sorry, but... the wine sort of all got drunk! lol!

Ivy Bateman said...

I too am a good Canadian girl, (not a Catholic, but married to one!)and just yesterday while having a conversation with an invisible person in the car...(you know you when you need to confront someone so you have all possible conversations before hand...just so you you're ready...and then none of them happen...that kind of conversation) and in the middle of it, I apologized to said invisible person and then screamed "NO! I'm not f&^*&^%! apologizing anymore!! I'm tired of being sorry for doing what I want!" And I felt a lot better. The health of your soul is as important as the health of the rest of your body. I agree with your life in a way that makes you happy. Wonderful post.

Anthology Authors said...

Well, I grew up outside of the nine dots. When I was very young, we went to a meditation seminar. (I tried meditating, but fell asleep every single time. LOL Still do. So, no, I can't meditate.) LOL That should tell you all you need to know. (g)

Being outside the nine dots isn't as easy as some think. I have learned to keep most of my opinions to myself. So, um, those of you who know me are probably amazed and wondering how many more I have. (g) Those of you who are close know most of my opinions. (g)

Good for you, Jaime. Being a home schooler isn't easy, even in LA. People have a lot of opinions of about homeschooling, most of them wrong and based on stereotypes.