Finding Home…Ten Years Later

It’s been ten years that we’ve been on and off the road traveling with our Family looking for ourselves, creating our dreams, raising our kids with the intention of breaking Family cycles of divorce and mistrust, finding a place to call home, and setting forth a path that was foggy and unclear when we set out all those years ago.  A personal and private journey (believe it or not). Over the years people tried to fit us into some sort of box, justifying why we would shift gears like that leaving behind everything we had ever wanted. Some labeled us a traveling gypsy Family, vegetarians (yeah, right), band groupies, drug dealers, white trash, lost people, adventurers, stupid, hippie bastard (hilarious, we clearly do not fit the hippie persona nor have we ever had a desire), and brave. I get it, people need to connect it to something they are familiar with or understand. It took us a lot of years to get over the feelings those labels made us feel like. And we are still working on getting over some of the harsh things spoken by some of the closet people, our Family. Letting them go with all their thoughts and confusion on who we are has been one of the most freeing experiences and yet one of the saddest.

One of the biggest things we wanted more that anything out of our years on the road was to experience what real home feels like. Something we either never fit in within our past or had no idea how to create for our own Family. We had this sense that home was always out there ~ a place, a piece of land ~ and if we just found that place we could buy it, shape it, own it, plant trees on it, and make it ours and we’d be home. We spent countless years and thousands of gallons of gas to find that place. When we thought we had found it, we’d stay. Sometimes for months, sometimes for years. But, it never was. We continued to look for that place and then years ago it became clear that home has always been within us. Location free. We’re home where ever we are. We are homemade. We took that in proudly with all the emotional touchy feely things that come along with, but I’ll spare you in this blog post. But, as our kids got older and more independent we had one more place to try out. Maybe the magical combination of homemade with the ideal location just might be out there like some sort of jackpot. Someplace that Greg and I could be happy with even when they left us for the big world. Seattle. One year there. Not it. Happy and accomplished we tried.  And through some sort of clarity from that risk, we came right back to the very place we started everything we have ever loved and have achieved some of the grandest stunts of our lives. Texas. The launching pad for everything barenaked.

Here we are now. We’re happy. We’re content. We’re homemade. With an older and wiser Family. And just like when we started out to find home, we also started out to find our own business. With an opportunity to launch and replicate what we were looking for on those thousands of miles and great times out on the road, we are finding ourselves with a possibility of something we have dreamed about for years. A place that many will come and find that they are home too. Yep, we’re a lot of things. But we’re also BareNakedFamily.

Naked People…Naked Thoughts…

Just like anyone else, we have a facebook page:
first name: BareNaked
last name: Family
On this page we update our status often using it as a tool for the things we hear & come across… and fun.  The other day Greg sent me a great message in email that I thought was brilliant and represented our life and beliefs.  It was one of those non-cheesy words of wisdom you come across every so often and are glad to find something that you can relate to without selling your dignity on behalf of some Hallmark crap.  I decided to post it on Facebook and didn’t think it would start a conversation at all.  Maybe a few ‘like’ approvals from fellow friends, but it did more than that.  The quote reads:

“I felt I would live a long, lonely, useless life and die alone and unmissed (did I mention that I never bothered filling out any grad-school applications?) It’s self-indulgent, I know, but this is what happens to the overachieving but essentially useless children of parents who raised their children to do well on tests but failed to equip them with the poison-tipped spurs of true ambition.”
–Jon Fasman

Now to me the first thing I see is common sense.  What does happen when we focus on teaching our kids only one side of the spectrum?  Wouldn’t that naturally limit their success or horizons?  And who wouldn’t want to give their kids the whole picture?  I’m thinking why only teach them what others want them taught?  Why not reach out beyond the schoolbooks and the homeschool curriculum’s and bring them an unprecedented wealth of knowledge and experience?  Why not encourage them to take risks…HUGE risks and learn about the profound feeling of failure?  Because after all without failure there would be no success and without that two sided view they would never understand.  Which brings me back to the fact that there is more to learning than a regimented way of learning, which is why I connected to this quote.

I have to say that it was till I got the one and only ‘dislike’ comment on Facebook about this quote that it really made me think.  The person that ‘disliked’ it is someone that I respect immensely, my sister in law who is a public school teacher and has been for sometime.  I know that she would be the teacher that is funny, caring, and really good at what she does.  The rest of the people that commented on the post are homeschoolers and fellow travelers that have seen both sides to learning – the ones who were taught in public school and the ones who are now teaching as homeschoolers.

It was the fellow homeschoolers and travelers that really liked and commented on this post.  But it was her ‘dislike’ of this post that was still on my mind as I went to bed.  Why did she ‘dislike’ this post so much?  How many times have I put up with the cheesy Hallmark sayings about religion, teachers, and Family that we have seen for years?  Seriously, does no one else see the damage from years of receiving the mindless sentiments from sayings like these?

By posting that quote on Facebook, I was in no way trying to push my way of thinking.  I was simply glad to find it and wanted it on my page as a characteristic feature on my Facebook page.  Besides, the days of intensely trying to prove to their world that we are awesome and our way of thinking is better than what we were brought up with are long gone.  We have learned to be humble through the constant struggle we went through with our egos as we ventured out on this new life ten years ago pushing close people away that didn’t see it our way.  We backed off and learned that we appreciate others freedom of expression the way we appreciate our own.  For us, that looks like listening and respecting.  Valuing that it’s ok that for everyone to have their beliefs and outwardly show their love for something.

When I was laying in bed, I started to think about her ‘dislike’ comment again.  Why does one have to go out of the way to tell me that they ‘dislike’ something I posted on my page?  Why can’t they read it and go ‘hmmm…interesting.  I dislike that’ in the privacy of their own head?  Why was it so important to reach out and tell me about it?  Was I recruiting others to believe in my ways?  Was I slamming the public school system?  No…the quote indicated that the learning process fed to the masses is not the only way as well as something that I related to from personal experience.  I found peace in this thought that I had and it inspired me to write this blog as I went to bed last night…

If a Jehovah Witness came to my door and shared with me their beliefs, I know that I would listen, respect, and probably make up some lie that I was getting ready to leave or something.  But I would and always have listened to them and even taken their literature out of courtesy even though we have different views.  Not because I feel pressured or am interested, but because I respect what they are doing even though it’s way different from my beliefs.  No matter what they were saying or trying to sell me on it would never cross my mind to tell them that I ‘dislike’ their belief.  Instead I would treat them with respect and let them say their peace knowing that it gives them the satisfaction they need for their work.  The point is not to like or dislike, it’s really about one’s thoughts…and how can that satisfy everyone in the world?